The 5 Best Yosemite Hiking Trails

Yosemite National Park is one of the biggest green attractions in California. Not only that, but Yosemite hikes are also one of the best experiences park visitors can engage in.

Yosemite has the best hikes for all skill levels, like trail running, hiking trails, and view trails. There are also hand-curated hiking and driving maps located in strategic locations all over the park, so you do not have to worry about getting lost.

The park caters to over 3.5 million visitors a year, and the park is well known for its iconic hikes. Moving onwards, let us now discover what made it to the list of the top Yosemite hikes.

Best Hiking Trails in Yosemite

Panorama Trail Hike

Panorama Trail Hike

This 23.5km trail is probably the best route in Yosemite. Typically, the whole trail would take you around 9 hours to complete. With a maximum elevation of 1,275 meters, this trail is not for beginners.

If you find yourself in Yosemite with only a few hours to spare, then making the Panorama trail would be the hike for you. It is probably one of the best hikes in the USA as well.,

The Panorama Trail route takes you up the famous Mist Trail. There are signs along the road, so you do not have to worry about getting lost. The path will then take you to Glacier Point then down to a 6.4km descent.

The view from the top is the gorge that showcases Nevada Falls. Nevada’s trail falls very scenic and is a great place to take a break and have a meal. The descent from Glacier Point will lead you to a lovely forest that grants you access to the Yosemite Falls’ panoramic views.

Mount Hoffman Hike

Mount Hoffman Hike

The views from the summit of Mount Hoffman is one of the most dramatic in the Yosemite valley. This trail covers around 10.5 kilometers and would typically take about 7 hours. It has an elevation of up to 630 meters, so the trail is expected to be a bit of a challenge as well.

The key to this route is to park near the end of May Lake road. This will grant you access to a clear path to May Lake. The High Sierra Camp is also located along the area, and you can pitch your tent before moving onwards to the trail.

The path up to Mount Hoffman could sometimes be challenging to locate as the signs are limited. It is even more challenging when the trail is covered in snow.

What you can do is to follow the path around the left side of May Lake. You will then ascend a small ravine and cross a few rivers. Once you reach the plateau, you will see three towers. The third tower is where you would want to be, and Mount Hoffman’s peak will be the one with the antenna at the top.

Route finding skills are needed on this trail but trust me, the effort will be worth it.

Mount Dana Trail

Mount Dana Trail

Mount Dana is Yosemite’s second-highest peak. What’s nice about this route is, it will grant you panoramic views of the park from all directions.

The hike is around 8,6 kilometers and would typically take about 6 hours to complete. The maximum elevation for this hike is 940 meters.

The key to this trail is to park along the eastern parking area along Tioga road. You then head south until you see the peak of Mount Dana. Do not worry, as the path is directly aligned with the gate.

The initial ascent is quite steep, but it is all in the shade. Typically people who climb this trail would avoid the snow as much as possible during the ascent. The same goes with the steep descents of this trail, as it can be very slippery. The closer you get to the summit, the steeper the climb is.

Once you are on the peak, I assure you the view will be amazing. You are right on the edge of the park, so you will be granted a breathtaking panorama of the whole place. There is also a shelter up on the summit for hikers to rest.

Glacier Point's Sentinel Dome

Glacier Point’s Sentinel Dome

This scenic hike is one of the easier ones in Yosemite. It has a distance of around 5 kilometers and would generally take about 2 hours. The maximum elevation is 245 meters and is perfect for quick strolls.

Sentinel Dome’s viewpoint is simply amazing. The trail is well labeled as well, so you do not need to worry about losing your route. There is a small shop located at the site that sells meals and beverages.

Clouds Rest Hike

Clouds Rest Hike

The trail to Cloud’s Rest has one of the scenic views of Yosemite. Although it is one of the difficult trails, many people come here to enjoy one of the best hikes in the area.

The route takes you on a 20-kilometer journey up 925 meters to Clouds Rest. Usually, this hike will last around 9 hours. The hike follows the trail along Tenaya Lake, and most of the route has well-marked trails.

The summit of Clouds Rest shows you a fantastic view of Yosemite Valley. Do note that the trail leading up to the summit is quite steep.


The best Yosemite hikes are the ones that lead up to the area’s mountain ridges. Not only that, Yosemite backpacking trails are quite an attraction as well since there are campgrounds located along the trail.

Yosemite usually is cold, so make sure you bring along one of the best heated jacket for men. You can also experience trekking river crossings, and the best water shoes for men could again come in handy on some hikes.

The 5 Best Yosemite Hiking Trails

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