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Cook's Meadow Loop

  4.3 ( 8 ) Favorite


1.2 mile 1.9 kilometer loop


Ascent: 31' 9 m
Descent: -30' -9 m
High: 3,992' 1,217 m
Low: 3,961' 1,207 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)


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Trail shared by Brian Smith

Hike through the heart of it all!

Brian Smith

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.


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).


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).

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Sep 25, 2019
Raphael Aiello
Aug 14, 2019
Kari Powell
Jun 24, 2019
Jee Choi
May 16, 2019
Ch S
May 8, 2019
Roxanne Benjamin
Apr 10, 2019
Evan Pederson
Oct 20, 2018
Zach Nadler
Oct 16, 2018
Darrin B

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 8 votes


  4.3 from 8 votes
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in California


81 Views Last Month
2,550 Since May 7, 2015



Yosemite Falls from Cook's Meadow
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Half Dome after the storm subsides.
Apr 11, 2016 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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