Yosemite Valley Loop

This trail loops across the Valley floor of Yosemite National Park taking in some of it’s most famous sights whilst getting away from the crowds. This is an excellent hike for those wanting to appreciate the beauty of Yosemite without having to hike up and out of the Valley floor.

It follows many of the original wagon roads and provides the rare opportunity for the visitor to travel along a fairly level trail through meadows, past granite cliffs and near the Merced River in relative solitude.

The trail can be accessed at many points in the Valley by following signs to the Valley Loop Trail. It can be a little hard to find the route in places so it is recommended that you take a map (these can be obtained from the visitor center) as this way you will be familiar with various landforms on the trail. Parking is not available at the trailhead but it can be accessed by the free shuttle at shuttle stop #6. 

The traditional Loop begins at Yosemite Falls and travels west along the base of Three Brothers rock formation and past Camp 4. Eventually you will travel through the Valley to El Capitan. At this point for a half Loop you can then cross the Merced over El Capitan Bridge and return to the Village. For the full Loop continue from El Capitan to Bridal Veil Falls.

The Valley Loop is open year round but in spring there is a chance of localised flooding near creeks. In winter the path can be snow covered or icy so it is recommended to use caution at these times.

Restrooms are located at the trailhead near Lower Yosemite Falls. Vault toilets are also available at the Bridalveil parking area and the Swinging Bridge Picnic Area. Drinking water is not available on the trail although there is a drinking fountain at the Lower Yosemite Falls trailhead.

Please note strollers and bicycles are prohibited.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 37.718287 Longitude: -119.6599 Elevation: 3887 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
C Holman

Vertical Gain or Loss

Nearly none

Trail Distance

11.5 miles (18.5 km) full loop: 7.2 miles (11.6 km) half loop

Eco-Friendly Notes

As with all other trails please pack out any trash including fruit peels and nut shells and dispose of them in the designated areas. Please do not feed the wildlife.

Pet Friendly Notes

No pets are allowed on the Loop Trail. 

Comments

Yosemite Conservancy leads a naturalist/history hike on the west end every spring: yosemiteconservancy.org/adventures

Pete Devine, 12/30/2015

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