Valley Loop Trail
ElevationAscent: 869' 265 m
Descent: -868' -265 m
High: 4,150' 1,265 m
Low: 3,875' 1,181 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
Current trail conditions
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“A nearly 20 mile trail forming a loop around Yosemite Valley.”— Brian Smith
From the Lower Yosemite Fall area, head west along the base of the Three Brothers rock formation, past Camp 4, eventually working your way through Yosemite Valley to El Capitan. If you are planning to hike the half loop, cross the Merced River at El Capitan Bridge and continue by heading east back toward Yosemite Village. If you are planning to hike the full loop, continue west past El Capitan toward Bridalveil Fall. While most of the trail is flat, there are some hilly sections throughout the loop. Additionally, you'll find mixed trail surfaces: dirt, rocks, sand, and old pavement.
The Valley Loop Trail is open year-round. During spring, you may find localized flooding on the trail near creeks. During winter, the trail is often snowy and icy in places, particularly along the south side of Yosemite Valley. In these areas, use extreme caution as it may be hard to get traction on ice and route-finding may be difficult in snowy areas (the trail may be completely obscured by just a few inches of snow).
Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite