Explore the most popular river trails near Mariposa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

Hike of a lifetime! Sure as hell the hardest one I've ever done, but things like this make me want to sleep in a tent the rest of my days. My buddy Huston's watch said 18 miles from our campground 5 minutes from the Mist Trail in Upper Pines. Left at 5 a.m., summited around 12:30, stayed up top for 30, then got down in about 2 hours. 4 of 6 of my party did the cables, not too bad, the stairs beforehand are worse. Just put that body on autopilot, but don't forget to look up or else you might miss it!

hiking
3 days ago

What an excellent hike and overall experience! The hard work is certainly paid off with the views at the top.

We started the day at 3:45am from Upper Pines campground. We reached the cables around 9am and the summit at 9:30. Starting early is the best advice we received as there were only a handful of people on the cables and a dozen or so at the top. Traffic on the sub-dome had picked up considerably by the time we were descending. We returned to camp at 3:15 with plenty of time for a soak in the mighty Merced River alongside camp to assist in recovery!

Start early, bring ample water and food and enjoy the hike! 55,000 steps on the pedometer for the day...

Bring plenty of water. Leave very early in the day. Pack light. Know that the cables are very challenging should you get that far!

Fantastic hike with ever changing vistas. Left at about 830 AM on July 11th from Glacier Point Panoramic trailhead in summer and finished by 230 to the valley via Nevada and Vernal falls and the Mist trail. Stopped numerous times for photos and lunch at Nevada falls.

LOVED the first 6 miles during which our lizard count to other people count was 65 to 7. After Nevada falls this ratio flipped as people way outnumbered lizards and trails became very crowded. The downhill out of Nevada and the Vernal steps is a knee killer w painstaking foot placement required.

Besides the last 2 miles of knee pain and crowded trail down to the valley (which is expected in summer) this was absolutely amazing hike great vistas of Half Dome and El Capitan and numerous waterfalls..

Yosemite disappoints and this hike is no exception! We went up via the JMT and came back via the Mist Trail. Subdome and the cables are an adrenalin rush that lasts for days! love love love. ❤

9 days ago

My 13 year old daughter and I started at 5 am. It took us 11 hours and 15 minutes with about 45 minutes at the top. We didn't bring enough water and ran out at about 10 hours. It is hot coming down. If I did it again, I would start even earlier. Definitely bring gloves.

Great hike

Really enjoyed how scenic this trail was. Great for kids! The two twin bridges were lovely and after a warm day it was nice to hang out in the river before finishing up the trail. We even saw donkeys passing though on the bridge. The meadow is breathtaking.

backpacking
10 days ago

Best hike I’ve ever done! Going to the top was worth it. Watch your footing and don’t be afraid to get on all fours especially when hauling you and your stuff up those tiny rock trail/cliff near to the cables. Make sure you bring good boots, a lotta water, and gloves!

hiking
11 days ago

Very challenging hike with fantastic views. Take losts of water because you will need it! When I got to the top my water was almost gone even though I took a whole gallon with me. The water falls were nice and the view of the Yosemite Valley from up above was the best.

Tough hike but well worth the effort.

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!

Lovely swimming spot, but cold! Also beware of the fast currents.

backpacking
13 days ago

Strenuous with the elevation changes going uphill and downhill. Incredible views of Half Dome. We split the hike up into 2 days, and camped overnight off the trail a bit by Buena Vista Trail before heading to Illilouette Falls and continuing the journey on to Half Dome.

hiking
13 days ago

Wow. This hike was a lot harder than I expected. I went up to Half Dome through the Mist Trail and faced an amazing waterfall. My friends and I got completely soaked since there was a lot of rain that year. Also. There were so. many. stairs. Climbing up Half Dome was a different beast. I thank everyone that left their gloves at the base of the Dome because I definitely wouldn’t have been able to make it up without them. You’ll need to be somewhat fit to make the climb up that beast. Amazing experience overall and I would definitely do it again if I’m able to grab a permit.

hiking
14 days ago

They aren’t kidding when they say strenuous. But it is definitely worth it. My advice...start no later than 4:45am and BRING HIKING POLES! Things to pack...moleskin, head lamp, gloves for cables, harness for cables, water purifier, and lots of food. Lots of people do the cables without a harness and I think that’s crazy. Having a harness definitely made it feel less stressful going up and down the cables. The hike and view is so gorgeous...enjoy!

