Day Hiking in Yosemite National Park


Yosemite National Park is an impressive collection of massive trees, massive waterfalls, and massive cliff faces. The famous Yosemite Valley is lined with steep cliff faces with famous names such as Half Dome and El Capitan towering above. Waterfalls crash to the valley floor from these great heights.

It’s also home to the Giant Sequoias which dwarf Yosemite’s collection of huge Douglass Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Sugar Pine. In the High Sierra to the north, a unique landscape of alpine meadows and jagged peaks are a delight.

There are trails that take you to all of these wonderful, natural spectacles. Below are 78 day hikes that I’ve identified and ranked for my Day Hikes of Yosemite National Park Map Guide.

The ranking is my recommendation based upon what I feel gives you the most “bang for your buck” starting with the iconic hike up to the top of Half Dome. Click each trail name to learn more about the hike. All of this information and more is included in the Day Hikes of Yosemite National Park Map Guide. It’s the best map for day hiking in Yosemite that cuts through the clutter of all of the options. It includes distances between junctions, color coded trail segments denoting slope steepness, and much more on one side and a guide on the back of the map. Pick one up to take with you on the trail!

Areas are as follows:

  • Crane Flat
  • Glacier Point
  • Hetch Hetchy
  • Tioga Road
  • Tuolumne Meadows
  • Yosemite Valley
  • Wawona

Click on table headers to sort by those columns!

Rank Name Distance Group Area
1 Half Dome 15+ Yosemite Valley
2 Glacier Point 0-5 Glacier Point
3 Lower Yosemite Fall 0-5 Yosemite Valley
4 Nevada Fall Loop 5-10 Yosemite Valley
5 Yosemite Falls 5-10 Yosemite Valley
6 Four Mile and Panorama 10-15 Yosemite Valley
7 Bridalveil Fall 0-5 Yosemite Valley
8 Upper & Lower Mariposa 10-15 Wawona
9 Clouds Rest 10-15 Tioga Road
10 Panorama Trail 5-10 Glacier Point
11 Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Loop 5-10 Glacier Point
12 North Dome 5-10 Tioga Road
13 Cathedral Lakes 5-10 Tuolumne Meadows
14 Waterwheel Falls 15+ Tuolumne Meadows
15 Vogelsang High Sierra Camp 10-15 Tuolumne Meadows
16 Mount Hoffman 5-10 Tioga Road
17 Vernal Fall 0-5 Yosemite Valley
18 Four Mile Trail 0-5 Glacier Point
19 Ostrander Lake 10-15 Glacier Point
20 Lembert Dome 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
21 Pothole Dome 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
22 Gaylor Lakes 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
23 Wapama Falls 0-5 Hetch Hetchy
24 Glen Aulin 10-15 Tuolumne Meadows
25 Ten Lakes 10-15 Tioga Road
26 Lower Mariposa Grove 0-5 Wawona
27 May Lake 0-5 Tioga Road
28 Mono Pass 5-10 Tuolumne Meadows
29 Elizabeth Lake 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
30 Lukens Lake 0-5 Tioga Road
31 Stanford Point 10-15 Glacier Point
32 Dewey Point 5-10 Glacier Point
33 Sentinel Dome 0-5 Glacier Point
34 Olmsted Point 0-5 Tioga Road
35 Lower Gaylor Lake 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
36 Chilnualna Falls 5-10 Wawona
37 Taft Point & The Fissures 0-5 Glacier Point
38 Rancheria Falls 10-15 Hetch Hetchy
39 Spillway Lake 5-10 Tuolumne Meadows
40 Ireland Lake 15+ Tuolumne Meadows
41 Lyell Canyon – Short 5-10 Tuolumne Meadows
41 Lyell Canyon 15+ Tuolumne Meadows
42 Dog Lake 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
43 Grant Lakes 10-15 Tioga Road
44 El Capitan 15+ Tioga Road
45 Sunrise Lakes 5-10 Tioga Road
46 Soda Springs 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
47 Mirror Lake Loop 0-5 Yosemite Valley
48 Pohono Trail 10-15 Glacier Point
49 Young Lakes 10-15 Tuolumne Meadows
50 Twin Bridges of Lyell Fork 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
51 Smith Peak 10-15 Hetch Hetchy
52 Mirror Lake 0-5 Yosemite Valley
53 Tenaya Lake 0-5 Tuolumne Meadows
54 Cook’s Meadow Loop 0-5 Yosemite Valley
55 Illilouette Fall 5-10 Glacier Point
56 Carlon Falls 0-5 Crane Flat
57 Merced Grove 0-5 Crane Flat
58 Mount Starr King View 0-5 Glacier Point
59 Tuolumne Grove 0-5 Crane Flat
60 Kibbie Lake 10-15 Hetch Hetchy
61 Lookout Point 0-5 Hetch Hetchy
62 Foresta Falls 0-5 Crane Flat
63 Snow Creek Trail 5-10 Yosemite Valley
64 Inspiration Point 0-5 Yosemite Valley
65 Valley Loop Trail – Half Loop 5-10 Yosemite Valley
66 Valley Loop Trail 10-15 Yosemite Valley
67 Polly Dome Lakes 5-10 Tioga Road
68 Swinging Bridge 0-5 Wawona
69 McGurk Meadow 0-5 Glacier Point
70 Poopenaut Valley 0-5 Hetch Hetchy
71 Crane Flat Lookout 0-5 Crane Flat
72 Wawona Meadow Loop 0-5 Wawona
73 Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River 5-10 Tioga Road
74 Harden Lake 5-10 Tioga Road
75 O’Shaughnessy Dam to Tuolumne River 0-5 Hetch Hetchy
76 Falls on Alder Creek 10-15 Wawona
77 Yosemite Creek 0-5 Tioga Road
78 Cascade Creek from Tamarack CG 0-5 Tioga Road