Explore Yosemite NP - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Compilation of a few of my favorite Yosemite treks

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If you take the shorter route up, be prepared for STAIRS FROM HELL- but super worth it. We took the shorter (but harder) route up, and the longer route down so it would be easier on the knees going down. Amazing views!!

Beautiful! Amazing views all around. It was a tough climb for sure but I highly recommend it. Both waterfalls were still gorgeous even though they aren’t flowing at full capacity. We saw a mama bear and her two cubs as well as a bobcat on trail, pretty amazing!!

Awesome hike, definitely strenuous going up some of the steep areas. But it was worth it going up to Nevada Falls. Took the John Muir trail on the way down, much easier on the knees. Careful, There were some icy patches at the top of that trail. Took us 4 hours to hike, we covered about 8 miles.

hiking
6 days ago

The toughest I have ever done!! absolutely worth it! Me and friend went during off season when the cables came down. If that's the case please bring safety equipment (carabineers, harness, leather gloves) if you are planning to do the 400 ft. climb along the face of Half Dome. We did not have that equipment so I didn't do it, because safety always comes first! Have a safe hike guys and don't forget to bring lots of water and salted snacks :)

Nice hike, a little Smokey from a controlled burn nearby but a beautiful day. Great views of Half Dome, the valley and surrounding mountain ranges. Indian rock was worth the short hike and also had some nice views from the arch. The hike is moderate to hard for beginners and very easy for the young lady that jogged by us not once, but three times while on the trail, amazingly fit...

One for the bucket list.

Awesome! Still had water at both Vernal and Nevada Falls. We took the entire route listed but didn’t take the “shortcuts” on the recorded map (short stairs to curb the corners on the switchbacks) and our route total walking from the Half Dome Campgrounds was over 10 miles! The stairs at Vernal Falls were tough but the stairs to the top of Nevada were tougher. Single ledge “more natural stairs” were definitely more unnerving than the Vernal Falls portion. Total flights of stairs recorded were 180! What a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

Great hike. I recommend starting around 8 to beat most of the crowds. We went on Nov 11 and it was COLD in the morning so bring layers. This hike is not challenging if you are in shape but there are a lot of stairs around the two falls which can make it difficult.

Good. Some parts were super easy, a few right before Nevada falls were steep and technical for the average person.

hiking
11 days ago

Awesome hike with amazing views at the top of half dome. I did this as a day hike in November with the cables down. I left the valley at 630 am right as the sun was coming out and I was the ONLY person at half dome. Had the whole place to myself. The hiking by Vernal and Nevada falls is the toughest part. Half dome is easy with a harness, some rope, and some leather gloves. Half dome with the cables down is a much more enjoyable experience, you just have to be more prepared but definitely worth it! Total hike took 9 hours to the top of half dome and back to the valley, the hike is tough and exhausting but with the appropriate rest and breaks it can be very enjoyable.

Great trail, hard work. Wife was absolutely spent after we got down - stairs prior to both falls, but especially Nevada were a killer. Great view all the way. Saw deer, Mumma Bear and 2 baby bears!

This hike was CAKE with an amazing view over the valley. Two water falls. Hit it early and make sure to go up vernal then Nevada and John Muir Trail on the return.

Best and most rewarding hike I've ever done. Train for this hike.... I'm 36 and in shape, and this kicked my a**. Last visit was OCT 2017. Been twice and plan on going back.

Fabulous hike- 3.5 hrs from Upper Pines campground with a lunch stop included. We did the walk up to the falls first and looped back on the John Muir Trail. It is a horse trail too but a more manageable grade downhill. A must hike in Yosemite.
Traffic is high to the first falls but gets less onto Nevada Falls. All the extra traffic would make this downhill harder.
Highly recommend.

hiking
15 days ago

Tough walk with a steep climb but definitely worth it. Went at the end of October and there was still water following from both falls. The trees along the trail were in the lovely autumn colours which made it look a lot more beautiful. Sadly John Muir trail was shut at the top so came back down via the mist trail until we could rejoin the John muir trail just before top of vernal falls until the bottom of vernal falls. There was toilets at top of Nevada falls and bottom of vernal falls but were shut for the season. Also remember it can be quite cold at the top but a quite a few degrees so pack extra layers.

Definitely a challenge that’s definitely worth it! Get your start early so you can take your time and enjoy all the sights. Snacks, water, and good shoes are a must. Did this Saturday, November 3rd, and the weather was great. Both falls still have water but it wasn’t as misty as I was expecting, I’m assuming from the time of the year. The leaves are changing so it’s very beautiful.

The waterfall was still beautiful. Many people but really good views :)

Lovely trail, couldn’t make it to Nevada Falls this trip though. We started too late in the afternoon. The stairs are rocky and uneven, so make sure you have solid hiking shoes or thicker soles. I’d recommend bringing water and snacks.

