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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.

started my hike at Yosemite village, went to half dome village,then on to mirror lake, absolutely beautiful there, from there I went to the ahwanee hotel where I ate my lunch on the back lawn and felt like a king.after lunch I set off for Yosemite falls,then walked through cooks meadow to sentinel bridge.came in February in hopes of seeing horsetail falls at sunset but alas we're back in a drought year and there just haven't been enough precipitation, but I'm not disappointed, after all I'm in Yosemite it's beautiful here and no crowds!

I give the Valley Loop 5 stars because of its versatility. The whole thing is over 20 miles, so you can plan a good route between viewpoints you’re looking for. Also, my biggest factor is that you can bring your dog! I walked with my pup from the Valley Loop parking lot (this app directs you there), passed the Lower Falls, to Mirror Lake and back. Dogs apparently aren’t supposed to go in the creek, but the trail access we took didn’t have a sign. We went on Presidents Day, so the Falls were packed and the lake a bit busy. The rest of the trail was still pretty barren considering a holiday weekend. The trail obviously doesn’t have Glacier Point type views, but it was beautiful and enjoyable nonetheless. There are restrooms and water every few miles.
For any hike, it’s best to get to the park at or before opening if you can. Parking and traffic is pretty heinous otherwise, even in the off season because certain roads are closed. It took us 50 minutes to go 11 miles. Plus someone stole our dogs water bowl that we tucked under the car which is super weird...

Incredible views. Definitely a hard hike but worth it. Be cautious if hiking in the snow as the hike down can be challenging navigating the slippery trail. The hike took a total of 5 1/2 hours with photo breaks and a break at the top.

All I can say is, "Wow!" This was an amazing (and challenging) hike with breathtaking views. I loved it.

Challenging hike that felt like it was straight up and straight down. The views were incredible. We had nice falls and vistas throughout the hike. This hike is hard and the elevation change is not gradual. Bring lots of water and power food. Hiking poles would have been helpful. We ate lunch at the top and felt accomplished . This hike took me 6;45 in total but I think the listed mileage is longer than they actually post. Definitely for experienced hikers or those in good physical shape.

Incredible! Planned on doing this exact route but then ended up hiking down from Sentinel to Glacier Point and then down the 4-mile trail (which was brutal btw)

Started Saturday at noon-ish at tunnel view and make it to Dewey by 5pm. Definitely a lot of up hill but didn't seem too monotonous. Camping at Dewey was amazing. It only got better from there because Dewey to Taft to Sentinel were some of the most amazing views of the valley. Once your up there its mostly flat so makes for an easier second day.

Down the 4 mile trail was probably the worst. super monotonous but you were rewarded with some great views of the valley.

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing views of the valley... one thing I would like to mention for folks trying to figure out how straneous this hike is.. I would rate it 3.5/5. The reason one might feel it is hard is because off the elevation profile. Unlike most hikes, where the trail goes up and down a little bit: the attitude on this hike rises continuously from start to stop. So might feel tired frequently as you have been walking uphill since you started. At the same time the hike providers enough scenery for one to stop and take a breath. I am not an expert hiker so, it took me around 3-3.5 hours to reach the top and 2 hours on the way down. All in all it is worth it as you get to see all the famous granite walls of yosemite, El Capitan, Half dome and yosemite falls in a single panorama. The time we went it was partly cloudy and the sun was on the opposite side of glacier point so there wasn't much direct sunlight. As a result, if you stop for long you might feel chilly. Bring a light weight windsheater to shield yourself from fast moving winds in the valley. Hiking poles are not necessary but recommended for ease.

For DSLR owners: Make sure you being your camera as the views are just amazing. I would recommend a normal 18-55mm lens and a zoom upto 150mm is enough. You might need a zoom lens as you can frequently see rainbow getting formed on upper yosemite falls. With better zoom lens you can also capture Nevada falls.

easy going trail with good views!

hiked this in 2012...it was meant to be a thru hike but partner got sick so we had to leave right about the half way point. I went back 2 years later and finished it. One of the crown jewels in US places to backpack.

hiking
5 days ago

This trail was wonderful! Took me a little over 2 hours to get to the top and about 1.5 hours to get back down. Plan for at least a 5 hour day so you can enjoy and eat lunch at the top.

The views are worth every step, but this is not an easy hike. There are great views almost instantly on the trail so you are distracted during your 4 plus miles trek uphill. Make sure you bring plenty of water since the fountains and restrooms may be closed during the off season.

I got there before 9am and barely found a parking spot and I recommend to get there early. There is also restrooms slightly passed the trail entrance so make sure to take advantage before you begin.

Highly recommend it!

Straight up, straight down. Great views of the falls and from the top.

hiking
5 days ago

The trail was beautiful and pretty much snow and ice free (except for one short area). This hike is a killer. Up up up and then down down down. My legs are super sore as well as my knees. But so worth it!

Just a short walk to the trailhead from Upper Pines Campground, which is where we camped. It was an easy hike, and we enjoyed the beautiful views of Half Dome. We were surprised to find the water level at Mirror Lake was pretty low at this time of year, but a nice walk nonetheless.

Beautiful hike, lots of amazing views. Saw two doe mule deer yesterday. Went around in a clockwise direction, this brings you by the interpretive section at the beginning of the hike.

This one was a beast up and down but you can’t beat the views of Yosemite falls on the way up. Views at the top (at Glacier Point) were spectacular!

Long wonderful hike. We where there in March. There was still snow on the shoulder. Be prepared for the up hill. You get to see 2 water falls, the meadow with the creek, and a spectacular view from an iconic piece of rock. You can hike this trail year round, however the cables and posts are only up from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Since this is a huge draw for hikers there is now a limit to the number of people they allow up in a day. CHECK WITH THE PARK WHEN YOU PLAN TO GO!!!! I cannot say this enough.

this hike was a tough one! like others have said, lots of switchbacks, but the views are amazing and I love how close you get to the falls. :)

We exited at Agnew Meadows, but still a wonderful backpacking experience.

If the standard Half Dome hike from the valley floor isn't enough, come try this one out. Less crowds, more macho. I particularly enjoyed all that climbing back to Glacier Point at mile 18. The cucumber I stashed in my car as a victory snack is still the greatest thing I have ever eaten.

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