Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail

EASY 578 reviews
#9 of 237 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 offers a number of activity options 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

nature trips

road biking

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

bird watching

forest

lake

paved

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
12 hours 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
4 days 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
6 days ago

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

trail running
rocky
9 days 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
12 days 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
14 days ago

Crowded but lovely.

hiking
20 days 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!

walking
28 days ago

I went there at 14th July, the lake isn’t as beautiful as I thought and there were a lot of people. There are two paths, one is easy enough for wheelchair to reach,the other one is a little difficult for very young kids but they can still overcome it. So why I give five stars? Because I saw a bear on the way!!! I never imagined I could be lucky enough to meet one in this nosy busy full of people holiday day time. It is Yosemite ! An amazing place which can surprise you!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty easy trail but the lake had receded so it looked more like river. We went in the afternoon, it was hot and lot of people. The water was nice and cool. Recommend jumping in and also bring bug spray. We needed this when hiking back.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

More of a walk than a hike. Lots of traffic and some nice views but too busy for me. The best part of the hike is to keep going past mirror lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Very easy hike, on a paved trail. We saw lots of kids on foot or bike doing this hike. You don’t need hiking shoes to do this hike. Mirror Lake is sometimes a meadow. Our visit there was still water but it was shallow. This is a great place to bring a swimsuit and enjoy playing in the water. We hiked back on the trail to the stables and it was underwhelming.

hiking
1 month ago

Fine trail, lots of people make it a bit slow. Great for young families, especially to get in the water. Of all the trails in Yosemite that allow dogs... this is the best and there are many great paths leading to this trail that can extend the experience. Side note: Really wish they would open up the John Muir trail to dogs for a little more challenging hike. Again, the huge bias for horseback riding in this park is frustrating.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy long walk. Good for kids and family. Views not as great as the rest of Yosemite. Part of the trail after mirror lake on the south side is washed out. We had to walk through some water for a few hundred feet to find the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail, great for strollers and bikes. Not really scenic until you get to the end of the trail. The lake is awesome. Carry towels and bathing suit, or clothes that you can get wet in. Kids will love this one!

hiking
1 month ago

easy trail

hiking
1 month ago

Bikes are the way to go for all travel around Yosemite Valley, including going to Mirror Lake. Just went to the lake and back. Next time will do the whole thing.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail Did with my four year olds they did great 2 or 3 sections for which you need hiking shoes but very nice After the lake the crowds disappears and the trail is for your self Get some water and have fun Took us 4.2 hours(with 4 year old walking)

trail running
1 month ago

I ran this trail in the early morning before the sun came out, and it was beautiful! Mirror Lake is almost not a lake anymore, with the dam holding it back slowly giving way to the erosion of the water. There are a series of crisscrossing trails just north of the lake that are fun to explore, but expect to come across downed trees. Further up the trail, I encountered flooding and more downed trees. It was here that I turned back, deciding not to get my shoes soaked. I wished that I could have made the complete loop though.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful when the lake is full but when we went today (06-29-19) the lake was basically just a narrow river. Nice but not comparable to when it's full.

walking
1 month ago

The lake is quite pretty and has gorgeous reflections!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the South trail up to the lake on 6/18/2019. Just past the lake sign and after the rock slide the trail has been washed out. To get to the bridge to cross over will take a bit of trail blazing through brush and hopping over rocks and climbing under downed trees. Didn't want to take my 5 and 7 year old though, so we turned around. It will go through, I scouted it, but made a judgement call for the kids.

hiking
muddy
off trail
scramble
washed out
2 months ago

Southside trail past the granite rock was flooded. After the Lake. You can make it around the loop to the Northside. But you need to be in ok shape to navigate smaller trails, crawl over rocks and trees. Also walk through cold water for a short part. Just a few inches. Northside was a breeze. Mirror Lake was beautiful!! As the runoff eases, this will not be an issue. Great hike! Consider it “moderate” this week only because of the 20 minutes of “adventurous” trail work. Lots of water in the park!

hiking
washed out
2 months ago

Part of the trail was washed out in Late May. Able to work around it but required a little scrambling that folks anticipating a leisurely walk might not be up for. Not difficult, however. Views of half dome were obscured by clouds but would be spectacular if not the case. Still great scenery of river, Boulder fields, rock walls.

hiking
2 months ago

We visited Mirror Lake on 6/5/19 and the lake looked more like a swamp. We reached the lake by zig zanging thru the valley loop trail but to finally reach the lake/swamp after the hard work was such a disappointment. The valley loop is not a flat course and has short burst of inclines.

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