Hike to Yosemite's Mirror Lake

Details

Distance

1.54 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

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.)

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Known for

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Lake
Scenic

Nearby

Reviews

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January in Yosemite

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.

Very photogenic!

Love this location. Bring your camera!

Straightforward and Beautiful

Great hike!

Nice Short Hike

Good view of half doom

Easy Hike

easy beautiful hike

Don't Miss Out

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

Not A Lake, Still Worth It

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.

Great, easy valley stroll

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!

A nice walk in the park

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!

Easy Hike with Nice Rewards!

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.

866 total saves

4.7/5

Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Hidden Falls (aka Tenaya Creek Falls)

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Hike to Basket Dome

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Snowshoe to Snow Creek

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10.98 mi / 2700 ft gain

Mirror Lake from Shuttle Stop Trail

2.37 mi / 236 ft gain
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