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Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail [CLOSED]

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Yosemite National Park

Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail [CLOSED] 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 Closed No dogs
Description
Waypoints (5)

Note: as of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. 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 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 (916)
Photos (1194)
Recordings (724)
Completed (3109)
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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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Linz Dee
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HikingBugs

Beautiful and easy trail. Best to go in spring before lake dries up. It’s a popular spot so be ready for lots of foot traffic and recreates at and in the lake. No real photo opportunities due to too many people in June. Still gorgeous views nonetheless. Bring your Keens to protect your feet if you want to walk in or play in the water. I recommend the hiking trail, not so much the bike path.

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Stephanie Burrage
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Hiking

Super wide paved trail. It gets a little steep at the top but nothing difficult. Spend time up there in the water and make sure you walk around the lake and explore the back end too.

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Christina Fox
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HikingBugs

Great, very easy trail with kids. Although we walked, it would have been fun to bicycle up to Mirror Lake as bikes are allowed on the paved road that runs parallel to the foot trail.

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nimue shive
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Hiking

Basically dried up. Attacked by mosquitoes.

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C Ng
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Hiking

Beautiful relaxing and easy hike, flat grounds all the way. We did lose our way trying to find the “starting point” of the hike, and ended up doing an extra hour because of that. Also note that on the return part of the loop, there are many fallen tree trunks that require hikers to literally be able to climb over them. So take note of that if you are bringing family members or friends with different fitness levels or health conditions. We came here in July and the mirror lake is sadly dry.

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Jacqueline Hicks
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Disappointed with this one. The lake is half dried up so it’s more like a river and it’s full of people so you don’t get the mirror effect that was expected at all :(

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Nicki Lynn
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Road biking

Easy bike ride on paved trail from Village Parking Lot to Mirror Lake. Uphill ride the final 100 yards, and rented bikes aren’t allowed on that stretch. Beautiful scenery and the lake wasn’t too cold to wade in.

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Ralph Ceseña Jr
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For as many times as I have been to Yosemite, I had never done this hike. I have seen Half Dome from the valley floor, from North Dome, Sentinel Dome and other places. But until today I had never seen it from directly below. Mirror Lake was mostly dried up, but the views from the middle of it were panoramic and spectacular! North Dome, Basket Dome, Half Dome...amazing! park at the 2nd parking lot below Glacier Point, and pay special attention to where the trailhead is.

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Erin Furtak
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Hiking

Beautiful hike! We started at the Curry Village / Half Dome village parking lot (as shown on the map) but we went the wrong way adding an extra 1.8 miles. It took us 3 hours and 16 min to go 7.29 miles, but that includes snack or water breaks, bathroom break at the bathroom near the lake, and stopping to gawk at a bear. Hike was a little harder than expected due to the hills and unstable rocks, and my group was not mentally prepared for a 7 mile hike- plus there are some fallen trees in the path that you need to climb over. The tags on the hike say "wheelchair accessible" which was very misleading too. Overall beautiful hike and jaw dropping sites.

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