Valley Floor Loop Trail

EASY 95 reviews
#31 of 232 trails in

Valley Floor Loop Trail is a 20.1 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 accessible year-round.

Distance: 20.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,217 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips


trail running


bird watching






wild flowers


no dogs

You can access the trailhead by taking the Valley Visitor Shuttle (7 am to 10 pm year-round) to stop #6 or walk to the trailhead from the Yosemite Village area along the bicycle path to get to the trailhead (this adds approximately 0.5 miles. Note that from May to October, the El Capitan Shuttle stops at the El Capitan Bridge (stop E4) and the Four Mile Trailhead (stop E5)- you can head back using either of these shuttles if you get tired or want to cut the hike short. Pets, bicycles, and strollers are NOT ALLOWED.

10 days ago

Views are Yosemite epic.

bridge out
over grown
washed out
14 days ago

The trail is a washed out disaster after the El Capitan shuttle stop. June 4, 2019

1 month ago

Good long trail. Except washed out areas, hard to find trail. Had to scramble over skot of debris.

washed out
1 month ago

Parts of this trail is definitely washed out right now. Otherwise, a great way to tour what yosemite has to offer!

3 months ago

First time snowshoeing and it’s in the most amazing valley on earth. There’s hardly anyone here this time of year so it’s the perfect time to hike in the valley. Some day I’ll do the full 20 mile loop.

4 months ago

I've walked this trail in spring, summer, fall and winter. Best time is winter on a week day when there's no exhaust fumes to breath in from the heavy traffic. There's also some interesting historical features and artifacts along this trail if you pay attention.

8 months ago

Good trail, flat in some spots, saw a lot of animals, bear, foxes and coyote.

9 months ago

One of my favorites. I actually prefer this on a bicycle. It’s the best way to see the valley.

11 months ago

I went on Saturday 7th July (i.e. when the park is v busy) and it was pretty quiet. The trail does get very hot during the day but it’s a nice trail that takes you past lots of the scenic spots as well as away from the crowds. You’re standing at the bottom of El Cap without a person in sight!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I give the Valley Loop 5 stars because of its versatility. The whole thing is over 20 miles, so you can plan a good route between viewpoints you’re looking for. Also, my biggest factor is that you can bring your dog! I walked with my pup from the Valley Loop parking lot (this app directs you there), passed the Lower Falls, to Mirror Lake and back. Dogs apparently aren’t supposed to go in the creek, but the trail access we took didn’t have a sign. We went on Presidents Day, so the Falls were packed and the lake a bit busy. The rest of the trail was still pretty barren considering a holiday weekend. The trail obviously doesn’t have Glacier Point type views, but it was beautiful and enjoyable nonetheless. There are restrooms and water every few miles. For any hike, it’s best to get to the park at or before opening if you can. Parking and traffic is pretty heinous otherwise, even in the off season because certain roads are closed. It took us 50 minutes to go 11 miles. Plus someone stole our dogs water bowl that we tucked under the car which is super weird...

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Easy and nice trail. Took my dogs with me and we went to mirror lake and back. About 7 miles total. Not too many people once you get away from the lodge area.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Easy loop trail good for all levels. Nice way to avoid the crowd and see the valley.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Started this hike early during a weekday and only ran into a few other people. Didn't do the full loop but carved out a nice piece leaving from the lodge and circling back around near El Capitan. Nice level trek around the valley with some breathtaking views of all Yosemite has to offer.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Couple years ago

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Considering how many people there are in the valley, we had most of this trail all to ourselves and it was lovely. We shortened it to a 7 mile loop that included El Capitan, Yosemite falls and sentinel dome views.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Great trail run to see the late light on Half Dome above Mirror "Lake."

