Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Yosemite Valley 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 month ago

Fantastic trail. As it is a paved path I can understand why it is considered moderate; however... my wife mentioned several times during the ascent that it she thought it was anything but. I loved it any want to go all the way to Half Dome next time I'm in the area.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike. We went back by John Muir trail which give you a beautiful sight of the fall from above. Starting our hike at 8am we had the chance to see a bear and a bobcat on the trail.

So... this is the Yosemite stair master as the Rangers call it. Beautiful and vicious. Recommend camping at the top of snow creek the first night. Many beautiful spots just be aware you will get a visit from a bear that night. We did it in 3 days and recommend for night 2 head to the top of Yosemite Falls. It will be a push but well worth the effort. Just above the bridge there are several really nice spots and if the water is flowing great swimming. Notes, start early the first half of Snow creek is in full sun and you will broil. July 4th we had water 1/2 way up to splash your face in and you could filter but not sure how long it lasts. Night 2 rangers will say camp in the valley below North dome. Don’t do it. Very small stream with lots of mosquitoes and no views. Push on to Yosemite Falls. It is 7.2 miles with a long up out of snow creek but worth it.

1 month ago

Did this last week. The waterfalls were amazing and went on for several hundred/thousand feet. It got really hot at the bottom of the canyon. I had to pour water on my head and body to keep from getting sick from the heat. It’s deceptive because as you descend it gets hotter but you don’t realize how hot it really is until it’s time to head back up. Then you really feel the dehydration from the heat, exertion and altitude. I rested frequently in the shade and made my way back slowly. No cell phone service (with AT&T).

This was such a beautiful experience! The steps right before the fall we’re a bit tough but you have to keep going it is well worth it!! I want to return!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Totally worth the view at the top of Vernal. Heavy traffic mid day in June. Half way restrooms were closed and they took out the water fountain that used to be there so bring plenty of water. Over all a great hike:

Great trip, would definitely do again. Trail was very quiet. We did a 2-day out and back. The first 4 miles was fairly easy with little elevation change. Just over a mile past the Glen Aulin High Sierra camp, on the trail to Waterwheel Falls, the trail was flooded with lots of fallen trees. It was a challenge to navigate through. However a ranger told us it should dry up in a month or so. We set up camp just before the swampy bit and continued on with day packs to the falls. The falls had lots of water.

I did this as part of a backpacking trip in mid May before Tioga Road opened. Took the Mist Trail up and JMT down, mileage was around 26 per my friends GPS. I highly recommend overnighting here because the sunsets are absolutely stunning and it saves your legs for the crazy downhill back. That being said, the elevation gain is intense (especially on the Mist Trail) so pace yourself and take as many breaks as you need. Overall one of my favorite hikes, you can’t beat the views.

hiking
2 months ago

Don't believe I haven't reviewed this one. I've done it by itself without going higher twice. The 1st time was with my wife. Definitely in my personal top 10 for short hikes. Only real downside is way too many people.

hiking
2 months ago

Good one, but do yourself a favor and push a little more to the next fall, and do the loop. It's worth it

Such amazing views!!

on Vernal Falls

2 months ago

I don’t recommend children. Very awesome hike. Very rewarding at the end with the water fall and pool at the bottom.

one of the most challenging hikes I have ever done. It is long and strenuous, felt like it doesn't end. We went on a cool day but still ran out of water, make sure to grab at least 3L for each person going.
there were patches of snow along the trail
the way back hurts the legs, note to self was to grab pain-killers to survive the way back

2 months ago

Beautiful falls and you get close enough to get pretty soaked in the Spring months. Lots of steps and they get really intense just before you reach the top of the fall, but the view from the top is so worth it. If you feel up for it, I definitely recommend continuing to Nevada Fall and returning on the John Muir Trail.

2 months ago

Great trial with big uphills we tipped Vernal then came down JMT back to the bridge spectacular views. If you go to top of falls be prepared to get wet

The first 30-45 minutes is straight up and somewhat difficult but the view at the bridge is worth it! You can do it!

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked Vernal Falls with my mom and daughter! Lots of steps and a steep climb but so pretty at the top!! ❤️❤️

hiking
5 months ago

The trail was covered in snow and the last .3 miles were closed but the views were gorgeous nonetheless. We got about a foot and a half of snow the night before which made for and Easy to moderate climb. Looking forward to going back in the summer!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful!

hiking
6 months ago

Hard but worth it for the views. Recommend to start early in the morning as it gets really hot during the day.

Do you like switchbacks? You'd better.
Other than that, plenty of opportunities for water, so don't feel that you need to pack in loads of it. The views of the valley and of notable features like Half-Dome are great. Near the end the trail becomes harder to follow.

gorgeous waterfalls along steep trails

backpacking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

I hiked this route in two days and spent one night on the mountain. Starting from Tamarack Flat towards El Capitan there is a constant ascent until the highest point of the trail has been reached. Water was fairly frequent. We filled up three times in different creeks. We spent the night around El Capitan and noticed a nice camp spot towards the edge. The views throughout this hike were quite beautiful and the setting was serene. We encountered other hikers about every hour or so up until Upper Yosemite Falls where it was quite crowded during our descent. In my opinion the best views are seen once the highest point of the trail has been reached. Overall it was a physically challenging but rewarding experience. My body suffered but now a few days later I feel great!

Note: It really helps to have someone follow you into the valley to leave your car for when you finish as shuttle stops to Tamarack Flat I've been told are uncommon.

backpacking
Tuesday, February 07, 2017

This was always on my list of places to see, and finally did it in July of 2011. That was the winter of the epic snows in the Sierra. The runoff when we were there in mid July, was more typical of late May and early June in a normal winter. Unreal. We hiked in to Glen Aulin via the Murphy creek trail which starts at Tenaya Lake, as we could not get permitted for Tuolumne Meadows, and then back out this trail. The Murphy creek trail was still snowbound for the most part, but we found our way thru the woods. A wet crossing at Cathedral creek was in store for us too. As were lots of the creek crossings we did. The White Cascade at Glen Aulin was roaring. Great rainbow photos. The hike from GA down to Waterwheel is all downhill, and on this trip, we waded thru about a 1/4 mile of water on the trail right off the bat. Le Conte Falls was really something to see with its several waterwheels in it. Then finally down to Waterwheel Falls which was almost deafening to stand next to. We hiked right down next to it and got drenched in the mist that kept blowing up canyon. Quite an experience for sure. If you don't believe in the power of water, stand next to this thing some time in early June. It's not your ordinary waterfall. The hike back to Tuolumne from GA was a real nice hike. All uphill, but so mellow as it follows the river. The views of the high country as you get closer to the meadow are incredible. This a must do hike for someone who is into cascading/rushing water. You won't be disappointed, unless you go in the fall when water flow is almost over. You can do this as a day hike too, as many have, but that makes for a long day. We camped at GA for 2 nights. Put it on your list!!!

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

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