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Hiking Trails in Yosemite Valley

Picnic in Yosemite Valley
Address: Yosemite Valley, CA
Website: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/valleyhik...

Very Easy | Merced River - approximately 1 mile
Note: Cross the road at the Happy Isles Bridge and take the trail that follows the Merced River for about a mile where it meets the paved road. There are some possible swimming areas along this route, and it’s a nice walk from there to the back of the Ahwahnee Hotel.  
Valley Shuttle Stop: 16

Lower Yosemite Falls Bridge

Easy | Lower Yosemite Falls - 1 mile
Note: There is a slight elevation gain on this walk.
Valley Shuttle Stop: 6

Easy | Bridalveil Fall - .50 miles
Note: There is a slight elevation gain on this walk.

Very Strenuous | Upper Yosemite Falls - 7.6 miles
Note: Take plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen, good hiking shoes (not tennis shoes), use trekking poles if you have them.
Valley Shuttle Stop: 7

Vernal Fall

Moderate | Mist Trail to Vernal Fall Bridge - 1.6 miles
Note: Stay away from the river and rocks; watch children carefully. Very dangerous. Heed signs and do not cross barriers. Most popular trail in the entire park.
Valley Shuttle Stop: 16 

Moderately Strenuous | Mist Trail to top of Vernal Fall - 3 miles
Note: This trail features approximately 600 stone steps, some up to 1 foot high. Can be slippery in spring/early summer.
Valley Shuttle Stop: 16 

Note - The Mist Trail will be undergoing trail work the summer and fall of 2023.

Beginning July 10, the stair section of the Mist Trail will be closed Mondays through Thursdays between 7 am and 3:30 pm. The closure extends from the John Muir Trail junction (just uphill from the Vernal Fall footbridge) to the top of Vernal Fall. This section is scheduled to be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On most days it will be accessible before 7 am and after 3:30 pm, though there may be some nights when the trail must remain closed. 

A portion of the John Muir Trail from Clark Point to Panorama Trail junction, which was previously closed due to damage from the winter, has reopened. Though open, this section remains hazardous. Please exercise caution and stay behind safety barriers when using this part of the trail.

During the Mist Trail section closure, a journey to Nevada Fall will look like this:

  • Begin at the Happy Isles trailhead.
  • Hike a mile up to reach the Vernal Fall footbridge.
  • Soon after the footbridge, you will reach a junction. Head up the John Muir Trail to Clark Point.
  • After reaching Clark Point, you can continue on the John Muir Trail to Nevada Fall or go left to rejoin the Mist Trail. 
  • Hike down using the same route.
  • Hikers and backpackers headed to Little Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and points beyond from the trailhead at Happy Isles may hike uphill on the Mist Trail if they reach the Mist Trail/John Muir Trail junction by 7:00 am.

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Our annual Visit Yosemite | Madera County Visitors Guide can answer all your questions about visiting California's Gateway to Yosemite. From the park itself to the museums, wineries, art galleries and more throughout Madera County, our guide can help you plan the perfect vacation. Please note that we mail to the USA only, but anyone can download the guide.
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Oakhurst Visitor Center, 40343 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
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