Monday, June 26, 2017

If you are planning on hiking this trail, know that west of bridalveil falls on the south side of the trail, there are many impassable spots (unseasonably high rivers, washed out trails, and otherwise hard to follow parts) that required us to backtrack to the road and follow that until after the bridge where you start heading east again. However, other than that segment, it was a beautiful hike and a welcome break between harder days of hiking.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Was a nice bike ride

trail running
Sunday, May 28, 2017

There's no better place in the world to be than in the Yosemite Valley. The Valley Loop Trial provides incredibly heavenly views of nature's magnificence. Best time to venture here is late October-early November or March ( to avoid the masses).

Friday, May 26, 2017

Surprisingly uncrowded. A pleasant walk through forest and meadows.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Great hike. The only problem is that part of the trail is flooded. The trail disappeared on the northwest side of the valley on the way back to our car. We got turned around somehow..... Thank God for GPS and "Find my Car". I forgot to turn on any hiking apps and my husband turned his on approximately 1 mile into the hike. We hiked 7 1/2 hours and more than 21 miles due to having to double back on the trail. Not too bad for 50 yr old newbies.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The distance makes the whole loop trail a moderate one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Really enjoyed the walk. Very easy, lazy stroll. Not heavily trafficked.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Only did part of this but got to see each waterfall!

Friday, August 05, 2016

Nice scenery. Go real early in the am. Later and you'll pass people in flip flops pushing strollers. Went when I was new to the game. There are much better trails in the park, if you don't mind the drive.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Keep to the hiker trails when you can. Less traffic, much better scenery, and water crossings if the falls are running high. Plan your trip to be around Half Dome Village at lunch. They have a market there and a burger/sandwich stand.

Monday, May 02, 2016

good hike but a little too close to the road. great views and some fun little water crossings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

We did this hike at the end of November and it was stunning. Been coming to Yosemite every year since I was born and it's like home but had somehow never gone back past Mirror Lake. This time of year was stunning! Fall colors on the trees and snow on the ground. During the winter months make sure to have good grip on shoes as the ice on the bAck two bridges was quite hard to get up without sliding back down. Due to the weather as well very few people on the trail. Will do this one again for sure.

Friday, September 25, 2015

It is said that while Yosemite Valley makes up less than 10% of Yosemite National Park, it is the destination for about 90% of park visitors. It’s certainly with good reason as it is truly a magnificent setting with its thundering waterfalls, soaring granite walls, rivers, meadows and iconic granite features such as El Capitan and Half Dome. However, for hikers this means that the trails can be quite busy. In addition, due to the topography here there are many strenuous trails and easy trails, but there aren’t a lot of choices for those looking for a moderate-level hike. One good choice to address both dilemmas would be the Valley Floor Loop Trail. The trail is relatively flat but long – either 6.5 or 13 miles, depending on the route you take. NOTE: Before hiking this trail, be sure to get a trail map at the visitor center as there is very little signage along this trail and there are a few points along the trail where it is unclear which direction you’re supposed to proceed. One of the great features about this trail is that it is relatively uncrowded, plus you get a much better feel for the valley than you do when simply driving through. The recommended starting point is at the Camp Four tram stop. From there head toward the Upper Yosemite Falls trailhead until you get to the trailhead sign. Instead of heading up the trail, turn left and follow the trail along the shadow of the granite cliffs. Eventually, you will cross the road and continue your trek along the river. Another nice feature of this trail is that, unlike many of Yosemite’s trails, this trail isn’t totally exposed; there will be many areas where you will walk under a canopy of trees. Due to time constraints, we opted for the shorter version of the trail, which meant we crossed a bridge near El Capitan to reach the other side of the valley and the return portion of the loop. To experience the full 13 miles, you would hike past El Capitan all the way to Bridalveil Falls and back. Either way, after completing the Valley Floor Loop Trail, you can say with all confidence that you truly saw Yosemite Valley.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Even the simple Yosemite hikes offer a jaw-dropping experience. This is the foundational trail that offers access to most of the big attractions in the Yosemite Valley. It's a nice first hike for those looking to acclimate themselves with the park and how to get to key attractions.

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