Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park
> Trails
> Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

Spectacular Yosemite Valley is seven miles long, surrounded by sheer cliffs and magnificent waterfalls. The Merced River, which flows along the valley floor, was designated a Wild and Scenic River in 1987. Read More

  • The famous Tunnel View is on the California state quarter 
  • Cloud's Rest, at an elevation of 9926 feet, is the highest point around Yosemite Valley 
  • Rangers conduct a 2-hour Yosemite Valley Floor Tour year round 
  • In the summer, take a 2-hour horseback ride to Mirror Lake


Yosemite Valley is forested, with wildflowers in season and great views of Yosemite's famous landmarks, such as El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Rockfall events contributed to many of the landscape features, such as Royal Arches and Half Dome. The Valley Floor Loop offers half-loop and full-loop hikes, following the path of wagon trails through the valley. The valley is home to the Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village, Yosemite Lodge, the Yosemite Visitor’s Center and numerous campgrounds.


The Valley Floor Loop begins at Lower Yosemite Falls Trailhead, shuttle stop #6.


  • Full loop: 13 mile; 5 to 7 hours 
  • Half loop: 6.5 miles; 2.5 to 3.5 hours 
  • Elevation gain: flat 
  • Difficulty: moderate 
  • Trail type: loop 
  • Trailhead: Lower Yosemite Falls Trailhead

Plan & Prepare

Bears frequent the area, be sure to store food properly. There is occasional difficulty with trail location, so check with the visitor's center in Yosemite Village for up-to-date information. Bring water. Snowy or icy in winter.