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Yosemite Valley South Loop is a 22.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until September.

Length 22.4 mi Elevation gain 5,941 ft Route type Loop
Backpacking Hiking Nature trips Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Fee
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Reviews (3)
Photos (3424)
Recordings (4)
Completed (7)
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Lewis Thompson
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Hiking
First to Review

A grand loop of the south side of Yosemite Valley. Start early and ascend the five mile Four Mile Trail and take in early views of Yosemite Falls, Royal Arches and Half Dome before reaching Glacier Point for some food and the chance to soak in the spectacular views of Half Dome, El Cap, Royal Arches, Yosemite Falls... the whole Valley! Next up is more climbing to the route's highpoint, Sentinel Dome which offers further panoramic views. As a reward for all this climbing you now begin to slowly descend via Pohono Trail taking in all of the best south rim viewpoints along the way. My favourite was a direct look at El Cap from a similar elevation. Pohono is a great trail largely away from the crowds. Between viewpoints you're headed through tall trees, a few small meadows and away from the truly majestic views but the pine smells more than make up for it. I started to get tired around Stanford Point but decided to pick up the pace and start running the increasingly steep downhill sections. I unfortunately missed Old Inspiration Point but was truly blown away by the twist on the classic Tunnel View that I got as I headed down Old Wawona Road. As you exit Old Wawona Road you have the chance to take in Bridalveil Falls up close and personal, before winding your way back along the Valley Loop Trail to the start. I was pretty knackered so hitched a lift on the free bus for the final 3km or so. Don't be fooled by 4* rating - this is an exceptional loop that will challenge and reward. If this walk were found anywhere else in the world it would be 6* but in Yosemite the competition is incredibly tough.

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Hee Jin Yim
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 10, 2019
Backpacking
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Eddy Hudson
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Hiking
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