Best Hikes in Yosemite. The starting point is in the exact same location as Sentinel Dome, so if you are up for a back-to-back hike, definitely hike Taft Point. From a distance, Sentinel Dome looks like a climb for advanced hikers but don’t let the looks of it fool you. Following is more info about our picks for the top 2 best family hikes in Yosemite National Park. We had to rush through this hike so that we wouldn’t miss the sunset so if we had to do it all over again, we’d definitely give ourselves more time to stroll through it. It takes about 6-8 hours to complete. It’s also one of the best fall hikes in Yosemite for a variety of fitness levels because you can go as far as you want from a 1.6 mile roundtrip hike just around the base of the falls, to a heart-pumping 2.4 mile roundtrip with a large elevation gain to the top of Vernal Fall. From the Sentinel Bridge, you can get a perfect reflection view of Half dome, which is one of the most popular rock formation and best hikes in Yosemite, in the Merced River. Then drive on to Glacier Point for views. The views of this waterfall are … Overall, we enjoyed all of our hikes and are glad they were all relatively easy for everyone in our group. We're sisters with a passion for travel and fashion. In short, it’s the perfect time to go hiking in Yosemite. IN COORDINATION WITH PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES, YOSEMITE IS ONLY OPEN FROM 8 AM TO 5 PM DAILY. The Grizzly Giant is the oldest tree in the Mariposa Grove and is recorded to be between 1900-2400 years old. Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point. We definitely weren’t prepared mentally or physically for the advanced hike and opted for the shorter easier one. The reward for a relatively easy hike was absolutely amazing. We saw some people wearing skirts and normal attire as opposed to hiking clothes and this is completely fine if you don’t plan on climbing any rocks like we did. This trail climbs alongside Vernal Fall on long, stone staircases. Escape the Southern California heat and the hustle and bustle of big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to make the brief drive to Yosemite to experience some of the best fall hikes in California. This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. Cindy Barks. Crystal taking a photo of our friend in the distance. This hike presents a few “choose your own challenge” options depending on your level of desire for a strenuous hike. The USA is a hiker’s dream country for many reasons. Hike to both lower and upper Cathedral Lake and bring mosquito repellent in the summer! Waterwheel is a long way for a day hike, but Glen Aulin is a nice turnaround point, and you will pass several falls on the way. This hike was more of a leisurely stroll through nature. This great option for hiking in fall in Yosemite is open as long as the road to Tioga Pass is open (generally through mid-October). So with this in mind, which hikes would you recommend? The Yosemite Facebook page actually just had a poll for the best hikes. Can anyone recommend the best hikes in the area during this time of the year? The best hikes in Yosemite will take you to scenic vistas, the tops of waterfalls, and through the iconic valley. The autumnal weather among the trees make it one of the best fall hikes in Yosemite. Yosemite National Park is one of the best National Parks on earth. From Hidden Gems to Fashion Trends! Soda Springs And Parsons Lodge Trail. The Mist Trail. We both love visiting national parks and many of them require some minimal hiking if you want to witness waterfalls or epic views. When hiking Yosemite National Park you can go from a lush valley beneath enormous cliffs, to a stroll beneath 100 foot waterfalls, and end the day with a walk along those very cliffs you hiked beneath! The phone light was fine but it would have been a lot easier (and safer) to have a headlamp as it was pitch dark. Our top priority was to hike Half Dome, but unfortunately, we did not win the lottery and were not awarded a permit. If you only have time for one hike in Yosemite, this is definitely the one to do. When we approached the Fallen Monarch we kept calling it the Game of Thrones tree. Ever since we visited Sequoia National Park, we fell in love with these giant trees so we wanted to see them again in Yosemite. Since the flow of water was low, we were able to climb around the rocks where there would be water in the spring. From snowshoeing to wine-tasting, the Yosemite Mariposa County area has you covered. Yosemite Falls might be just a gossamer spray or even a dry wall in September. Everyone knows about the Mist Trail and John Muir Trail, but a few lesser-known areas in Yosemite National Park offer something special when hiking in fall. Follow our adventures as we discover hidden gems, amazing landscapes or cute things to do in Japan. If you really want