Snow Creek Falls Trail

HARD 22 reviews
#30 of 167 trails in

Snow Creek Falls Trail is a 21.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
21.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5295 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

The Snow Creek Falls Trail starts about a mile from one of Yosemite Valley's most popular destinations, Mirror Lake or Mirror Meadow as it is now known. This hike is on par with the hike to the top of Yosemite Falls, so it shouldn't be taken lightly. The views rising above Tenaya Canyon are not to be missed.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

1 month ago

Amazing views. Not too many people. Good climb.

This is a strenuous hike, but very rewarding. We backpacked to North Dome via this trail in early October. There was no water until you reach snow creek at the top. Start early, bring plenty of water, and don't forget to look around every once in a while to enjoy the view.

hiking
4 months ago

5 months ago

You can get some good elevation and views fairly early in. Bring lots of water. We had to turn around at the first waterfall since we didn't bring enough water with us.

6 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

Gorgeous hike. Many people backpack up this trail. I just did an out-and-back to make it 6 mile hike round trip. Not for people afraid of heights as the numerous switchbacks up the valley wall lend steep views of the valley. Not a very difficult ascent out of the valley.

hiking
6 months ago

The NPS lists this as the most difficult trial out of the valley. 2600' elevation gain in about 2.3 miles. Yosemite Fall trail is about the same gain in 3.4 miles. On a hot day, get an early start as much of the trail is exposed on the southern facing slope. Plenty of water on the trail due to tremendous snow pack at higher elevations. A filter is lighter than carrying liters of water. After about 5500 foot elevation, look southwest for great views of Illilouette Fall. This is much less traveled than any of the other "serious" trails out of the valley. I ate lunch trailside for 30 minutes and nobody passed by going either up or down. I'm 66, in ok shape. It took me 3 hrs and 15 minutes from the Valley Loop trail junction to the footbridge over Snow Creek. It took me 2hr and 15 minutes to go back down. Many times the steps were so high that I had to stop and "think" about my foot placement. This makes for slow going. Trekking poles were extremely helpful. A word of advice for people like me - older or perhaps not in the best shape or both. Don't be intimidated by this trail. The first 30 or 40 minutes are in the trees and shady. Then you pop out above the trees and the views of Half Dome, Clouds Rest and Tenaya Canyon are amazing. You don't need to go all the way to the top to be rewarded.

hiking
6 months ago

Definitely gives you some of the most stunning views of the high country from the valley, AND the best part is the lack of people! Be prepared for an exposed climb: this hike will be very hot in the sun and you'll be gaining ~3000 ft in less than 2 miles.

hiking
8 months ago

9 months ago

Great hike up a creek. Amazing view of half dome and into the valley.

camping
9 months ago

full moon and nice weather
amazing camping

backpacking
10 months ago

hiking
Sunday, November 27, 2016

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Snow Creek runs all the way from Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley. We started at Olmsted point and thought we would take the rest of the trail from there to Tenaya Lake, about 1.6 miles, starting at the Olmsted Point Scenic View - the short trail to a better vista of Cloud's Rest and Half Dome. We found an off-trail route down the back side of the vista to get back on the Snow Creek Trail by just going toward Tenaya Lake and navigating the ledges. Once on the trail it was very flat and below the Tioga Road, not very interesting. We reached a very pretty meadow and were instantly attacked by a mosquito swarm. From there we ran along the flat trail toward Tenaya Lake and safety. Make sure you carry bug spray during early June when the mosquitoes emerge! Don't recommend hiking Snow Creek this direction. Next time will hike down from Olmsted to the Valley where the trail connects to Tenaya Canyon Trail.

hiking
Friday, June 10, 2016

camping
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Started this trail from the top at the 120 trailhead, and took the junction to loop over to Tenaya Lake/Clouds Rest trailhead. From the top it's a very manageable trail. When starting out, you might be inclined to follow the road toward the quarry, but the trail is actually up on the bank to the right. We saw a young bear at the junction to Tenaya Lake when we stopped for lunch, so bring your bells!

hiking
Saturday, May 16, 2015

Moderate??? This was the hardest trail I've ever hiked! Gorgeous, but wow, so straight up