Valley Floor Loop Trail is a 20.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite National Park, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.
The distance makes the whole loop trail a moderate one.
Really enjoyed the walk. Very easy, lazy stroll. Not heavily trafficked.
Only did part of this but got to see each waterfall!
Nice scenery. Go real early in the am. Later and you'll pass people in flip flops pushing strollers. Went when I was new to the game. There are much better trails in the park, if you don't mind the drive.
Keep to the hiker trails when you can. Less traffic, much better scenery, and water crossings if the falls are running high. Plan your trip to be around Half Dome Village at lunch. They have a market there and a burger/sandwich stand.
good hike but a little too close to the road. great views and some fun little water crossings.
We did this hike at the end of November and it was stunning. Been coming to Yosemite every year since I was born and it's like home but had somehow never gone back past Mirror Lake. This time of year was stunning! Fall colors on the trees and snow on the ground. During the winter months make sure to have good grip on shoes as the ice on the bAck two bridges was quite hard to get up without sliding back down. Due to the weather as well very few people on the trail. Will do this one again for sure.
It is said that while Yosemite Valley makes up less than 10% of Yosemite National Park, it is the destination for about 90% of park visitors. It’s certainly with good reason as it is truly a magnificent setting with its thundering waterfalls, soaring granite walls, rivers, meadows and iconic granite features such as El Capitan and Half Dome. However, for hikers this means that the trails can be quite busy. In addition, due to the topography here there are many strenuous trails and easy trails, but there aren’t a lot of choices for those looking for a moderate-level hike. One good choice to address both dilemmas would be the Valley Floor Loop Trail.
The trail is relatively flat but long – either 6.5 or 13 miles, depending on the route you take. NOTE: Before hiking this trail, be sure to get a trail map at the visitor center as there is very little signage along this trail and there are a few points along the trail where it is unclear which direction you’re supposed to proceed.
One of the great features about this trail is that it is relatively uncrowded, plus you get a much better feel for the valley than you do when simply driving through. The recommended starting point is at the Camp Four tram stop. From there head toward the Upper Yosemite Falls trailhead until you get to the trailhead sign. Instead of heading up the trail, turn left and follow the trail along the shadow of the granite cliffs. Eventually, you will cross the road and continue your trek along the river. Another nice feature of this trail is that, unlike many of Yosemite’s trails, this trail isn’t totally exposed; there will be many areas where you will walk under a canopy of trees.
Due to time constraints, we opted for the shorter version of the trail, which meant we crossed a bridge near El Capitan to reach the other side of the valley and the return portion of the loop. To experience the full 13 miles, you would hike past El Capitan all the way to Bridalveil Falls and back. Either way, after completing the Valley Floor Loop Trail, you can say with all confidence that you truly saw Yosemite Valley.
Even the simple Yosemite hikes offer a jaw-dropping experience. This is the foundational trail that offers access to most of the big attractions in the Yosemite Valley. It's a nice first hike for those looking to acclimate themselves with the park and how to get to key attractions.
My family and I camp in the valley every year and one of our favorite things to do is bike this trail. It's also good for walking. Mostly flat and the BEST way to enjoy seeing the majestic granite walls of the valley. It is heavily travelled in the summer however with lots of tourists with kids and cameras. My favorite time in the valley is September and October. The weather is still nice but the crowds are gone. In my opinion, even with the crowds, it's a worthwhile hike. And you can always pop over to the Awahnee hotel bar for a cold beer on the terrace.