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Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from March until November.

Length 6.1 mi Elevation gain 337 ft Route type Loop
Wheelchair friendly Kid friendly Stroller friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Forest Lake Paved River Views Waterfall Wildlife Rocky Fee No dogs
Description
Waypoints (5)

Yosemite National Park is open to those with reservations beginning on Thursday, June 11. See the park website for more info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm An easy loop trail in Yosemite National Park, the pathway around Mirror Lake is a must-see for its beautiful reflections of Half Dome and its abundance of wildflowers during the early summer months. Mirror Lake is a seasonal lake located on Tenaya Creek and situated in Tenaya Canyon directly between North Dome and Half Dome. It is the last remnant of a large glacial lake that once filled Yosemite Valley. This is a well-marked trail and significantly less crowded than other trails in the park. The trailhead is at the far east end of Yosemite Valley and many visitors take the free shuttle bus or hike east from Curry Village or the Ahwahnee Hotel where there is a parking area and drinking water is available. The shuttle stops directly at the trailhead. There's a one mile paved trail walkway and bike path along Tenaya Creek to the north side of the lake and an unpaved trail along the south side. Accessibility: Although this trail is paved, the southern portion of the Valley Loop Trail has multiple areas where the grade is greater than 8% so it may be too steep for wheelchairs, mobility equipment, and strollers. There is a waypoint marking a shuttle station and from this point, the northern trail can be taken as an accessible out-and-back route (see https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mirror-lake-via-valley-loop-accessible).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (943)
Photos (1196)
Recordings (747)
Completed (3160)
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Maureen Welsh
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HikingGreat!
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Brian Voelker
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Hiking
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Ria Van Hoef
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Hiking
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michelle rochon
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WalkingBugs

It’s a nice stroll along the valley floor. The lake is dried up so it’s one big nature’s sandbox playground. Lots of families with little kids playing in the lake bed and couples with blankets and their art supplies out. Very relaxing and serene. The positives about COVID is that nature is really allowed to just be. There are lots of bugs flying about as other posters have said. Wear long sleeves. We came up on mama bear and her cub on the trail. Be aware of your surroundings. There were lots of sightings of bears all over the valley.

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Clark Neal
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HikingBugs

Lame.

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Louise Turner
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Hiking

There is a bike path that runs parallel to a trail. About half way to the lake we saw a bear on the trail! The lake is dry this time of year but nice views of Half Dome.

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Sarah K
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Hiking
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Lance Wall
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Hiking
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Corey F
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HikingBugs

Have done this a few times. Once when the lake was full and then just the other day when it was completely dried up. I won’t judge it during the dry times, but wow...the bugs in this area were so unbelievably bad! Don’t even bother with bug spray. Wear a net, long sleeves and pants. Even in 100 degree weather lol!

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Hyo Park
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Hiking
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Reina Laroa
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HikingBugs
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Adi Bodenstein
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Hiking
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Will W
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Hiking

Need deet or net. Botanical natural bug spray won’t work.

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William Cutler
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Hiking

Easy hike. Most of the time very buggy. Most bugs by far that I experienced in the park. Lake is dried up. So is the river bed above the lake. But still interesting to see. At the furthest out point there is a bridge over the river and water was flowing, with one big pool. The trail back closest to Half Dome has a spot that is a large rocky area. Good vertical views.

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Gio Escamilla
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Hiking

Went in late August and the lake was dry

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Aidan Ocampo
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Hiking

Mirror lake is dry, but good views of Half Dome.

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Paige Greenwood
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Hiking

The first section of this trail is a paved road but once you’re off the paved road the trail is really nice. There were lots of bugs and the lake was completely dried up but the second half of the loop has stunning views of half dome looming over you

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Maggie Walker
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Hiking

Lake dried up - August 19, 2020

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Knut Synstad
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HikingBugs
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Briana Pica
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Hiking

The lake was dried up and we walked a paved road to get there. Definitely bike friendly! There weren’t many people due to covid and campsites being closed. I would recommend going to other hikes at this time since it is dried up

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Elmar Park
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Hiking

Great trail but lake was dry no water during summer months.

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Itzel Sosa
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Walking

I’ll start this off by saying that the lake is super, super dried out. It was disappointing but expected and I should have done more research (first time at Yosemite.) However, the trail itself was fairly easy: we started at Curry Village and most of the walk was very shaded, which was nice. There is an incline towards the end but not too bad- I’d say if my family who are not very outdoorsy can do it, anyone can! As I said, the lake is all dried up except for a small area further out. You can actually walk out into what would be the lake and the view is pretty stunning. From the parking lot at Curry Village to the “end,” it was 1.8 miles and it took our group about 45 minutes, since we were doing it rather leisurely. I hope to be back when the lake is full!

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Asuna Ding
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Walking

Lake is all dried up. Basically no one when you walk passed the “lake” and A LOT of mosquitoes! Bugs fly straight to our faces.

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s Staso
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Hiking
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Victoria Lauria
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HikingGreat!Rocky

It’s a good trail, although the lake is dry now in August, rocky, and with just a little bit of elevation

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Irena D
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Hiking

Lots of mosquitoes but otherwise pretty.

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Ashley Bardin
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HikingRocky

A great trail! However, majority of the lake is dried up right now.

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Jenny Young
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Hiking

Beautiful spot to soak your feet in the clean, cool water after hiking. We came in July 2020 and there were just a few other people soaking their feet and playing in the water. The water level was very low when we visited.

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Nicole Weber
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Hiking

Perfect spot to hammock

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