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Mirror Lake Loop

 4.0 (47)


4.7 Miles 7.6 Kilometers

290' 88 m


-289' -88 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (4°)

4,160' 1,268 m


3,997' 1,218 m


Shared By Brian Smith


All Clear 4 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

A beautiful loop through Tenaya Canyon.

Brian Smith

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly The perfect loop for an afternoon on the trails with the kids. The trail itself is fairly flat and easy, and the views won't disappoint!

This trail is open year-round. In winter, it can be icy and snowy, especially along the south side of Tenaya Creek.

Leashed pets, bicycles, and strollers are allowed on the first paved mile of the trail. Beyond that, they are prohibited.


With a fresh perspective looking up at Half Dome directly from its base, you'll be rewarded with views of Tenaya Canyon, Mount Watkins, Washington Column, and more.

Need to Know

The Valley Visitor Shuttle (7 am to 10 pm year-round) serves the trailhead at shuttle stop #17. You can also bicycle the first mile of the trail to the end of the paved service road. From there, you can either turn around or park your bike and begin your hike.

Stay on the trail! This is especially important during spring and early summer when water levels are highest. When hiking on the south side of the loop, hikers often spot what appears to be an easy way to rock-hop across Tenaya Creek, either just for fun, or as a way to shortcut the loop and rejoin the trail without doing the entire loop. While this crossing is only ankle deep at first, it quickly becomes thigh deep, and, all too often, hikers are swept into dangerous whitewater and pinned against rocks. Dont be tempted to leave the trail, and always remember when approaching moving water to look at the conditions downstream.


This trail begins at shuttle stop #17. The first mile of this trail is a paved service road that leads directly to Mirror Lake. You may access the loop trail from the end of the paved path. The loop follows Tenaya Creek beyond the lake, and crosses two bridges after the Snow Creek Trail junction before returning past Mirror Lake on the south side of Tenaya Canyon. (There is no safe access to the north side of Mirror Lake directly from the south side of the loop, except via bridges at the west and east ends of the trail).

Mirror Lake has little water much of the year and, while pleasant at any time of year, it is fullest in spring and early summer, when Tenaya Creek flows freely with fresh snowmelt. When water is calm, the lake offers beautiful reflections of surrounding cliffs. Exhibits along the trail tell the story of Mirror Lake's lake-to-meadow succession, and also highlight some of the cultural history of the area. Mirror Lake is often referred to as Mirror Meadow in late summer due to the lack of water and the influx of grasses and sandy areas.


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Your Check-Ins


Nov 11, 2018
Jon De Los Santos
Note the lake-bed is dry, but it has great views of the surrounding mountains.
Nov 8, 2018
Stephanie Elizabeth
Nov 1, 2018
Idalís Dmgz
lake dry
Oct 29, 2018
Swagath Manda
Oct 20, 2018
Zach Nadler
Oct 15, 2018
Caro Toulousaine
Oct 7, 2018
Dustin Kunze
Oct 6, 2018
m c

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 47 votes


  4.0 from 47 votes
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in California


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2,122 Since May 7, 2015
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