The Yosemite National Park has more than 800 miles of trails, that present a hiker with breathtaking beauty and complete exposure to wilderness. Some trails around the valley are easy to move across, while others are more strenuous. May to October is considered the best time to hike in Yosemite Park. Information about hike trails are readily available with Yosemite's park rangers. Featured below are some of the most impressive trails Yosemite has to offer.
Glacier Point is located at an elevation of 7,200 feet, and has some of the most beautiful views to be seen. One would require a permit to hike on the Glacier Point trail, which can be easily obtained from the Wawona or Yosemite Valley Permit Stations. The Bridalveil Creek campground is also located on the Glacier Point Road, and is available for use only from June to September. The trail stays open from mid-May to late October. Glacier Point also serves as a starting point for many other long and short hikes as well.
Tenaya Lake was created by the Tenaya branch of the Tuolumne Glacier. It is a High Sierra lake surrounded by lodgepole forests, with beaches along the eastern and western shores, that are completely surrounded by granite domes and peaks. Its crystal blue waters and easy access, because of its proximity to Tioga Road, makes Tenaya lake one of the most popular hiking trails.
Bridalveil Fall, a 189-meter fall, is the world's most photographed waterfall. The paved trail begins at the Bridalveil Fall parking area, and leads to the base of this waterfall, which flows year-round. The same trial leads back to the parking area. The best time to tread the Bridalveil Fall trail is in spring and early summer. The best spot to view this fall is the last turn before exiting the valley. Many people who have done so say they have never seen anything so beautiful and pristine in their life.
Sentinel Dome is made of granite, and is located 0.8 miles southwest of Glacier Point. The hike is an easy 2.2 miles round trip. From the dome, one has a 360-degree view of the entire Yosemite Valley. Although the trail is easy, one needs to be careful around the short, but steep foray up the side of the dome to the summit. The famous fallen Jeffrey pine is atop this dome.
Lower Mariposa Grove
Mariposa Grove is split into an upper and lower section, covering a total of 250 acres. It is home to the Grizzly Giant, which is not only the world's oldest sequoia, at 2,700 years, but also one of the world's largest living tunnel. One can actually walk through this tree! The grove is not dense, and the trees are well separated from each other, offering an open, airy hillside hiking trail.
Tuolumne Meadows is nearly two miles long, with the Tuolumne river winding through it. It is picturesque, with granite peaks and domes surrounding it. The best time to hike around this meadow is in early spring, when the grass is green and full of wildflowers. The meadow's granite domes and cliffs are a popular rock climbing destination. The cliffs have knobs, sharp fingernail edges, and gritty holds that make for an interesting climb. Some of the domes are tricky to climb, as they have smooth glacial polish smeared over them.
Yosemite has many beautiful hiking trails one can tread, and enjoy nature at its best. Hiking is the perhaps the best way to experience nature, and Yosemite National Park is nature's paradise, waiting to be explored by anyone who wants to enjoy peace and calm.