Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most scenic and spectacular hikes in the world. Over 3.5 million visitors travel from all corners of the world every year to marvel at the waterfalls and hike the famous trails of the 3rd oldest national park in the United States (Established October 1, 1890). With over 800 miles of trails you are sure to keep yourself busy. Most visitors head straight for Yosemite Valley, but there are many great hikes in Wawona, Tuolumne Meadows and the Hetch Hetchy as well. The park's elevation ranges from 2000ft to 13,114ft (600m to 4,000m), stretching from Giant Sequoia groves housing 200ft trees over 2,000 years old, to breath-taking valleys carved by glaciers, and home to the highest waterfall in America, to alpine meadows filled with rivers, lakes, and wildflowers. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the central glacier-formed Yosemite Valley, as does Yosemite Falls, North America's tallest waterfall. Three Giant Sequoia groves and vast wilderness are home to diverse wildlife. Tuolumne Meadows is a great area to visit to get away from the large crowds in Yosemite Valley. This area is a few thousand feet higher than the valley and may take some time before becoming completely acclimated. Wawona is in the south western part of Yosemite National Park and is much less visited compared to the Valley. There are several highlights of this area including the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia which was protected by Galen Clark 150 years ago and is home to over 300 massive Sequoias, some of the largest and oldest trees in the world still alive today.
Less crowded but just as spectacular as Glacier Point. Parked along Glacier Point Rd as the parking lot is small. There is a bathroom at the trail head. The hike has a slight incline with a couple small areas of rocks you need to traverse through. Steep incline when you get to the dome. It was very windy on top of Sentinel Dome. We continued the hike and took the trail to Glacier Point after enjoying the view on Sentinel.
It's the hike if a lifetime. Lyle Canyon is gorgeous. Donahue Pass .... AMAZING!!! If you want permits just go 2-3 days early and try to get a first come first serve. That's what we did. Happy Isles to Whitney. DO NOT USE MTR IF YOU DONT NEED TO. They are horrible to hikers. Go to VVR. They charge you less for resupply and test you like family. MTR SUCKS!!!!
I planned this hike last for a trip I was taking with some friends, and I am so glad I did, for it was easily my favorite spot that I visited in Yosemite. The initial trek up is a bit of a challenge, but it's a short one and the reward at the end is incredible. We got to the trailhead early (around 8ish after a more than two hour drive), and I recommend this approach. I did not have as much trouble climbing in the high altitude as my companion hikers did, so I barreled up the trail ahead of everyone. This means I was essentially alone when I started the descent toward the lake, and man-oh-man was it worth the effort. I'm not going to lie: I had a bit of an emotional moment. Just me and the fish and the birds and that other animal I think might have been a pika.
This is a hike where you can do some exploring. Take a nice little walk around the lakes. Follow the trail further north to an old abandoned silver mine. You can make it last as long or as short as you want. If you trek up toward Gaylor Peak, you can get a great view. I was there in mid-September, so it kind of looked like Rohan if Rohan had lakes.
One of my favorite hikes! If you're feeling daring you can go out onto Taft Point or look over the cliffs to the bottom of the valley. Easy hike, even for people with knee injuries, but it can be rocky in some places. Amazing overlook of Yosemite Valley, I highly recommend this hike!
I hiked this today with my husband and 14 yr old son. Once you are in the parking lot, start to the left of entrance, close to the bathrooms. Getting to May Lake took maybe 25 min for us, it was very beautiful and very quiet. Ascending up Mount Hoffman was easy to moderate until you get up to maybe 1000 ft, where there's loose rock and you have to pay close attention to footpath. You'll see cairns, which is the first time I've ever been able to appreciate these, due to no trail markers. The last section, to me, was more difficult than moderate, but worth it.. a lot of big rocks to climb in and out of the path. Perhaps if didn't have a fear of falling, it wouldn't have seemed so difficult. The summit is not for the faint of heart., but the 360 views are to die for! My son got halfway up that final section to the tower/summit and stopped there upon my request. Even there, you have really gorgeous views of the lower valley below. From the parking lot to summit and back, with a few breaks, it took us 5 hours and 30 minutes.