Great places to swim

I did this hike years ago when you didn't need a permit and it was one if the greatest, most fulfilling things I've ever done. However, I went when I was only like, 12 years old with a YMCA overnight camp and it was also one of the most exhausting and painful experiences of my life. Even 20 years later. The payoff is absolutely worth it but they aren't kidding when they say strenuous, but I dont know if you necessarily need to be an experienced hiker. As long as you're in great shape or have the energy of a 12 year old, you'll be fine.

hiking
18 days ago

I’m 25 years old and I hiked Half Dome on June 27, 2018 with my husband, parents, 2 sisters and brother in law. I did mostly long distance running leading up to the hike with some strength training a couple days a week. A week and a half before the hike I ran a 2 hr 15 min half marathon. My husband is naturally lean and did minimal training to prepare and did well on the trail.
The first couple miles through Vernal and Nevada falls are a lot of stairs and uphill most of the way. It levels off after the two falls and gives you a nice little break as you come around behind the base of the dome. Approaching subdome the trail begins to climb as you reach the ranger at the base of subdome. Subdome is steep and exposed but take your time and save some energy for the cables. I took my time up the cables and spent 25 minutes ascending the cables. The descent took 20 minutes and I went down sideways as that felt most comfortable to me. The cables were definitely intimidating but just focus and take your time, the view is incredible. We started at Happy Isles trail head at 4:45am and started our ascent up the cables at 9:30am . We stayed at the top about 2 hours and took our time back down to the bottom. Instead of going back down the Mist Trail past the falls again we took the John Muir trail as it is a more gradual descent and was a little easier on our legs. The view that way is still stunning! We got back to the car at 5:15 pm . Coming down is tough and much more painful than going up.
Make sure to bring gloves because the once thought pile of gloves at the base is not there. Rangers discourage leaving gloves there as it hurts the wildlife. I gave my gloves to a girl who did not have any. Strongly advise bringing your own, it made me much more confident in my grip on the cables! We are also from NC and are used to the humidity. The air is dry and we got thirsty much faster (also the reason for a couple nosebleeds during the trip). We brought a mini sawyer water filter and used it twice to refill our water packs/bottles. Make sure to pack sunscreen, bug spray, lots of snacks (protein bars, nuts, trail mixes, PB crackers etc.), plenty of water, hat/sunglasses, gloves and GoPro if you have it (with 3-4 batteries). I got incredible footage throughout the hike and while climbing the cables. I got the GoPro especially for the hike and am SO glad I did.

Such an amazing sight to sit at Glacier Point and look at the massive dome. I will relive this day for the rest of my life. Yes it was very challenging both mentally and physically but it was worth every ache and pain to get up to the top. If you get the opportunity DO IT, then drive to Glacier Point and sit and stare in awe at the dome and what you accomplished while the sun sets over the valley! I would do this hike again and again if I could!

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing and strenuous hike! This is my second time hiking this trail and it was a better experience than the first time as I am more prepared. Pack light and give yourself a day to acclimate to the elevation... this will make the hike more pleasant!

hiking
18 days ago

Bring lots of water! Such an amazing hike with great views. I made it to the sub dome, but I plan to do the hike again when my upper body strength improves!

Easy going walk via the nature trail up to mirror lake. Enjoyed all the boulders that had fallen from the cliff above (half dome).

Several doe and fawn in the meadow upon our arrival and not startled as we kept our distance and admired North Dome and Half Dome.

hiking
19 days ago

What to say that hasn't been said?! Just reinforcing the main points:
1. Leave early (like 05:00 AM the latest) during the summer months
2. One gallon of water minimum;
3. Save energy for the last 2 miles;
4. Hike light (don't pack much)... water, energy bars, sunscreen, gloves, cap, sunglasses, i.d. and permit are the essentials.

It's one the best hikes you'll ever do. Worth every step.

Out of all the times I've been and hiked to Yosemite, this trail was the most spectacular view wise. Multiple angles of the park from the high sierra to the valley had me blown away. Even with it being 90+ degrees, this hike was worth it from beginning to end. Will never forget my experience and encourage everyone to do this hike.

hiking
21 days ago

16.46 miles (7.5 hours) via the mist trail from happy aisles parking lot.
Started at 5:30am got to the bottom of the cables at 9:00am. (3.5 hours to top)

First 4 miles is pretty much all uphill. Once you get to the top of the second falls it’s mostly flat until you get to the bottom of the Subdome.
I took a little break to rest my legs before climbing up the cables. When I arrived at the cables (9am) there were plenty of gloves people had left, but when I came down they were all gone due to how busy the cables were. Gloves with a rubber grip are a must so I would suggesting bringing your own or getting there early.

