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Spring in Yosemite

Spring is the most popular time to visit Yosemite National Park, and for good reason. The waterfalls are flowing heavily, wildflowers blooming, and the weather warming up. But even in spring, there are parts of Yosemite that aren’t accessible due to snow. So here are the hikes you can do in the spring in Yosemite National Park.

The Valley

Half Dome

Half Dome is a 14.8 mile heavily trafficked out-and-back hike to the top of Half Dome, overlooking Yosemite Valley. It’s an extremely rewarding hike but also very difficult. It’s only recommended for very experienced adventurers.

Mist Trail – To Vernal & Nevada Falls

Mist trail goes to Vernal and Nevada Falls. It is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail with an elevation gain of 2,191 feet and two beautiful waterfall destinations. Mist Trail starts at Happy Isles trailhead and is rated as difficult.

Upper Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Falls is a strenuous 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out-and-back trail. It is one of the most visited places in Yosemite National Park. This hike generally takes around 6-8 hours to complete.

Four Mile Trail

Four Mile Trail can only be accessed from the valley during the spring until Glacier Point Road opens up. So if you’re wanting to see Glacier Point but don’t want to wait for the road to open, this is how you do it. This 7.5 mile out-and-back trail is very strenuous. It is recommended to bring hiking poles. From the top, you’ll be able to see Half Dome, North Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, the Royal Arches, and Yosemite Falls. The view is worth it.

Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail

This easy hike is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that is doable for all skill levels. Mirror Lake is known for its beautiful reflections of Half Dome and wildflowers during the early summer months. This well-marked trail is surprisingly less crowded than many other trails in the valley.

Bridalveil Falls

This short hike is just a half a mile out-and-back paved trail. Dogs on leash are even allowed on this walk. Bridalveil got its name from when the wind blows, the mist looks like a veil that a bride would wear.

El Capitan Trail

This long hike of 13.3 miles is a moderately trafficked out-and-back trail from the valley. From the top, you can overlook Yosemite Valley. In spring, there is still snow on the ground so wear proper shoes and bring extra socks.


Chilnualna Falls

Chilnualna Falls Trail is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked hike located near Wawona. Not many know about this hidden gem since it’s not in Yosemite Valley. You’ll hike to the top of the waterfall gaining 2,188 feet in elevation. At the top, you see the falls and a wading pool.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trail

This trail is right inside the park from the south 41 highway entrance. The trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked loop that features beautiful wildflowers and some of the oldest sequoias in the world. The hike is rated as moderate and has an elevation gain of 1,207 feet.

Hetch Hetchy

Lookout Point Trail

Lookout Point Trail is a 2.7 mile out-and-back hike that has light traffic. This trail is known for its wildlife and wildflowers in the spring months.

Aspen Valley Trail

Aspen Valley Trail is a 13 mile trail that is rated as difficult. During the spring you can see the blooming wildflowers. It is also a great trail for bird watching.

Smith Peak Trail

Smith Peak Trail is a 12.1 mile out-and-back trail that is known for its wildflowers and bird watching. It also has some great lookout points.

Beehive Meadow Trail

Beehive Meadow Trail has incredible views of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. This 10.1 mile hike is moderately trafficked with an elevation gain of 2,814 feet.

Wapama Falls Trail

Wapama Falls Trail is a 4.6 mile out-and-back trail that features waterfalls, wildflowers, and great views of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

About Kate Harris

Kate grew up in Santa Rosa, California and attended school at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, where she studied Media Communications with an emphasis in Film Studies. She enjoys hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and reading. She currently lives in Fresno with her husband and is the Digital Marketing Manager for WorldLight Media.