Mirror Lake Loop

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite + Central Sierra, California

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Mirror Lake Loop

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  • Morning calm over Tenaya Canyon.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • A vertical view of Half Dome from the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Blacktail buck marking its territory with a deer rub in the Mirror Lake bed.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Half Dome.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) along the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Fall colors along the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Mirror Lake changes from lake to meadow during its seasonal succession.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Granite cliffs of Tenaya Canyon tower above the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Interior live oaks along the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Blacktail doe foraging in Mirror Lake.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Blacktail doe along the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop Trail.- Mirror Lake Loop
  • Tenaya Creek.- Mirror Lake Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Rich in wildlife. Flat hike.
Cons: 
None.
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Alerts: 
The eastern portion of the Mirror Lake - Tenaya Canyon Loop past the Snow Creek Intersection (clockwise direction) may be closed due to rockfall from Ahwiyah Point. Check with park rangers for the latest status.
Region:
Yosemite + Central Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
4.20 mi (6.76 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
4,000 ft (1,219 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
100 ft (30 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
Loop
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Dry throughout the day.
89°F
71°

Sat

Light rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
90°F
73°

Sun

Dry throughout the day.
89°F
71°

Mon

Clear throughout the day.
87°F
62°

Tue

Dry throughout the day.
87°F
53°

Wed

Dry throughout the day.
87°F
48°

Thu

Dry throughout the day.
86°F
48°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Located in the far eastern corner of Yosemite Valley near the mouth of Tenaya Canyon, Mirror Lake is formed by a shallow lake bed in which the waters of Tenaya Creek flow. The flat loop trail that circumnavigates the lake and continues east into Tenaya Canyon gives visitors an opportunity to explore this quiet and serene corner of the park.

The loop trail begins as a paved road (closed to cars) that doubles as bike path, but it quickly changes to a dirt trail at Mirror Lake. If you follow the northern edge of the lakebed in a clockwise direction, the views straight up the monolithic north face of Half Dome are nothing short of spectacular. The trail continues through wooded sections that open up to Mirror Lake at various points along the way. As a succession lake, Mirror Lake becomes a meadow during the summer and fall. Depending on the time of year of your visit, you may find two very different but equally pleasing scenes to enjoy. In the fall, when the lake is dry, blacktail deer frequently congregate in the meadow, affording great chances of spotting wildlife. In the spring, when Tenaya Creek is at its maximum flow, Mirror Lake fills its basin and lives up to its namesake, providing incredible reflections of the towering granite walls surrounding the canyon.

The trail continues into the lower section of Tenaya Canyon, passing the junction with the Snow Creek Trail. Depending on the rockfall hazard often presented by Ahwiyah Point which sits nearly 2,000 feet overhead, the trail may be closed before reaching the Tenaya Creek Bridge. If the trail is open, continue over the bridge and follow Tenaya Creek west for 2.5 miles back to Mirror Lake. Try visiting in the morning to get ahead of any potential crowds and take a walk out into the lakebed if the lake is dry. The quietness, coupled with the morning views of the granite canyon, are not be missed.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(50 within a 30 mile radius)

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