Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail

EASY 446 reviews
#8 of 212 trails in

Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mariposa, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
354 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

road biking

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

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
21 days ago

I'd say more moderate than easy due to the Stone "stairs." Still doable by the 7 year old with me. Granted, air quality was poor due to smoke from wildfires. The "stairs" were cool and the "lake" was awesome even with low water levels. Would love to do the whole thing on a clearer day.

1 month ago

Easy going walk via the nature trail up to mirror lake. Enjoyed all the boulders that had fallen from the cliff above (half dome).

Several doe and fawn in the meadow upon our arrival and not startled as we kept our distance and admired North Dome and Half Dome.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an excellent hike for our group, comprised of several children, ages 5-14 and my mother in law. The kids loved scrambling over rocks and fallen trees and especially loved crossing the lake and dipping their toes in the cool water! Couldn’t have asked for a better first hike in Yosemite!

2 months ago

Nice and easy hike. Only at one point, behind Mirror Lake, it was not so easy. Perhaps we took a wrong direction... climbing and going through cold water (only some cm deep) was more of moderate than easy difficukty. But still: wonderful hike. Suitable for children. Doable in sneakers. Loved it.

hiking
2 months ago

I think doing the whole loop is overdoing it. But there is a nice view from mirror lake which is worth doing. I did it for sunset and would recommend the same. There were a lot of mosquito, so make sure to bring long sleeves

2 months ago

Nice trail

2 months ago

Did this in October of last year. Nice trail, mirror lake was more like a puddle, but the walk was quiet. Just missed some bears resting on nearby rocks

2 months ago

Not much of a lake but a nice hike. Plus I got to see a bear so that made it even better!

2 months ago

Nice trail. Sweet views of Half Dome

2 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

A pretty easy hike, if you’re worried about tripping, cross the bridge and take the paved road. Do not attempt to walk on rocks. We saw a man slip and fall in and be taken away in an ambulance.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful place. we did the coffee shop trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome views! High water early in the season forced us up the slope on the south side of the stream but only for a short distance. Recommend parking at the stables if space allows.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a very easy, very rewarding trail. The lake is beautiful all year long. If you’re into photography, wander a bit into the water, set up your tripod, and take beautiful photos of the view.

walking
3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous seasonal lake. We hiked to this trail on 4/19 from the Majestic Yosemite Hotel at about 9:00 AM on a snowy morning. There was no snow on the trail, but it’s flat and paved so even if there was it would be doable. By 10:30 the trail was much more crowded. We couldn’t get around the loop because it was flooded but the views were amazing and worth it. Have brunch at the Majestic Yosemite and treat yourself to this trail.

4 months ago

Beautiful trail every step of the five miles. The incredible mountains on either side are stunning, and the Mirror Lake is so nice. Not a big lake by any means, but the reflection of the mountains on the lake is very good to see. I’d recommend going counterclockwise so you see the Mirror Lake toward the end of your hike. The five mile hike with only a couple hundred feet of climb isn’t all that easy at the Yosemite altitude, but still worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

The lake was beautiful and the view of the mountains reflected off the water was priceless. I would highly recommend to anyone willing to walk a while. Other hikers were extremely nice and There were large boulders that were great for climbing (without a harness needed). Will definitely want to do this again. The water in the lake was not the cleanest and was extremely freezing but there were multiple kids swimming in the water. Overall: spectacular views, beautiful trail through the trees, nice people, great hike.

4 months ago

I explored the park and took a lot of great pics on wed 3/28/2018. I had arrived in Yosemite around noon so I didn't want to start any of the long or challenging hikes too late. This one was a good alernative. I was able to get some exercise in and complete a new trail in the process.

nature trips
4 months ago

Walked the path today 3/25/18. Path is very well marked out. We walked only to Mirror lake and then turned around from there. Hike was very easy but unfortunately the lake wasn’t quite a lake as the water levels are low. It was hard to get a nice picture of the reflections. However, it did mean that we were able to walk into the middle of what would be the lake and see half dome from a different a very beautiful point. Would definitely recommend for all of all hiking abilities. Happy hiking!

hiking
5 months ago

The lake is more like a pond but still pretty. The 90 degree angled granite in the background is what will take your breath away though.

hiking
5 months ago

Such a beautiful snowy day for a wonderful trail

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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!

hiking
5 months ago

easy going trail with good views!

hiking
5 months ago

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.

hiking
5 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

A nice hike best in the spring. I went the first week of April and all of the waterfalls were amazing! It was also fun to go over the stream from a waterfall to get to the trail at the beginning. The area by the lake can get a little crowded.

hiking
7 months ago

Easy, flat, non technical hike, has some good views of half dome.
The water level in the "lake" are almost non existent late December 2017

7 months ago

Pleasant hike. We encountered a calm snacking buck and an alarmed black squirrel. Water levels are dreadfully low right now but it's beautiful nonetheless.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a fun and easy hike that will give you great views of the surrounding granite cliffs. It’s an excellent place to have a picnic with the family.

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