11-03. Do you think there is still water at Nevada and Vernal falls right now? Anyone who has recently been?

I normally do this trail first when I get to Yosemite. It’s typically pretty busy but it usually thins out the higher you go. The views are stellar! Don’t quit! Do the entire hike and get rewarded with a great experience. I highly recommend doing at some point before going off on a less congested trail.

Very easy to understand why it’s called ‘the most trail’. Solid, would hike again.

My opinion: The best trail to get the greatest impressions of the Yosemite NP.

We were there in June 2018. On the way to the Vernal Fall it was still very full. Many tourists were traveling there. In addition, it goes right at the beginning very steeply uphill. The paths are asphalted and easy to walk.

However, once you have left the lower part of the Vernal Fall, it is much emptier. Only a few make the climb to the upper part of the Vernal Fall. However, once you have reached the top, the basin of the Vernal Fall offers a great place to rest and swim. The view is wonderful!

After that we continued to climb towards the Nevada Fall. It can get very wet and make the steps slippery. Good shoes are mandatory.

Backwards you either go back the same way, or you use, like us, the John Muir Trail. This is a bit longer, but definitely better!

A part of the hike can be seen in this video from minute 2:53:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMJ84EZDYJw

Great hike! I recommend going up the falls and down the Muir trail (if it’s not closed). Otherwise I recommend bringing a trekking pole because the rock steps can get slippery from the waterfalls and they’re steep anyways (which can be hard on the knees).

View from the top is beautiful and there’s a restroom (but not very clean). The hike is steep yet still doable for those with fear of heights.

I can’t emphasize enough to be prepared and bring water. They post signs, but I see so many people on this trail just wearing sneakers with no backpack or supplies whatsoever. It’s still the wilderness, and it’s important to always come prepared.

hiking
20 days ago

Certainly a hike for your bucket list. Just make sure that you get your permits in advance. We tried to get ours on 5 separate occasions and never got lucky. In the end, on our last day in Yosemite, we decided to hike up anyway to see how far we would be allowed to go. As luck had it, we ran into a group of other hikers who had 2 extra permits, so we were able to make it all the way to the top. Otherwise, the permit check is just below Subdome, which means is that there are some views to be had even without the permit, however, they are nowhere near as impressive as from the top and you won't even see the Half Dome at all. The rangers check the your permit against an ID of at least one person in the group, so if you don't get lucky with your own applications, you really need to find a group of people who have extra permits - getting a permit from people who get tired and turn back doesn't help.

As for the hike itself, it is not nearly as difficult as I had expected it to be. That said, it does take a better part of the day, so be prepared for it, head out early in the morning and bring plenty of water, especially if going in summer. The cables look scarier than they in fact are - the only annoying thing about them is trying to avoid all the people going in the other direction, especially if you arrive during a busier day.

On the way back, my suggestion would be to take the John Muir Trail between Nevada and Vernal Falls. It might be slightly longer but offers stunning views of Nevada Falls and is also less steep than the Mist Trail - something your knees might thank you for later.

In all, if you have the chance and ability, I really can't recommend this highly enough!

Incredible day hike! Started from valley which makes the mileage a tad over 20 miles with 6300+ elevation gain. Got a late start of 8am but finished within 7 hours including a few breaks. Forgot my bladder so only had a liter Nalgene bottle. Not a huge problem as there were plenty of creeks to purify water from if needed (however didn’t need to fill up in the end). Trail starts with steps along the falls and then flattens out quite a bit before reaching switchbacks about halfway through the hike. Some exposure as you get near clouds rest so be wary if you are bringing anyone who is a timid hiker. The hike had great diversity and was really pleasant as it wasn’t incredibly steep or mundanely flat. Definitely doesn’t feel like you’ve climbed 6300 ft in the end. However, the knees did feel it quite a bit after the descent. This hike is by far the best one I’ve done in Yosemite. Amazing payoff, great terrain, comfortable and you get a bit of altitude. Looooved it and would highly recommend to anyone who loves hiking.

One of the best ever!

Great hike. on 10/29 the return via the John Muir Trail was closed. My fitness tracker logged 141 flights of stairs going all the way to the top of Nevada Falls. Views Amazing.

hiking
22 days ago

The trail is well taken care of, as it is one of the most traveled. Get an early start because foot traffic will start around 9am and you won’t get to enjoy the quiet stillness of the trail as much. The waterfalls are gorgeous! The steps are a little rough to get through, but take a break midway, have a snack, take in the waterfall view and trek on!

Taking my friends up to Nevada Falls was a life changing experience. Although the trail takes a lot of perseverance it is worth it.

One of the most scenic trails I've ever done. Both waterfalls are beyond spectacular and it's a rewarding feeling to reach the top of Nevada Fall and look back down the canyon. It is, however, very popular and not at all an easy hike, so be prepared. I recommend taking the mist trail up and the john muir trail back down.

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