Best Hikes: Yosmite National Park, CA


• 9 day hikes
• 1 to 18 mile trails
• Easy, Medium & Hard difficulties
• Northern California | Yosemite, CA
• Driving Directions: Yosemite Valley



Yosemite National Park is California’s most visited park for good reason. Huge landscapes, valleys, canyons, waterfalls and activities to suit every ability.

The truth that everybody should visit Yosemite National Park is marred by one point of fact - everybody visits Yosemite National Park. Meaning that this top-tier park is practically heaving with people year round. In summer months you’ll even find hour-long traffic jams in the middle of Yosemite Valley.

With a little planning you can avoid many of the crowds, either by timing your visit, taking a summer moonlit Half-Dome hike, or by checking out some great less frequently traveled hikes that we list in the Yosemite area outside of the valley.

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5-star hike, 4-star hike, 3-star hike

Yosemite Valley
This is where the crowds head, and sometime it’s worth embracing that fact with a friendly smile as you join like-minded hikers on some great trails:
           
Half Dome | 5★, 15.5-17.5mi, Hard, 1800ft | The epic Yosemite experience requires stamina and planning in equal measure, but it's worth it for both the journey and the payoff. See trail review.
Upper Yosemite Falls | 5★, 7.2mi, Medium, 2700ft | Conquer one of the world's largest waterfalls on an excellent trail and experience some of the best valley views on the way. See trail review.
Mist Trail, Vernal & Nevada Falls | 5★, 2.5-4.7mi, Medium, 1040-2020ft | Hike through canyon and up sheer rock trails on the Mist Trail to reach two scenic Merced River waterfalls. See trail review.
Lower Yosemite Falls | 4★, 1mi, Easy, 50ft | Get up close and personal with one of the most maginificent falls in the US without a long arduous trek. See trail review.
Inspiration Point | 4★, 2.3mi, Medium, 1020ft | Hike away from the Tunnel View crowds to admire this signature Yosemite Valley scene on your lonesome. See trail review.
Four Mile Trail & Glacier Point | 4★, 9.2mi, Medium, 3200ft | From valley floor to Glacier Point, the Four Mile Trail provides increasingly spectacular views of the valley as it winds its way up the rock. See trail review.
Beyond The Valley
The park still has plenty to offer beyond the bustle of the valley and the tour buses. Here are a few of the offerings:
     
Cathedral Lakes | 4★, 7.7mi, Medium, 1500ft | Two superb and tranquil Yosemite lakes await you at the end of a moderate hike away from the throngs of car-bound visitors. See trail review.
Mount Dana | 5★, 4.9mi, Hard, 3070ft | This challenging trip to the second highest peak in Yosemite National Park (13,053ft) rewards with some of the best panoramic views anywhere. See trail review.
Tufa Trail, Mono Lake | 4★, 1.0mi, Easy, 10ft | Explore just beyond Yosemite's Eastern boundaries to marvel at a lake with no outlet, and the curious tufa towers that jut from it's surface. See trail review.
Tangents:
• External Links: Yosemite National Park
• Trailspotting: All Yosemite Hikes | Best Hikes in California
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