Best Day Hikes in Yosemite

best day hikes in yosemite

Best day hikes in Yosemite – One of the historic places Yosemite national park is famous for its heavenly view of waterfalls. The valley is spread across 12000 miles which includes an amazing glimpse of nature and historic items.

Besides waterfalls, Yosemite has a lot more to offer its visitors, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

So if you are one who has an interest in exploring the outdoors and earth nature, for you today I have created the list of best day hikes in Yosemite, that are easy and fun at the same time.

This list includes trails that are popular, fun, short, and offer views at the same time.

Best Day Hikes in Yosemite

Lower Yosemite Falls

best day hikes in yosemite

Distance- 1 mile
Elevation gain: Approximately 50 ft (15 m)
Difficulty: Easy hike
Time: 32 minutes

North America’s longest waterfall Yosemite falls is one of the popular destinations for visitors all around the world. 92 meters of water drop hits the surface, makes an amazing scenery which feels amazing to witness.

To see the power of water make sure you are visiting either in spring or summer because during that season water is at its peak level.

To witness the view closely, you can walk to the footbridge base which is near to the fall and has a better view, you may also get sprayed with water when water is at its peak.

This is one of the shortest hikes in Yosemite with beautiful views of both upper and lower Yosemite waterfalls. Besides, the panoramic views of waterfalls you can visit the exhibits to learn more about the history of the place.

While the hike is full of natural and panoramic views, still, there is not so much for hikers.

The first thing about the hike is it is very short, and the second is it does not entertain you in between, though you get the priceless award at the end with the panoramic views of waterfalls.

This is the best option for people who love the views more than the challenges in reaching the destination, or if you have no time.

There is no specific time to visit the lower Yosemite trail as it welcomes new visitors every day of the year, but still, summer and spring are best if you want to get wet with the water of fall.


Bridalveil Falls Hike


Distance- 1.2 miles (round trip)
Elevation gain: Approximately 50 ft (15 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20 minutes

Another one is the popular Yosemite fall that is famous for the best day hikes in Yosemite, though the hiking distance is still so less. Bridalveil is the first waterfall that catches the attention of every hiker while entering Yosemite, as it is the first waterfall.

If you love the water and panoramic view more than hiking, then you should definitely visit this. The water drop of 182 meters can easily fit in your eyes pupil.

Just like lower Yosemite fall, this is also more fun to witness during spring because of the increase in water level, as they say, you can easily get a shower while walking near the waterfall.

You can expect a crowd in huge no. during spring season who gathers to live the beautiful and endless view in their eyes. This is why you will see a lot of tourist buses around the parking area.

Besides that, a hike is just a normal hike with some incline and slipperiness near the falls, in the end, it is an easy and achievable hike for anyone.

Just make sure to carry a water bottle with yourself because there is no drinking water available at the trailhead or in the parking area.

You can visit the trail all year round, but if you want to capture the real beauty and liveness of surroundings then summer beginning and spring is always the best season to visit Bridalveil Falls.

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Lembert Dome Trail


Distance- 2.8 miles (round trip)
Elevation gain: Approximately 900ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1.5 – 3 hours

Lemert dome one of the most crowded places in Yosemite valley. This is a normal hike of 6knm that offers many great nature views.

This is best for hikers who love to hike, the hike is not difficult but you will be entertained throughout the trail with nature glimpses.

To complete the distance you have to scale up the mountain, the mountain is so huge that you can find yourself alone, even if the trail is crowded

When visiting lambert’s dome one should hang on their hat or you will be forced to buy the new one.

Besides hiking, the trail used for horses, and bird watching. The best time to visit the trail is between June to October when  meadows are green

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Tenaya Lake

Located near Highway 120/Tioga Pass Road along with the gateway to Yosemite’s granite-laden high country, the Tenaya lake is one of the favorite destinations for swimmers and paddlers.

It’s up to the hikers whether they want to go for a rest near the lake or go for a swim. They also have another option to hike on the Tenaya Lake Trail that runs through the lake’s southern shore.

Although the trail is only 1.6 km, still it can create a real challenge for some hikers. The trail is surrounded by granite peaks and domes and after reaching the top of the end the hikers could enjoy the breathtaking view of the lake.

The trail is most crowded between May to November as the water is at an appropriate temperature for swimming. And visitors who don’t come for swim relax on the outskirts of the lake.

The trail is also used for the swimming competitions by the locals, and hikers all over the world come and participate in the swimming competition.  The trail is accessed by any hiker and there is no special permission required to see an amazing view of the lake.

Distance- 1.2 miles (round trip)
Elevation gain: Approximately 50 ft (15 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20 minutes

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Glacier Point Short Hike

Distance- 1 mile (round trip)
Elevation gain: 2,200 metres
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20 minutes

The 7,214-foot perch offers unimaginably panoramic views over Yosemite Valley. The hike is most famous for its indescribable views from 270-degree panorama, which include dome and cloud reset to the waterfalls in mist, and mountains peaks that offer the real beauty of nature(never forget to carry a  camera with you to capture the natural beauty).

Glacier point short hike is one of the highly trafficked trails when the glacier road is open. If you don’t want to hike in-crowd then you still have two different options  Sentinel Dome or Taft Point I Glacier point is one of the shortest and easily achievable hikes for any person. To know more about trail difficulty see the trail map here –trail map ).

Glacier point is less crowded from November to May because the roads are closed and the only way for you to reach there is through asking.

But when the spring hits and roads open, the crowd increase, this is also the best time to visit the glacier point because the views are more clear.

Opening of the road depends on the conditions but it is more likely to be May or mid-June every year.


Mirror Lake Hike

Distance- 2.4 miles (round trip)
Elevation gain: 1,220 meters
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 hours

Lake which is more of a pool for swimming but captures the reflection of the Half Dome crown as you walk near the base of the half dome.

Mirror lake is a normal hike but not the best because it has nothing challenging and scenic views to offer, though you still get the view of Mt. Watkins (8,500 feet/2,600 meters), this is also the main scenic highlight of the hike.

But as you hike the trail, you are also getting closer to half dome base from where you may the view, it may not be the best angle but it’s worth it.

The mirror lake trail is mostly used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing. It is also the biggest swimming hole in Yosemite, which makes it the crowdest place.

You will see a lot of people from different regions gathered for swimming.

The best time to visit the trail totally depends on you. If you like swimming then go in hot weather or if you want some alone time on the trail then winter is the best because this is the season when the trail sees the lowest no’s.