Yosemite Valley / Shutterstock Image

Yosemite Valley / Shutterstock Image

Best 8 Hikes and Trails in Yosemite National Park


Shaka Guide's Yosemite National Park Tour Map

Yosemite National Park, an epically breathtaking valley nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, has some truly striking hiking trails that take you right up close to the natural beauty.

Here, we'll guide you through some of the park's best hikes, ranging from challenging treks to serene meadow strolls - a hike for every visitor.

1. Half Dome

overlook view of a mountain in sunsetShutterstock Image

  • Distance: 14-16 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

This difficult but iconic hike takes you to the top of Half Dome, offering breathtaking views of the famous valley below. It involves steep ascents, a thrilling cable section, and is a true test of endurance.

The trail is only open seasonally. Permits are required for day hikers. Learn about the permit lottery here.

2. Yosemite Falls Trail

  • Distance: 7.2 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

Ascend the tallest waterfall in North America on this challenging trail. Prepare yourself for steep switchbacks that lead to rewarding views of Yosemite Valley and the upper cascades of the waterfall.

3. Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls

hiking trail in yosemiteImage by Matthew Caracciolo

  • Distance: 7.2 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate - Strenuous

Experience the beauty of two stunning waterfalls as you hike up a series of steep granite stairs. Prepare to get wet from the mist (hence the name), as you’re ascending right next to beautiful, rushing waterfalls. 

4. Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

  • Distance: 4.8 miles
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

Take a challenging hike to the Glacier Point lookout, where you'll be treated to absolutely stunning panoramic views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierra. From this high vantage point, you can see much of the park.

5. Tenaya Lake Trail

blue sign post of a trailheadImage by Matthew Caracciolo

  • Distance: 2.7 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy

This quick circuit of Tenaya Lake is quite stunning. This peaceful path is perfect for a stroll or picnic because of the breathtaking views of the alpine lake and granite peaks.

6. Mariposa Grove

  • Distance: Varies (1.6 to 7 miles depending on the trail chosen)
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

See the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree in Mariposa Grove's giant sequoias. You can see these magnificent old trees along a number of different trails.

7. Panorama Trail

  • Distance: 9.1 miles out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

As you skirt alongside the edge of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point, you can see Half Dome, Nevada Fall, and Vernal Fall along this trail.

8. Sentinel Dome and Taft Point

hiker standing at the cliffShutterstock Image

  • Distance: 5.1 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Visit two of Yosemite's most breathtaking vista points for panoramic views of the valley, El Capitan, Half Dome, and the surrounding high country.



This guide cannot cover all the beautiful hiking paths in Yosemite National Park, as there are many more to explore. Whether you're in search of sweeping vistas, cascading waterfalls, or towering sequoias, Yosemite National Park has it all.

Ready to take the tour? Check out Shaka Guide's Yosemite National Park Tour!

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com.

For more detailed information to help you plan, check out our Yosemite National Park Itinerary and Know Before You Go article.


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Where to Stay In Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley Shuttle Service Guide

Getting To Yosemite National Park

Epic Things To Do in Yosemite National Park

How to Get To Yosemite From San Francisco?

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