Explore the most popular birding 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.

Hiked up and continued to Sentinel Dome. Was not as difficult as I expected. A steady pace was possible completely aerobically. Every corner offered a new view. Changing sunlight kept it interesting.

5 days 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.

Please see Taylor M’s review

Despite the elevation gain, the treadway is for the most part is smooth with comparatively few rocks. Stunning views on the way up of Yosemite Falls, and of the eastern end of the valley, including Half-Dome, once on top.
Only small scattered patches of snow remain on the trail in the higher elevations as of early to mid May.

8 days 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

on Four Mile Trail

14 days ago

The 4 Mile Trail...was NOT 4 miles

hiking
19 days ago

We were wary given The earlier noted reviews showing track closed. Trail is fully open as of late April, and when we did the trail 6 May there was a very small amount of snow, on the sides of the trail, at almost the top.

hiking
23 days ago

Loved this hike for the elevation gain and scenery. If you want a challenging hike that has great views, I recommend this for sure.

hiking
30 days ago

We started at the bottom of the trail going up to Glacier Point. Unfortunately, the trail is still closed at mile 3. This is definitely a moderate/difficult incline trail. Beautiful views and the weather is perfect right now. I suggest starting early as there were a few people going up and its kinda narrow. There was some piles of snow bunched up on the side but none that were in the way. Make sure you have some good grip shoes on as there is loose gravel and you are climbing. Make sure you are prepared to come back down as it is steep and puts a lot of pressure on your knees. I would recommend some poles if you have any. I hope you enjoy your time on this one its really beautiful.

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
1 month ago

This trail has some amazing views of Yosemite falls! Unfortunately, the trail is currently closed after inspiration point and you hit a tricky patch of snow about halfway through and then a few more near inspiration point. It took us about two hours to get to inspiration point and maybe an hour and a half to get back including lunch! We started the hike around 9:30 and the trails weren't as busy and the snow pack was easier to get through before it started melting and got slippery.

2 months ago

Lots of switch backs, my first trail that included significant elevation gain.
Fantastic views, well worth it!
*no bus service going down in winter season

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of snow and ice on the trail today. (3/11/18) Trekking poles are a must! But I’m pretty uncomfortable on snow/ice... Also, the trail is closed after Inspiration Point (~3miles up) right now. I only made it about 2 miles up.

hiking
2 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
2 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
2 months ago

Beautiful!

2 months ago

A little snow on the trail today - trekking poles were great. Views were unbelievable!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views of the valley... one thing I would like to mention for folks trying to figure out how straneous this hike is.. I would rate it 3.5/5. The reason one might feel it is hard is because off the elevation profile. Unlike most hikes, where the trail goes up and down a little bit: the attitude on this hike rises continuously from start to stop. So might feel tired frequently as you have been walking uphill since you started. At the same time the hike providers enough scenery for one to stop and take a breath. I am not an expert hiker so, it took me around 3-3.5 hours to reach the top and 2 hours on the way down. All in all it is worth it as you get to see all the famous granite walls of yosemite, El Capitan, Half dome and yosemite falls in a single panorama. The time we went it was partly cloudy and the sun was on the opposite side of glacier point so there wasn't much direct sunlight. As a result, if you stop for long you might feel chilly. Bring a light weight windsheater to shield yourself from fast moving winds in the valley. Hiking poles are not necessary but recommended for ease.

For DSLR owners: Make sure you being your camera as the views are just amazing. I would recommend a normal 18-55mm lens and a zoom upto 150mm is enough. You might need a zoom lens as you can frequently see rainbow getting formed on upper yosemite falls. With better zoom lens you can also capture Nevada falls.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was wonderful! Took me a little over 2 hours to get to the top and about 1.5 hours to get back down. Plan for at least a 5 hour day so you can enjoy and eat lunch at the top.

The views are worth every step, but this is not an easy hike. There are great views almost instantly on the trail so you are distracted during your 4 plus miles trek uphill. Make sure you bring plenty of water since the fountains and restrooms may be closed during the off season.

I got there before 9am and barely found a parking spot and I recommend to get there early. There is also restrooms slightly passed the trail entrance so make sure to take advantage before you begin.

Highly recommend it!

hiking
3 months ago

The trail was beautiful and pretty much snow and ice free (except for one short area). This hike is a killer. Up up up and then down down down. My legs are super sore as well as my knees. But so worth it!

This one was a beast up and down but you can’t beat the views of Yosemite falls on the way up. Views at the top (at Glacier Point) were spectacular!

hiking
3 months ago

Two words MUST DO! what an incredible hike. Challenging enough for the thrill seekers and nothing more beautiful than this hike. You are able to see a beautiful view of the valley, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Half dome. This hike is really the best views of the park. There is no shuttle directly to the trailhead and parking is kind of limited, but plan accordingly and you will experience the best views of the park. Only downside I found of the trail is that they decided to pave it way back when and now is falling apart so its half paved half dirt, I wish it would've been all dirt, but beggars can't be choosers.

trail running
3 months ago

I went on February 2nd. Second time on this trail. Amazing trail, currently the gate is open, I’m assuming someone just opened it, since there is still snow getting to glacier point. I was trail
Running the hike, so I was coming back down once I got to the top. I was only able to get to 3.5 miles up before I decided that it was too slippery coming down. There was also a tree in the trail but you can go over it. Awesome challenging trail.

3 months ago

Other people have written fantastic reviews about this hike, and I have to agree with all of it. Amazing trail. I think it’s better than Upper Falls, also — the footing is easier due to the path being mostly paved. Still strenuous due to elevation gain and length, but worth every step.

hiking
3 months ago

Turned around at the winter closure point (2.8 miles in) due to some knee pain in the group, but this hike was beautiful, challenging, and offered fantastic, photobook quality views of the classic features of Yosemite. Weather was unusually mild, and we found ourselves shedding most of our layers as we warmed up.

The ascent is doable but consistently challenging without a lot of breaks in grade, but most of the switchbacks are wide enough you can stop for a few and and admire the view. Trekking poles may be a good idea for the descent, even if there isn't any ice or snow. Definitely wouldn't want to hike without traction (spikes or yaktraks) if there was any snow or ice.

I hear it's crowded in the summer but was reasonably traveled in the winter, with no more traffic than I'd expect on a day hike you can park at the bottom of. Parking fills up fast so you may need to park elsewhere and walk in (any parking lot along the south-side of the valley loop trail would give you good access).

Possibly my favorite outing yet. Yosemite may be the most beautiful place on earth.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail is mint. Uphill from the car park is relentless, but not terribly challenging. Last mile was closed due to snow, but still a great stroll and awesome picture opportunities at every turn.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this trail on Jan 21. The trail isn’t too bad. But there is some snow and ice patches the further up you Go. the pass is technically “closed” at 2.8 miles but there were a lot of footprints beyond there so I broke the rules too. From the closed portion to glacier point it’s pretty much compacted with snow. It’s fine going up but you may want microspikes on the way down for a bit more traction. I found them very useful. I would also recommend trekking poles. I had them and my knees were fine. Most people I met did not and that was their biggest complaint with all the downhill switchbacks. Beautiful route and completely worth the view. Be a rebel.

hiking
4 months ago

did this trail last fall on a whim.hiked from Curry ,and I do mean CURRY village! thinking I was gonna do the valley loop.got to the trail head and said I'll see how far I get and just kept on going!I went at my own pace and stopped to rest when I needed to the views are beyond words and glacier point is the exclamation point!took me pretty much all day, but what a day.couldnt hardly walk for the next 2 days but worth every step! PS not bad for 60!

hiking
4 months ago

It was difficult, but well worth it!

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