5 Best Yosemite Hikes For Beginners

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Introduction: What Are The Best Yosemite Hikes For Beginners?

Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks in the United States. The best Yosemite hikes for beginners include some of the best hikes in California. The hikes also have some of the best views in California.

The park is a popular destination for tourists from all around the world. Locals who want to explore nature and escape from their busy lives also love visiting the park.

Directions From Fresno, CA

Yosemite’s History

Yosemite National Park is located in the western Sierra Nevada of California. The park has a rich and fascinating history. The area that now encompasses the park was inhabited for thousands of years by Native American tribes.

The tribes lived in harmony with their land. They used the land’s resources for their families. They also had a deep spiritual bond with the nature around them.

In the mid 19th century, European American explorers and settlers began to enter the Yosemite Valley. Their writings and paintings helped make Yosemite’s natural wonders popular. They also helped attract more visitors to the region.

The pioneers were captivated by the landscape’s awesome beauty. The landscape had towering granite cliffs, lush forests, and magnificent waterfalls.

Yosemite Climate & Ecosystem

The park has a Mediterranean climate. Yosemite has hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. The climate has a wide range of temperatures that depend on the season and elevation.

The diverse ecosystem in Yosemite includes alpine meadows, subalpine forests, and giant sequoia groves. The park has a variety of plant and animal species too. The park has over 400 kinds of animals and thousands of plants!

How Yosemite was created

Yosemite National Park was established by the efforts of people such as John Muir and Galen Clark. Clark and Muir saw the need to keep the area’s natural beauty and ecology. They both fought for the area’s protection.

Their work included the support of major figures like President Abraham Lincoln. Their efforts first led first to the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove becoming a state park in 1864.

The legal process for Yosemite to become a national park involved more acts of Congress.

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the law to create Yosemite National Park. The new law expanded the protected area beyond edges of the state park.

The law made Yosemite one of the first United Sates national parks. As a national park, the land was preserved for future generations.

Several U.S. presidents played major roles in establishing and developing Yosemite. One of the presidents was Theodore Roosevelt who loved and protected nature.

President Roosevelt visited the park in 1903. The president went camping with John Muir. Muir created the park system and started the Sierra Club.

While camping with Muir, the president made a pledge to preserve America’s natural landscapes. President Roosevelt signed the law transferring Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove back to federal control.

Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter helped expand the park and protect the park’s wilderness too.

Visiting Yosemite

Yosemite National Park attracts millions of visitors each year. The park averages around 4 million visitors a year. The number of visitors varies depending on the season.

Most visitors come during the milder summer months. It is easier to access the park at that time of the year. The best time to visit Yosemite also depends on your preferences and what you want to do in the park.

Spring is popular. Spring has beautiful waterfalls as the melting snow makes awesome cascades. Summer has pleasant hiking and camping weather.

Autumn has breathtaking fall leaves. Winter makes the park a winter wonderland, with opportunities for snowshoeing and skiing.

Yosemite’s most popular attractions include landmarks like:

  • Yosemite Valley – nine square miles of high clifs, waterfalls, lush meadows, and forest
  • Half Dome – one of the best known rocks in the park
  • El Capitan – three thousand feet of rock
  • Glacier Point – spectacular park view

Visitors can also explore the Mariposa Grove. The grove has some of the world’s largest and oldest living trees, giant sequoias.

Consider an America Is Beautiful parks pass. If you like to visit our national parks, the pass quickly pays for itself.

For more information about hiking in the park, look at AllTrails. The app has lots of useful hiking information.

The Best Yosemite Hikes For Beginners Include:

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail


For an easy hike with a great waterfall view, take this hike! With just a littlehiking effort, you see the park’s highest fall, the spectacular Lower Yosemite Falls. You can also connect with the Cooks Meadows Trail for a longer hike and more great views.

best yosemite hikes
(Credit: Michael & Diane Weidner on Unsplash)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 57 feet
  • Dogs: No

Mirror Lake Trail – Best Yosemite Hikes


This is a terrific trail with amazing views. The trail is often underwater when snow melts in the spring. If you want to avoid the water, hike the trail as an in and out. You still see the views.

(Credit: “Mike” Michael L. BairdCC BY 2.0,
via Wikimedia Commons)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 301 feet
  • Dogs: No

Mist Trail


The Mist Trail is a little challenging. The trail rewards hikers with breathtaking views of Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall though. Be prepared to get wet when you hike here! You might want a raincoat or poncho and a change of socks.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Hard but manageable for beginners, worth it too
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Distance: 6.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,208 feet
  • Dogs: No

Valley Loop Trail – Best Yosemite Hikes


As you hike the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail, you’ll see the park’s natural wonders. Enjoy breathtaking views, diverse wildlife, and immerse yourself in Yosemite’s unspoiled wilderness.

Very long, but easy, be prepared for an all day hike. The trail is easy. The trail’s length is what’s hard.

(Credit: nps.gov)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy but very long
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Distance: 20.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,286 feet
  • Dogs: No

Vernal Fall Trail


Enjoy amazing views and spectacular waterfalls. A popular trail, be ready for other hikers.

best yosemite hikes
(Credit: Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0,
via Wikimedia Commons)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Hard but short
  • Trail Type: Out & back
  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,131 feet
  • Dogs: No

Summary – Best Yosemite Hikes

Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for hikers of all levels. The best Yosemite hikes are perfect for beginners.

The park offers many hiking trails, rock climbing opportunities, and scenic drives. All of the activities let visitors enjoy the park’s awesome beauty.

Hiking the best Yosemite hikes allows you to see some of the most stunning views of the park. The hikes also provide a fun hike.

Consider an America Is Beautiful parks pass. If you like to visit our national parks, the pass quickly pays for itself.

For more information about hiking in the park, look at AllTrails. The app has lots of useful hiking information.

Amazon has affordable, useful, durable hiking gear. If you need gear, take a look at some of what the gear they offer.

(Featured Image Credit:
Embee on pixabay.com)

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