Little Yosemite Valley Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
11.9 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.
731 m
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Directions to Trailhead

There is no shortage of amazing scenery along the Little Yosemite Valley Hike, that is for sure! Revel in the legendary features of Yosemite National Park, including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Nevada Falls, and more! Make sure you pack plenty of water and a charged camera for this demanding adventure.

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Route Description for Little Yosemite Valley Hike

The Little Yosemite Valley Trail exhibits the quintessential characteristics of Yosemite National Park. Wander past some of the most famous features in the park – and the world – along this amazing adventure. Though incredibly scenic, this trek is challenging, as it demands stamina and a careful attention to footing! Additionally, sections of the path are extremely slippery after rainfall or from the mist of the waterfalls, so mind your footing and exercise caution! Note: the National Park charges an entrance fee, refer to the NPS website for additional information and for the pricing guide.

Embark on your adventure along the Little Yosemite Valley Trail from the Mist Trailhead off Happy Isles Loop. Setting out from here, track the John Muir Trail south along the Merced River. Soon you will cross over the Vernal Footbridge, which reveals impressive views of Vernal Falls cascading above. Continue hiking the John Muir Trail until you reach the intersection with the Mist Trail. Here, keep left and hike the vertiginous path through the mist of Vernal Falls and up past Nevada Falls.

Eventually, you will reach the end of the Mist Trail, where you will keep left and hike east up the John Muir Trail all the way to Little Yosemite Valley Campground, marking your turnaround point. From here, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Little Yosemite Valley Hike Trailhead

Little Yosemite Valley Hike departs from the John Muir/Mist Trailhead off Happy Isles Loop Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Backcountry Camping, Wilderness Permit Required.

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Little Yosemite Valley Hike Elevation Graph

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Little Yosemite Valley Hike Reviews

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