Outbound Collective logo

Hike to Yosemite's Mirror Lake

Yosemite Valley, California

4.7/5
based on 12 reviews

Details

Distance

1.54 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Mariya Dondonyan

Mirror Lake is a big pool in Tenaya Creek. There are great photo opportunities as you can access the base of Half Dome. 

Mirror Lake is a very popular spot in the Yosemite Valley and definitely a must see to check off your explore list. Crowds are much smaller if you go during the winter, but some parts of the water might be iced over.

The trailhead you take to get there is well marked and can be found at the far east end of Yosemite Valley. You have the option to take a shuttle to the trailhead or hike the extra 1.5 miles (2.4 km) round trip from Curry Village or the Ahwahnee Hotel.

The trailhead walk to the lake is really beautiful as you dive deeper into this sea of trees and enter through the woods. Total travel distance is 2.4 miles (3.8 km) round trip from the trailhead to Mirror Lake; 4 miles (6.4 km) to go all the way to the end of the trail in Tenaya Canyon and loop around. There's not a lot of climbing, and much of the trail is paved - you can even ride your bike most of the way to Mirror Lake. Elevation at trailhead is 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) and elevation gain is only 100 feet (30 meters.)

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app
Download GPX File

Features

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Camping in Yosemite Jan 2, cold and and beautiful, no crowds. For those who prefer peace and quiet, aren't fair weather tent campers, this was a serene time to be in Yosemite. Mirror lake views nice and a very easy hike in.

Love this location. Bring your camera!

Great hike!

Good view of half doom

easy beautiful hike

Such a great way to end the day. We came here right after driving from San Francisco and man was it awesome. We stopped along the way to wade in the river and chill on the rocks. The water is freezing (even in July) but you'll get used to it. There's usually a crowd

This isn't a lake anyway - it's a seasonal pond. Which means that it's pretty much dried up in September. DOESN'T MATTER, STILL GORGEOUS. A shortish, easy walk- no more than 40 minutes - takes you along a stream, weaving in and out of groves of cedar, until you come out into a sweeping empty space surrounded by mountains. It's not a meadow yet - the plants haven't taken hold, except for a few trees here and there and some grasses growing along a trickle of a streamlet. So you can wander around gazing up at the mountains and the vast space around you.

Mirror lake is a great hike to do early in the morning, as there are significantly less people, and the walk is shaded, but the rock formations up above are beaming in the sun. Try to get there before 8 AM! There are 2 options to get to Mirror Lake. If you want to take the paved route, always stay to the left & cross Tenaya bridge! Don't take the sandy path to the right. Officially, the NPS calculates 5 miles for the full loop, so plan accordingly!

This is a nice option when you've just tackled a longer, more strenuous hike and need something a little easier. As mentioned, the entire route is mostly on a paved road, making it suitable for walking or riding a bike. Beautiful views await once you reach the lake!

This hike is a quick one with beautiful views! I went in the winter and part of the lake was frozen making it a little difficult to see the reflections it is so famous for but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike to Hidden Falls (aka Tenaya Creek Falls)

Hike to Basket Dome

Snowshoe to Snow Creek

Snow Creek Trail

Little Yosemite Valley Campsite and Half Dome

Vernal & Nevada Falls via Happy Isles