Valley Loop Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
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.
2-2.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.3 km
Elevation
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.
64 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

The Valley Loop Trail is an awesome, family-friendly adventure in Yosemite Valley that exhibits the legendary features of the park including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and El Capitan. Immerse yourself in a quintessential Yosemite experience along this wonderful circuit trail.

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Route Description for Valley Loop Trail

Hiking the Valley Loop Trail is a wonderfully scenic experience. Stretch your legs as you wander along the floor of the famous canyon, reveling in the famous features that adorn the landscape. This is a very popular route due to the family-friendly nature of the trail, its beauty, and accessibility. If you are seeking a more secluded adventure, then consider another route or an early morning hike. Additionally, much of this path is exposed, so be sure to wear sun protection to avoid the effects of overexposure. Note: the National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Embark on your excursion along the Valley Loop Hike from the Upper Yosemite Falls Trailhead. Though the loop can be completed from either direction, we ventured counterclockwise. Setting out from the trailhead, turn left onto the Valley Loop Trail and trek west along the base of Eagle Peak and El Capitan. Follow the path near Merced River to eventually be diverted south over Northside Drive and Southside Drive. Here, you will reconnect with the Valley Loop Trail heading east, where you can admire the sights of Half Dome, Clouds Rest and more.

Soon you will be redirected north over Southside Drive and begin heading back to the trailhead. As you near the route’s end, you will be granted epic vistas of Yosemite Falls cascading over the valley walls. You will reach your endpoint when you return to the Upper Yosemite Falls Trailhead.

Getting to the Valley Loop Trail Trailhead

The Valley Loop Trail departs from the Upper Yosemite Trailhead in Camp 4 off Northside Drive.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Yellow Pine Campground

  • When to do

    Valley Loop Trail Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Valley Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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Valley Loop Trail Reviews

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