There are many things to do in the park, but hiking is among the most favorite with locals and guests alike.
Yosemite National Park has some of the most scenic hikes in the world. There are both easy and difficult trails throughout the park. Some hikes are easily done in just a few minutes or hours, while others require some planning and can take several days. Yosemite has over 800 miles of trail for visitors to enjoy.
There are lots of camping, lodging, and dining options in the valley, but in the high country, there are very few of these. Being prepared for long hikes is the safest and best bet.
Short Walks in Yosemite Park
There are many short walks in the valley. There are many that are so popular it can be difficult to get there through the crowds during the busy season. Some of the short walks are paved and are wheelchair accessible, while others are on more rocky terrain. These are some of the most popular short walks in Yosemite.
Lower Yosemite Falls: This walk is one-half of a mile and takes about 20 minutes round trip.
Bridalveil Falls: This walk is one-half of a mile round trip and takes about 20 minutes.
Glacier Point: From the parking lot at the point, this walk takes about five minutes.
Sentinel Dome: This trail is two miles and can take about an hour or two round trip.
Mariposa Grove: This trail is a six-mile loop and can take three to four hours or one hour to Grizzly Giant.
Day Hikes in Yosemite Park
The day hikes in the valley are endless. All day long, visitors are walking from one end of the valley to the other. There are also many day hikes that require some drive time to get to the trailhead in the high country. These hikes offer amazing scenery and photographic opportunities.
Vernal Falls: This hike takes about three hours and is three miles round trip.
Nevada Falls: This hike is seven miles and can take six to eight hours round trip.
Dog Lake: This trail is almost three miles round trip and can take about two hours.
Cathedral Lakes: This hike is seven miles round trip and can take up to six hours.
Upper Yosemite Falls: This trail is a little over seven miles round trip and can take up to eight hours.
Overnight Hikes in Yosemite Park
Hikes that last overnight in the park require a permit. These can be obtained at the visitors center in Yosemite Valley. According to the visitors center, they use the permits to regulate the number of hikers that are starting out from each trailhead.
There are certain areas that do not allow campfires and can be researched at the visitors center in Yosemite Valley. The permits will help park service find an individual if they become lost, injured, or just don’t report back in time. These are some of the best overnight hikes in the park:
Half Dome: This hike is 17 miles round trip and can take up to 12 hours or more.
Tuolumne Meadows to the Valley: This hike is 23 miles one way and can take over 12 hours.
Vogelsang: This hike is almost 16 miles and takes eight to 12 hours round trip.
Remember when hiking to wear proper footwear, bring water, sunblock, snacks, and do not litter. Yosemite has bears, mountain lions, wolves, and other wildlife that can be dangerous, so respect the area, don’t travel alone if unfamiliar with the area, and carry a bear canister for all overnight excursions.