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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.

Amazing trail with amazing views, the John Muir is longer and it doesn’t have as many switch backs and is not as steep as going up via Mist trail. I’d have to say if you go up to Nevada falls take John Muir down lots of great views and not as hard on the knees/legs.

I will come back to write a full on review! It was superb. This is the one trail to do

Definitely an easy trail (it’s paved as well) and it is more highly trafficked but the view of the Yosemite fall is really nice - especially in late spring when the water’s roaring.

In late spring, you will definitely get wet from the vernal fall spray on the mist trail. We didn’t feel much mist on the next ascent to Nevada falls. I would agree with the moderate rating but we struggled a bit on the approach to Nevada falls- a series of steep switchbacks. Once we got to the top, it was worth it. We opted to take the John Muir trail down which was slightly longer but we didn’t have to descend the wet stairs on the mist trail. All in all, really neat.

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Great hike. Plenty of giant Sequoias to see and wildlife. Spotted multiple deer and one California black-bear.

This hike was just under 10 miles for us going from Camp 4 to the edge of El Cap (one way). The mileage at the top screwed us over a little bit, but it is crazy beautiful. Do it, if you have the chance. Safe Travels!

Great view of the falls, half dome and El Capitan. Actually it’s probably the best view of bridalveil falls in the park. Which was about a mile or so into the hike. After that it’s nothing but rock hopping and tree hopping. I don’t recommend going any further. I came across a couple snakes and one rattler! Very easy to lose your way.

Stunning views all the way to the top! Save your knees and take in different views and perspectives by taking the John Muir trail down! Truly breathtaking! Note: we saw lots of bear poop on the way down but zero bears:/

Hiked up and continued to Sentinel Dome. Was not as difficult as I expected. A steady pace was possible completely aerobically. Every corner offered a new view. Changing sunlight kept it interesting.

Yesterday my wife and I finally started this trail at 6 am. After watching YouTube for 10 months and a few months of hiking in around Brisbane Australia to prepare, we soon found out how under prepared training wise we were . We took advice from others on the day to take it steady and at our pace. The peace and quiet and scenery was amazing with a fog covering the valley floor on a chilly clear morning. . The only disappointment was we didn’t make the top. Even with this disappointment we knew the hike down would be as tough as going up. If you do decide to climb this beautiful place don’t underestimate how hard this hike is.

Beautiful views. The trail work is amazing! Hats off to the trail crews.

Amazing views, definite must do. Parking lot is a decent size to accommodate the crowds. Kids and hungry hikers loved the snack bar up there, must do!!

Easy hike through the woods to the meadow. Pretty muddy in some areas. No flowers were in bloom when we went on 5/20/18.

Nice easy hike, pretty views from the point.

Must do hike. Had my 70 yr old parents with us and they got to the top. It’s a climb but totally worth it. The 360 views are amazing!

Outstanding hike, be prepared to climb and get wet. The steps to Vernal falls on the Mist trail will leave you drenched from the water fall mist. The views are fantastic.

Be prepared to climb and climb some more, but you will be rewarded with an awesome view. Make sure you go to the observation point to look straight down the falls. Make sure to wear hiking shoes, you will be sliding back down to the valley if you don’t. There are allot of steps and loose rocks and sand to slip on as you descend. Bring water on sunny days or a filter to get water at the streams along the climb. Rain will only make it more slick so be prepared.
Amazing and difficult hike, highly recommend! Will get your heart pumping for sure!

Really enjoyed the flora and the incredible vistas and the waterfalls that are abundant all the way up!

one of the most challenging hikes I have ever done. It is long and strenuous, felt like it doesn't end. We went on a cool day but still ran out of water, make sure to grab at least 3L for each person going.
there were patches of snow along the trail
the way back hurts the legs, note to self was to grab pain-killers to survive the way back

clockwise May 19 2018, 3 days 2 nights. Camped at Vernon lake and Rancheria (considered Tiltill but limited sites and unlimited mosquitoes).

In the early season, this is as good as any Yosemite backcountry hike (lakes, waterfalls, views, variety of ecosystems and vegetation)
+ and
no crowding (walked up for permit, saw fewer than 10 people when away from lower trail along the reservoir).

In later season I can imagine the dust and heat and aridity might change the balance and drop a star.

It may distract from your enjoyment if you think about the history of Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Consider the info from online and national park service as well as from San Francisco department of water that is on the placards.

Prep suggestions:
* we liked clockwise, not only to get elevation out of the way early, but facing into nice view coming back down to Hetch Hetchy :
* be ready for wearying uphill and downhill out of and then back in to Hetch Hetchy Valley
* check if you will need to wade thru Tiltill Valley (water above boot line and no way around, for approx 20 yards each side of the valley). Soft soil and grass meant barefoot was fine for most of our group.
* fair amount of bogs and rock hopping and downed trees changed our time calculus.

Highlights:
* great campsites + no fire restriction
* water at Wapama falls is enough to get wet walking across the bridge but not enough to close the trail
* wildflowers!! (So so many and so many species, especially at lower elevations)
* Tiltill Valley = spectacular in a peaceful way, well worth seeing (think baby Yosemite or tiny pre flood Hetch Hetchy)
* Vernon lake, especially from the ridge above the lake (toward Tiltill/Rancheria)

Note on mileage: Trails illustrated is 25, not counting unavoidable .5 each way from parking to the dam and variable to get from junction to actual camping at Vernon (.3 each way, but could be more). My gps said 27.5. I would use 25+ for planning assumption, not the 23 from AllTrails (sorry guys!)
Final note that the backcountry office says 28 miles, but I believe that is the trails illustrated 25 plus 3 miles optional extra around laurel lake.

This is a pretty challenging trail and definitely earns its “strenuous” reputation. The first few miles to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls is the most difficult and once done with that it’s another few miles to El Capitan, but from start to finish there are some amazing views. It was a busy day with a lot of visitors stopping at the top of the falls so be prepared to share the trail. Start early, where comfortable shoes and bring lots of water and snacks to keep you going.

4 days ago

Beautiful falls and you get close enough to get pretty soaked in the Spring months. Lots of steps and they get really intense just before you reach the top of the fall, but the view from the top is so worth it. If you feel up for it, I definitely recommend continuing to Nevada Fall and returning on the John Muir Trail.

If you are on Glacier Point Road, you have to check out this place. Such amazing views!

So amazing in the Spring to see the power of the water. Easy trail and allows you to get really close to the base of the falls.

This is a fantastic trail that should be considered by all that love the high sierra. I did this in July 2015 over 15 days starting south of Whitney and ending in happy isles. Days where long but not outragous. I was on my own but never felt lonely. Lots of people on the trail to talk to if you want. You can also just hie along and people will leave you alone. Finding a camp site or water wasn't hard. I tried to finish my day making it halfway up a pass. This way I could rest the night and make it over the pass for breakfast the next day. Be sure to pack lite, I mean really only bring what you need as that pack certainly gets heavy after 15 days on the trail.

Great view of the waterfall

Great loop, be aware thou.
the whole loop it's block by rocks, so it is flooded. You need to go upper side of trail at one point. Probably 1 mile, going between Rocks, over tree trunks and under tree trunk. So, not as easy for now. We got Sun, Rain and Mosquitoes.
Si dress accordingly to the weather.
Still thou, a challenge for beginners like us. I found a stick about 6ft. came very handy to go through this obstacles.
Great spots for pics!

Only did the Mist Trail. Didn’t go all the way to Vernal Falls. It was difficult. Uphill the whole way. Spectacular views of the waterfall. I highly recommend!

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