Old Big Oak Flat Access Road is a 5.1 mile out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible year-round.

Length5.1 miElevation gain1092 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingRock climbingViewsBlowdownBugsOver grownRockyScrambleWashed outOff trailFeeNo dogs
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Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Note: Old Big Oak Flat Road used to be the access road to the valley until it was deemed to be too unsafe and eventually destroyed by rockfall. This trail may have some parts that are not passable. Please check the image gallery for photos of the rockslides, the pictures are labeled 'rockslides' and have yellow arrows depicting its locations. This trail is only accessible for 2 miles due to rockslides, you will see that this is an interesting hike (partially on the old pavement, partially scrambling and route finding over rock fall) with great views of the valley sights.

This is not a maintained trail - be aware that rockfall, dead trees, and other hazards will block the way from time to time. This guide covers the first portion of the road from Yosemite Valley. It extends further up the Valley walls but requires additional route finding and rock scrambling skills.

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Reviews (15)
Photos (32)
Recordings (15)
Completed (46)
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Maria Summersett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyOff trailScramble

I loved this trial and expected it to be way harder. If you follow the recordings on here you can find it very easily. There is some climbing over and under trees and rocks, but it’s not that bad at all. Good amount of shade from all the trees while getting closer to the view spot. The view from this trial is amazing which made climbing and dealing with the bugs worth it! Just make sure to find the correct trial head which is past El Capitan because I started before El Cap (via valley loop trail) and had to find my way around ribbon creek, which was interesting lol. Otherwise I would recommend to anyone :)

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Scott Behner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 11, 2019
HikingOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

With high water in May, some deep water crossings. Amazing views of Bridalveil Falls at its level and looking down. Well worth the scramble and traversing of downed trees and rock slides.

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Chad Humpal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 8, 2019
HikingBugsOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

The Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail. One of the original wagon trail roads into Yosemite. There is a lot of history here! Used to be my favorite hike, but the 2017 Winter destroyed the trail. I can hike to within a football field of Rainbow View, but I can’t reach it. The trail is impassable. :<( cjh

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Chad Humpal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2018
Hiking

This used to be my FAVORITE hike in Yosemite! I have hiked this old road many times. The views of El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls are breathtaking! The history of this road is hidden in plain sight and is thought provoking. The route finding is challenging and invigorating. It is also a relatively short hike at just over three hours round trip. Unfortunately, the Winter of 2017 has made this hike almost impassable and downright dangerous. It makes me sad...

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Anthony Guastello
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2018

Great view of the falls, half dome and El Capitan. Actually it’s probably the best view of bridalveil falls in the park. Which was about a mile or so into the hike. After that it’s nothing but rock hopping and tree hopping. I don’t recommend going any further. I came across a couple snakes and one rattler! Very easy to lose your way.

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Adeline Dougherty
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 23, 2018
Hiking

The trail is in pretty bad disrepair. There are multiple sections where the trail is completely covered by boulders. We got a mile in and had to turn back when some of the boulders/rocks were pretty loose under foot. However, it did have great views of bridalview falls, El Capitan and half dome. There’s no parking lot - but there’s a parking lane about 0.3 miles before.

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Marsh Day
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2017
First to Review

Fantastic hike to a secluded area! We were fortunate to get a shot of a double rainbow off of the waterfall.

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Priyanka Sharma
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 16, 2020
Hiking
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Garrett Bader
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Hiking
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Bob Bertelli
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Hiking
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Tony Goebel
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Backpacking
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Matt Lawley
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Hiking
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Ali MirRasekhian
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Hiking
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Rafael Escobar
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Backpacking
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Shari Ryan
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Hiking
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