Cables are a lot steeper in person than they look in pictures- takes a lot of upper body strength so be mentally and physically prepared! View at the top is well worth the climb!

Going back down took about 4 hours because there was a lot of opposing traffic that I pulled to the side for.

*bring bug repellant! I got a ton of mosquito bites

hiking
22 days ago

My wife, 3 daughters and 2 son in laws left Happy Isles parking lot at 4:45am. We reached the cables at 9:30am and made it to the top of Half Dome at 10:00am. We enjoyed the views for over 2 hours and started down the cables at 12:15pm. We arrived back at the parking lot at 5:15pm. I am 54 years old, 6’ and 165 lbs. My wife and I trained for this day. We hiked around our home town with backpacks and 10-15 lbs in them to get ready for this hike. I’m glad we prepared. It is a difficult, strenuous hike, but worth every single step and sore feet and muscles. We wore Merrill hiking boots and used Camelbak backpacks with water bladders. I drank 3 liters of water from the backpack and 2 -16 ounce water bottles. I ate 3 Clif 20 ounce protein bars, 3 packs of PB crackers and 1 banana during the hike. We also used a Sawyer mini water filter and used it. The pictures and memories will last a lifetime. The Park rangers were checking permits and I’m glad we had ours. The pile of gloves at the bottom of the cables are not there. I’m glad we had ours. We used the nitrile gripped kind and they worked great. When we got down from the cables, we ran into people that didn’t have gloves and we gave them ours. If you do this hike, make sure you have gloves for the cables. This is certainly a hike of a lifetime!!

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked during weekday. Left at 5 am. Steep and beautiful through the falls. Easy to subdome. I was actually more intimidated by the loose gravel on subdome than cables and half dome. Bucket list views. The return however was a traffic jungle. Literally 50+ people without permits hanging on the cables. Some asking me to help them to top as I descended. Once back to Nevada Falls, the crowd worsened. It’s steep, wet and slippery in places so care must be taken around the masses. All in all, an awesome experience.

hiking
23 days ago

Best views and a fantastic hike. 1am start time and 1pm finish.

Steep start, but Vernal falls and Nevada falls provide great photo-ops/excuses for rest. After that, is a mostly-flat, shady stretch that’s a bit monotonous, but a welcome break before the steep granite switchbacks. When we hiked on Saturday, 6/02/18, there was a ranger stationed at the subdome with a tablet and walkie-talkie checking permits. We hiked with our usual trekking poles (especially helpful for your knees on the pounding hike down), and tied them to our backpacks once we got to the cables. Some people left their poles at the base of the cables. There was a small pile of gloves at the base of the cables up for grabs; definitely recommend bringing a pair with good grip (gardening gloves worked well for us). The cables are definitely intimidating, but I felt safe and comfortable taking my time. Once you reach the top, there’s lots of space to roam and enjoy lunch. We lucked out with clear views of the valley. I preferred descending the cables backwards, my wife went forwards, many others did it with the help of a harness. Whatever you choose, take your time and enjoy!

This was an excellent hike for our group, comprised of several children, ages 5-14 and my mother in law. The kids loved scrambling over rocks and fallen trees and especially loved crossing the lake and dipping their toes in the cool water! Couldn’t have asked for a better first hike in Yosemite!

What an epic hike. Truly a bucket list worthy adventure. We started at 0400 to make sure we got a parking spot at the trailhead parking lot near Happy Isles. We jumped on the JMT to avoid the mist from Vernal Falls since it was so early. We then cut down to the mist trail just past emerald pool. Then we proceeded to Half Dome Trail. We had a slower joker with us so there was a lot of stopping to wait. Once we reached the sub dome we showed our permit and IDs to the ranger and headed up. The sub dome was much cooler than I anticipated. If that was the end of the hike it would have made for a great day, but luckily we still had the cables. Wow! I really underestimated the cables. In the picture the cables look like a gradual incline up the curve of the dome. It starts out as that, but the middle gets quite vertical. I brought along Atlas 300 gloves I got at Ace Hardware and they were wonderful; I didn’t slip once. Reaching the top was amazing. We posed for the obligatory phot on the diving board and hung out for a while. I thought going down the cables would be challenging but it really wasn’t. On our way down we stayed on the mist trail to see the waterfalls. The whole day was an amazing experience and my favorite hike to date.

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