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Cook's Meadow Loop

Easy/Intermediate
 4.4 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Hike through the heart of it all!


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Map Key

1.2

Miles

1.9

KM

Lollipop

3,992' 1,217 m

High

3,961' 1,207 m

Low

31' 9 m

Up

30' 9 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

2%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly A flat, easy trail with views of all the best parts of the park!

The Cook's Meadow Trail is open year-round and is a great spot to visit no matter when you come to Yosemite as you are always rewarded with a great view. In winter, the path may be snow-covered or icy.

Do not venture out into the meadow, which causes trampling and damages the ecosystem, which is important to the many plants and animals that thrive in this fragile environment. Keep your food within arm's reach at all times and do not feed the wildlife. Carry out all waste.

Overview

Enjoy views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, and Royal Arches from the center of Yosemite Valley as you saunter through this large open meadow.

Need to Know

Water and Restrooms are not available along the trail. Drinking fountains and bathrooms are located at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, where you may choose to end or start your walk. Additionally, a water fountain is available near the Lower Yosemite Fall restrooms.

The nearest parking is located in Yosemite Village at the day use parking area. Sentinel Bridge (shuttle stop #11) also has a small parking area, which is a midway point through this walk (and could work as a starting and ending point).

Description

This short, easy trail offers stunning views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Sentinel Rock. From the visitor center, hike west along the bicycle path toward Lower Yosemite Fall. At shuttle stop #6, cross the street and follow the bike path, bearing left as the path forks. At Sentinel Bridge parking area (shuttle stop #11), hike out onto the bridge to enjoy a classic view of Half Dome before returning to the parking area. Follow the boardwalk back across the meadow, cross the two streets, and turn right to return to the visitor center.

You can just as easily hike this loop in reverse; a self-guiding brochure is available in front of the visitor center describing the trail in a clockwise direction.

This trail is wheelchair accessible (when not covered in snow).

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 11 votes

#2195

Overall
  4.4 from 11 votes
5 Star
45%
4 Star
45%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#292

in California

#2,195

Overall
16 Views Last Month
3,185 Since May 7, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

82%
0%
9%
0%
9%
0%

Photos

Half Dome after the storm subsides.
Apr 11, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Winter view of Half Dome.
Jan 20, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Half Dome over the forests of the valley
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite National Park, California
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Half Dome!
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA

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Check-Ins

Aug 12, 2021
Scott Meier
Jul 4, 2021
Reese Reider
Easy walk for some great views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. 1.2mi — 9h 00m
Jul 3, 2021
Julie Geddes
Jun 9, 2021
Justin Gorsuch
Great east trail through the middle of the valley, able to see many of the big attractions. 1mi — 0h 20m
Jun 7, 2021
Alla Gorin
Jun 4, 2021
Liliana Uribe
Apr 25, 2021
Tyler Smith
Apr 4, 2021
Sam Randolph