a challenge push all the way to Nevada Fall, a strenuous but rewarding 5.4 mile roundtrip hike. Start at the Happy Isles trailhead (shuttle stop #16). Lower Yosemite Falls Yosemite in autumn is most notable for the absence of two things: raging waterfalls and raging crowds. This trail is a 2.5 mile jaunt along a paved road to a little grove of beautiful giant … If you are traveling with a pup, this trail permits dogs on leash. Crystal snapping some shots of Bridalveil Fall, A little rock climbing to get closer to Bridalveil Fall. We'll be staying at Housekeeping. The Grizzly Giant was massive and it is among the thirty largest giant sequoias in the world. We began at the Mariposa Grove arrival area and started our trek on Mariposa Grove Trail. This was our first hike in the park and it was a very easy one if you take the painless route. You’ll likely still be able to enjoy some of the best trails in Yosemite. Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. There is nice swimming in the river at the base of the falls just below Glen Aulin. Here are 5 easy hikes you can do at Yosemite National Park: Glancing over the different hikes at YOsemite Falls. Most waterfalls in the park dry up by the time fall arrives but Vernal Fall rarely disappoints. This trail is also one that allows for leashed pets on the first mile, so take your furry friend along to experience one of the best fall hikes in California. You can start from multiple spots around the Valley but the official start is at Lower Yosemite Fall (follow signs for the Valley Loop Trail). All opinions are always our own. Prepare for altitude! It was around noon and the temperature was starting to pick up (90° F), so wearing something that breathes well will definitely help you stay comfortable. You can start from multiple spots around the Valley but the official start is at Lower Yosemite Fall (follow signs for the Valley Loop Trail). Answer 1 of 5: Hello, I'll be visiting Yosemite a week after Labor Day. When you are in the valley, don’t forget to go for a walk through the wooden pathways and take a dip in the Merced River during the summer. The park is always busy. The waterfall wasn’t thunderous like it is during the spring so the impact of the waterfall wasn’t as prominent. To make the most out of your trip, pack a pair of hard-soled, waterproof and breathable hiking boots. We’ve got you covered. The hiking in Yosemite is world-class, and many trails are still open in Hetch Hetchy and Wawona. Beyond iconic hikes like Half Dome, innumerable, lesser-known spots like Clouds Rest will completely recalibrate your natural-beauty meter. Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias’ shuttle bus runs through the middle of November most years, and there are wonderful choices for hiking in the grove. Pin. A little scary standing close to the edge, so laying down felt more secure. For more information on all of Yosemite National Park and Mariposa County’s gorgeous hiking trails, click here. These are the best places for kid-friendly hiking trails in Yosemite National Park: Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The largest one is actually in Sequoia National Park and it’s named the General Sherman. A lifestyle blog about two sisters who love to travel and mix in fashion, beauty, pet-friendly destinations and more. Lower Yosemite … Our picks for the top 2 family hikes in Yosemite Mist Trail. Check out the links below. The tallest waterfall in the continental North America, Upper Yosemite Falls is one of Yosemite best hikes! Day 1: Hiking Upper Yosemite Falls & Yosemite Point. In Tuolumne Meadows, meanwhile, September brings crisp days and freezing nights. Last September we stayed a couple nights in Yosemite and did the Mist Trail - it was fantastic. It was a nice walk and we were surrounded by trees that helped keep us cool. Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. See more hiking trails for kids in Yosemite National Park on Tripadvisor. Tuolumne Meadows. The top three were Mist Trail, Yosemite Falls and Clouds Rest. The Best Time. Check out our top 5 Fall hikes in Yosemite and book your adventure today! She was right and it actually was a fairly easy climb. Of course, this doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen, so only take this risk if you are ready to take on the consequences. It is important to note that summer is really hot in Yosemite, especially when the trail is unshaded. Both are fairly easy and short but offer amazing views. There are several trail options from easy to strenuous and we opted for the moderate hike. After you park, you need to get in line for the shuttle that takes you to the entrance of the trail. HOW TO HIKE HALF DOME: Get professional advice on hiking to … 1. Trails vary in distance and difficulty, so there is something for all ages and levels of experience. Of course, we ended up taking