Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail

EASY 708 reviews
#10 of 245 trails in

Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail is a 5.6 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 and walking and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 5.6 miles Elevation Gain: 334 feet Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

walking

forest

lake

paved

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

no dogs

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Even although the lake was completely dry this was a great hike with great views.

hiking
7 days ago

Very beautiful even nearing winter when the lake is just sand. Was nice and relaxing. Saw a wild bobcat less than 4 feet from us on the trail which was amazing

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Easy hike, beautiful views, lots of people

hiking
30 days ago

This was a relatively easy hike. Definitely doable with kids and dogs. The path is easy to follow. When I went, the lake was dried up. I did this hike solo and it was safe.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiking trail easy and accessible to all, be careful all the same to have good shoes not to twist the ankles or slip. Well for dogs on the other hand the lake is completely dry in this month of October so it's a pity but it's still pretty

Wee bit disappointing. The trail runs along a road for a good distance and it is a seasonal lake so not much water. Lots of people as well.

Lovely morning walk. Even saw a bear! Lake is pretty dried up.

Nice trail - very easy. What made it a 5 for us was a one hour detour on the north side toward the snow creek trail. It gets you above the tree line and great views and away from the crowds.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Mirror lake was an easy trail. I loved how you can look up at the valley, the view is beautiful. Only thing that was kind of disappointing was that there wasn’t really a lake, it was slightly dry. But overall it was a good trail, i would do it again :)

hiking
1 month ago

went out to mirror lake for the day! super fun. my kids haven't stopped talking about going back.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s more like 12km than the 9km stated but it’s still easy going and up the top of the trail very quiet. We did this on 20/9 (9/20 to our friends in the US) and mirror lake was but a couple of small puddles. This didn’t detract from the walk to be honest. We enjoyed the peace and quiet away from the crowds that some of the more popular trails attract in September. I think including some photo stops it took around 2.5 hours.

Easy 5 mi loop

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful views. Moderate shade. Rocky terrain alternated with dirt path. Depending on which side you start the trail on, a little challenging for those not used to varied inclinations. But once you reach the little lake you will find a paved path.

hiking
2 months ago

Great easy trail for people with little hiking experience— starts with a paved service road and goes off the road onto a dirt and rock trail, with a few slightly challenging ups and downs. Good shoes and mosquito repellant recommended. Views of the mountains from below along the way. We started the trail at 10am and finished at 1:20pm. Nice and cool in the morning but pretty hot when we ended. Handful of people along the way, lots of them on the service road by the end of the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Don't walk. Rent a bike and get there quick... too hot in early September to walk that far for the minimal payoff. It's a small pond by the time Labor Day rolls around. Huge boulders all over. Kids can blow off a lot of energy here. It's a pond... this is Yosemite... do this as a day off of hiking, let's rent bikes and cover lots of area.

hiking
2 months ago

not worth doing at the end of the summer. we did this labor day weekend and there was very little water left. probably better in may/June. flat. easy. child friendly.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I wouldn’t say this trail is wheelchair or stroller friendly at all! Absolutely not!! There was a tree down that you have to climb over and it’s very rocky in many areas! It’s a beautiful, mostly shaded trail with outrageous views! Once you get mid way there is granite everywhere! There are beautiful flowers in the meadows and even bamboo growing everywhere. We saw many squirrels and several different types of birds. Most people stop at Mirror Lake. There were very few people on this trail! We took our time, took a lot of pictures and had a small lunch. We were through in 3 hours. Highly recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

more of a walk than a hike and mirror lake is a meadow in the late summer. most of the trail is covered by trees which is nice in the heat

Easy long hike for anyone!

hiking
2 months ago

Where’s the Lake? See attached picture

hiking
2 months ago

views of canyon walls were amazing. Mirror lake isnt as clear or large later in the year. dont take the buss to the trail head. just walk.

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

Two different starting points for this trail. We went in via shuttle stop and returned via Valley loop which is easier of two options. Some uphill rocky path from shuttle trail head, but rocks are to give one leverage to make it easier. Refreshing water/lake in mid August still but dries up farther on trail. Ended our navigation at “Mirror Lake” sign. We stopped several times to appreciate views. No restrooms. Lovely for beginning to lower moderate hiking. Need hat, sunscreen, trail shoes. Some people had poles.

hiking
2 months ago

Don’t regret anymore to hike this since I saw my handsome face from the lake. Lol...

running
rocky
3 months ago

I trail/road ran from Curry Village to Lower Yosemite Falls to Mirror Lake and back to Curry Village for a total of 7 miles and 500 feet of elevation gain. August 11, 2019. The was still enough water in the lake for a reflection of Mount Watkins.

hiking
3 months ago

I took this trail from the Ahwahnee at 6am. There were no people all the way to the lake, but there were tiny swarming flies that were annoying. If you can get past these harmless pests, the trail is interesting with large rocks, caves, and wildlife. It was 4 mi rt from the hotel. Mirror Lake has receded in August, but the views are still awesome of Half Dome and other surrounding peaks as well as the remaining pools of water. I saw some geese flying over the lake but no bears.

hiking
3 months ago

Crowded but lovely.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great trail! The first mile or so was pretty busy, but after that it cleared up. The view just past the lake was amazing. It opens up and you can see all of the rock formations. It was a beautiful, easy first trail for our trip! I would recommend!

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