Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail

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Very Easy
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.2 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
24 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Hiking the Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail makes for an awesome day in Yosemite Valley. Family-friendly, easy-going, and incredibly scenic, this is a great option for those seeking a relaxing saunter outdoors. Wander through the meadowlands which expose breathtaking views of the dramatic landscape.

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Route Description for Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail

The Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail is a lovely adventure in Yosemite Valley that exhibits breathtaking views of the National Park’s legendary landmarks, such as Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, El Capitan, and more. As you wander through mixed pine forest and meadowlands you will be granted impressive scenery. As the path weaves between tree shade and exposed meadowlands, we suggest wearing sun protection and packing water to beat the effects of sun exposure! Note: the park charges an entrance fee, so make sure to refer to the NPS website for more information regarding pricing.

Embark on your adventure along the Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail from the Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead. Setting out from here, take the rightmost trail signposted as the Bike Path. Wander east and revel in the views of the looming cliffs that bound the valley. Soon you will be redirected south over Northside Drive and the Merced River. Again hiking to the east, you will reach an intersection and veer left onto Sentinel Trail, following it north through the lush meadow. Admire the sights of El Capitan near the trail’s end and turn left to get back onto the Bike Path.

At the next junction, turn right and you will be diverted onto Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. Wander north through the meadow before entering a pine forest. Soon you will be overwhelmed with sights of Yosemite Falls cascading above. Follow this path past the waterfall and back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.

Getting to the Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail Trailhead

The Cook’s Meadow Loop Hike departs from the Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead off Northside Drive.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


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  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


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Cook’s Meadow Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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