a wrong turn but luckily one of us realized something looked different before we went too far off the path. We recommend taking a short bathroom break here as well since there won’t be a bathroom once you get back on the trail. Easy hikes to us mean it’s under three miles and has little to no climbing. We were wearing shoes with a good grip, so it helped with the slippery rocks, but we were being very cautious because one slip could end up in a very bad situation. While some of Yosemite’s best-known hikes should be attempted only by the extremely fit and adventurous, plenty of easy and moderate trails are available as well, offering stellar views and wonderful experiences. We probably had a fifteen-minute setback for not paying attention to our surroundings. Once the sun went down, we began our trek back in the dark. This is one hike we would definitely do over and over again. BEST YOSEMITE HIKES: Check out our list of recommended hikes to do in Yosemite. But if pressed, I’d venture that Yosemite in September deserves number one. How Difficult is Mist Trail at Yosemite for the Average Person? Many of the popular trails scramble around granite rockfall and waterfalls which can be hard on the feet and tricky to manuever. From short, easy walks to the waterfalls and viewpoints, to epic, all day hikes, there is no better way to explore Yosemite than on your own two feet. Take shuttle stop #17 to enjoy this hike or you can even rent a bike and ride it almost to the very end of the trail where there are bike racks. Yosemite National Park has a hiking trail for everyone. Cross country skiing on winter’s blanket of snow is one of the best ways to explore the Yosemite high country during the winter. We aren’t avid hikers nor do we go to the gym religiously. Yosemite is great year-round, but summer between May - September is the most accessible time of year.Two main roads in the park, Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road, typically don’t open until May/June (see this link for historical opening dates).. This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you if you click on one of the product links, we may earn a commission. Whether you’re new to hiking, or you are trekking with little ones or grandparents, or just want to ease into the grandeur of this intimidating park, these are the best easy hikes we recommend. Here are 5 easy hikes you can do at Yosemite National Park: 1. The trail has a few scrambling rocks and some narrow passages, but nothing too difficult. it’s a live Sequoia where you can walk straight through the tree. We highly recommend scheduling your longest hike on your first full day! Sentinel Dome is a granite dome and the trail is 2.2 miles (round trip) with an easy comfortable path. As a result, September is one of the best months for hiking and rock climbing in Yosemite Valley. The Taft Point - Pohono Trail - Sentinel Dome loop I suggested really only has elevation gain when you scramble up the dome. 5. Best Difficult Hikes in Yosemite - If a trail was over 7 miles long OR over 2,500 feet of total elevation gain, I rated this hike as “difficult” 2. We’re not sure if we should really list this as a hike as it was a super short trail. There are literally hundreds of thousands of hiking trails in America; every state has a seemingly endless variety of amazing routes to discover, so you can imagine how difficult it is to narrow down a list to the 25 best hikes in the US.. Wanting to get in a few hikes and see the sights. Answer 1 of 4: Hello, I'm going to Yosemite for the first time next weekend. However, September is a good month for hiking in the high Sierra country of Yosemite, as it will still be warm and dry in the daytime. We also recommend doing this hike to reach the end at sunset. The hiking in Yosemite is world-class, and it is ideal in September since most of the trails have opened and the weather is near-perfect. Those famous Yosemite Valley crowds start thinning out after Labor Day and don't recover again until the following May. Yosemite's domes and peaks are made of granite. The trees provided much-needed shade and the earthy smell had a calming effect. After we had some fun jumping around on the rocks, we continued the rest of the hike, that goes in a loop, and the entire walk was pretty flat. The paved hike starts at the parking lot and from there the hike is only half a mile round trip. Services shut down on Tioga Road by the end of September, and the road closes for winter after the first heavy snow (generally between mid-October and mid-November). Mostly flat, but covering more than 11 miles if you do the full loop, the Valley Loop trail offers a moderate fall hike in Yosemite that brings you past Lower Yosemite Fall, Three Brothers Rock formation, past Camp 4 and onto El Capitan. Is it just us or do you see the resemblance too? Hi!We're sisters who are half Japanese and half American and we love to travel the world in style! The Taft Point trail takes you into a canopy of trees which was the complete opposite from our hike to Sentinel Dome. An easy two-mile roundtrip fall hike in Yosemite brings you to Mirror Lake, which regardless of whether there is water in the little lake or not, provides a beautiful view of Mount Watkins and a vision of Half Dome from directly below. If we had to omit one hike, we’d probably skip Bridalveil Fall only because we weren’t there during peak season. We were in a bit of a rush on this hike, since we wanted to make sure we made it to the giant fissures and mile-high granite rock before the sun began to set. We enjoyed some relaxing time sitting on the rocks and was able to get a little bit closer to view Bridalveil Fall. Taft Point was by far our favorite hike. Yosemite Hikes Home » Yosemite in Autumn. Parking for Mariposa Grove is at the south entrance and although there are 300 parking spaces, they fill up by late morning so definitely arrive early to snag a spot. We saw a lot of rainbows on this trail. I'm looking for hikes 1-4 miles. I know it will be relatively dry there at this time, but which hikes would be best to see waterfalls? Not only are the views breathtaking, but the colors of the sunset are spectacular. TOP WINTER HIKES IN YOSEMITE: Winter is a spectacular but unique season – learn the best hikes to do in the snowy months. Climbing around on the rocks is not part of the path so if you do this, please be cautious. Cathedral Lakes, High Yosemite; 8 miles: While many of the best hikes in Yosemite are at the bottom or top (or both) of Yosemite Valley, Cathedral Lakes is in high Yosemite, though arguably just as beautiful. We’re not in the best shape to attempt hours of rigorous hiking. Once we reached the top of the dome, there was plenty of space to walk around and get different views of Yosemite Valley. It’s a massive tree and definitely worth a visit if you have never seen a giant sequoia tree. Sturdy Boots for Hiking on Granite. Take a headlamp and picnic dinner to enjoy the sunset, as it occurs slightly earlier while hiking in fall, and the fall colors can’t be missed. Trail sign at start of Mist Trail . Re: Best Yosemite Hikes in September. Explore what’s possible. Answer 1 of 8: I realize that the falls are dry in September. If this is your first (and possibly only) visit to Yosemite, I would favor June. But still, try to visit mid-week and not on weekends. Sisters Who Have A Passion For Travel & Fashion. Most, … It is a fantastic year-round hike as well. The best time of year to see waterfalls is May-June, but the best time to hike the suggestions below are between June-September. We were with a group and we were all chatting and having a great time, so we weren’t really paying attention to where we were going. Want to know where we stayed and what we packed for Yosemite? Another thing we highly recommend is doing the Taft Point hike for sunset. When you head back down, make sure to pay close attention to your path. The final approach to the hike was downhill with a rocky surface so it was a bit tricky to hurtle through this section. When to Go. climbing around on the rocks at Yosemite Falls. It was an easy hike and it also rewarded us with grand views at the end. Instead, Kevin and I decided to hike Upper Yosemite Falls. You’ll find the trailhead at the Tuolumne Grove parking lot just past Crane Flat. Luckily in Yosemite, there were plenty of comfortable hiking options for us that still offered breathtaking views. We’re not in the best shape to attempt hours of rigorous hiking. Mariposa Grove went through a massive restoration and recently reopened last summer (June 2018). Read our full disclosure for more info. This hike, one we will long remember, has a few route options that allow you to scale the hike to your abilities. ©2020 Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, Yosemite Itineraries: What to Do in Yosemite. The trail will take you through notable trees like the Fallen Monarch, the Bachelor, the Three Graces and then the famous 3,000-year-old Grizzly Giant. This restoration was to improve the giant sequoia’s habitat and the visitor’s experience. It takes about 6-8 hours to complete. There are other paths for experienced hikers, but that route would have taken an entire day. Right after our Sentinel Dome hike, we headed straight into our 2.2 miles (round trip) hike for Taft Point. Discover things to do in Yosemite in winter with this handy build-your-own itinerary guide. We love to share our tips on hidden gems and the latest fashion trends. If you don't mind the former, you'll certainly appreciate the latter. The Mist Trail is one of Yosemite’s popular hiking trails. Fall rarely disappoints hikes and are glad they were all relatively easy hike opted... 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