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Yosemite Valley, California

Looking for the best hiking in Yosemite Valley? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Yosemite Valley. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near Yosemite Valley

  • Wawona, California

    Pothole Dome

    5.0
    1.01 mi / 250 ft gain
    Getting There From the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, head west on Tioga Road/ Hwy 120 towards Tenaya Lake. You'll only travel about 1 mile down the road until you see Tuolumne Meadows open up again on your right, and there will be a very large gravel pull out where you can park. Pothole Dome ...
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  • Wawona, California

    Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail

    1.29 mi / 121 ft gain
    The hike to the Wawona Swinging Bridge is a 0.7 mile dirt path. Start at the trailhead located next to the parking lot. The hike is surrounded by many trees which offers a lot of shade. For the first couple of minutes the trail is fairly straight. You then begin to hike down for just a minute or ...
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  • Cathedral Lakes Trailhead

    Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley

    5.0
    30.82 mi / 6109 ft gain
    Yosemite is an iconic park, and if you are looking for isolation with spectacular views of the backcountry this trip is for you. The trail itself is approximately 33 miles and can be done in 3-4 days, but I recommend a 6 day hike to enjoy the scenery and to have the opportunity to soak in each lo...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Scramble Yosemite's Cathedral Peak

    3.0
    Start at Toulumne Meadows (8000 ft), and take the John Muir Trail, on the south side of Tioga Road. After about 1 mile, an unmarked trail will appear on your left – it is a less-traveled path, primarily taken by climbers. This trail will lead you away from Cathedral Lake to the back of Cathedral ...
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  • Wawona, California

    Cathedral Lakes

    4.8
    9.04 mi / 1100 ft gain
    Starting at the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead near the Tuolumne Meadows parking lot (if parking is full at the TH), this trail wanders through the classic High Sierra forest with large white granite boulders and pine trees. After approximately 4 miles of quiet solitude in the forest, you will reach ...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Tulomne Meadows to Donohue Pass via JMT

    5.0
    27.56 mi / 2953 ft gain
    Donohue Pass lies on the border of Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Both the John Muir Trail (JMT) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) route through this pass at 11,056 ft. A challenging but beautiful hike that starts from Tuolumne Meadows and follows the JMT for 12.5 miles t...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Backpack to Boothe Lake

    5.0
    16.6 mi / 1400 ft gain
    Starting at the Tuolomne Meadows Visitor Center you will head south to jump on the John Muir Trail, move east for 2.8 miles on the JMT until the trail intersects with the Vogelsang High Sierra trailhead, you head south when you reach this trail. Once you hit the Vogelsang trail you are 5.5 miles ...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Camp at Wawona in Yosemite National Park

    Wawona offers over 90 campsites in 3 loops, including 1 group site, 2 horse sites, and RV/ camper access.Every loop has at least 1 bathroom with flush toilets, but keep in mind that there are no showers at this campground.Pets are allowed, but must be kept on leash at all times.Each campground co...
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  • 37.872112,-119.370472

    Hike to Waterwheel Falls

    17.32 mi
    Waterwheel Falls may be the most unique waterfall in Yosemite. During high waterflow an extraordinary phenomenon appears as the raging water hits a series of ledges creating a plume, this coupled with strong gust blowing upward create cyclical "waterwheel" effect hence the name. On a good day th...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Merced Grove

    5.0
    3.32 mi / 600 ft gain
    Merced Grove is technically the smallest and most secluded of the three sequoia groves found in Yosemite National Park, which lends itself to be less crowded offering a peaceful solitude hike. The trailhead is located at the Merced Grove parking lot on Big Oak Flat Road. This trail begins by foll...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Backpack to Nelson Lake

    17 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Head to any Yosemite wilderness station for a map, bear canister, and permit for Nelson Lake. The trail itself starts in the Tuolumne Campground at Elizabeth Lake trailhead. Follow the trail 2.2 miles up to Elizabeth Lake and remember the lake itself is in a no-camping zone, so you must continue ...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Camp at Tuolumne Meadows Campground

    5.0
    Tuolumne Meadows is on Tioga road northeast of Yosemite Valley, at elevation 8,600 feet. Sites are available July-September at $26. Dogs are allowed but be sure to pack the leash!  More info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/plany...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Backpack to Fletcher Lake and Summit Vogelsang Peak

    19.06 mi
    Before you head out for the trip, you’ll need to get a wilderness permit. You can get one online from the Yosemite website or pick one up at the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center or from the Wilderness Center in Yosemite Valley. Go to Yosemite and take Highway 120 up to Tuolumne Meadows. You ca...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Young Lakes

    4.7
    14.14 mi / 1700 ft gain
    The Young Lakes trail starts from the Lembert Dome parking area and then winds up around 6 miles into the high country past alpine meadows and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Lower and Middle Young Lakes are beautiful, but you're going to want to push on to Upper Young Lake, where y...
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  • Wawona, California

    Lembert Dome via Dog Lake Trail

    4.0
    3.98 mi / 750 ft gain
    Lembert Dome may seem impossible to scale when observing it from the trailhead, but it is actually a relatively easy hike up to the summit. It is by far the best way to see and admire Tuolumne Meadows, not to mention the granite top, which is a wonderland to explore. There are a few ways to reac...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Mt. Conness

    5.0
    19.03 mi / 5400 ft gain
    This trip is best done as a 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip making camp at Young Lakes, however it is possible to do it in a single day long haul. Start at the Lembert Dome Parking Lot and take the trail via the Dog Lake route towards Young Lakes. It's about 7 miles to the upper of the three You...
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