To say that the Yosemite Valley is a beautiful destination is an understatement of the century. Yosemite Valley is a picturesque freak of nature. It has the scenery, the diversity, the mountains, the valley, green landscape, and almost everything else that defines a magical landscape. There are few places that can match the scenery that Yosemite Valley has on offer.
However, for hikers, its most impressive offering is the number and variety of hiking trails that it has. The 7 miles long and less than a mile wide park has numerous hiking trails to try out. Importantly, each and every trail is unique in its own way. Therefore, no two hiking trials offer the same experience.
Herein are some of the best, and indeed, some of the most popular Yosemite hiking trails.
#1. Cathedral Lakes Trail – This is a good trail to try out. Its difficulty level is rated as moderate, making it a good trails for family hiking with kids. You can opt to hike lower and upper cathedral lakes for a round trip of 8 miles. However, when you choose to hike around both lakes, you add another mile to the round trip. Nonetheless, regardless of your choice, you will have a stellar view of the Cathedral Peak.
Hiking along these trail consists of a steep climb, climbing a 1,000ft elevation all within the first mile. Thereafter, the elevation and, therefore, the difficulty level is tapers for a moderately difficult level.
#2. Rancheria Falls Trail – The Rancheria falls hiking trail has been classified as moderate hiking trail with a round-trip distance of 13.4 miles. Starting at O’Shaughnessy Dam, hikers are rewarded with beautiful scenery all through the hike. And even though the trail is classified as a moderately difficult hiking trail, it still does have plenty of ups and downs, especially between Wapama Falls and the final destination that is Rancheria Falls. In a nutshell, it is a rewarding hiking trail to try out.
#3. Yosemite Falls Trail – The Yosemite Fall trails is a 7.2 mile at the shortest distance, or 8.4 miles at the longest distance round-trip hiking trail. With a 2,600ft or 2,9000ft elevation gain, this trail is classified as difficult hiking trails. And indeed it is. The oldest hiking trail in the park – built between 1873 and 1877 – ascends to Yosemite Point. As such, hikers are rewarded with the best view of the tallest waterfall in the country. Furthermore, the entire trials are immersed in picturesque views.
#4. Pohono Trail – This is another difficult but rewarding hiking trial. The Pohono trail is a 13.8 mile, one-way hiking trial usually taken from Glacier Point or Tunnel View down. Best taken during spring and summer, hikers are rewarded with some of the best views around the Yosemite Valley. On this trail, you will have spectacular views of El Cap, Crocker Point, Dewey, Bridalveil Falls, Stanford Point, and much more.
#5. Four Mile Trail – This is a 9.6- mile round-trip classified as difficult. The trials will take you from the Sentinel Rock to the Glacier Point viewpoint and then back again. However, it is the 3,200ft elevation change that makes the trial difficult. Over the course of the hike, hikers have spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and much more.
Other stellar Yosemite hiking trails include Panorama Trail, Wapana Fall trail, Hite Cove trail, Taft and Sentinel Dome trail, and McGurk Meadow Trail.