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Hiking & Walking: California > Yosemite National Park

Quick Facts

Mirror Lake Interpretive Trail

Beginning Elevation: 4,020 Feet (1253.1 Meters) Mirror Lake Junction
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain, One-way: 74 Feet (23.1 Meters) to Mirror Lake
Ending Elevation: 4,094 Feet (1276.2 Meters) Mirror Lake
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Length, One-way: .75 Miles (1.25 Kilometers)
Usage: Heavy
Vehicle Accessibility: Shuttle Bus This site is most easily accessed via the free shuttle.

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The trail that leads to Mirror Lake begins from Mirror Lake Junction, shuttle stop 17, in Yosemite Village. It is a paved, half mile walk to the lower pool of the lake. A small, man-made rock dam separates this smaller pool from the larger pool of Mirror Lake. This dam was created when tourists began to flood into Yosemite Valley to enhance the reflection of the pools.

A dirt path leads beyond the lower pool and forks before reaching the main pool. Take the right fork to the upper pool of Mirror Lake. Mirror Lakes are not true lakes, but shallow pools along Tenaya Creek. They are somewhat smaller than when the first tourists viewed them in the nineteenth century, due to silt from the creek.

Interpretive signs along this route begin near the disabled parking spaces, one mile from the shuttle stop. They describe the rich natural and cultural history as well as, Native American use of this popular destination. Those who wish for a longer hike can continue following the trail along Tenaya Creek. Great views of the surrounding terrain, including the monolith Half Dome, abound from this site.

Directions from Yosemite Village Shuttle: Disembark from the shuttle at stop 17. Follow the paved trail to the disabled parking area near the lakes. The signed interpretive trail begins here.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Year-round (NOTE: Snow may cover the trail during the Late Fall, Winter and Early Spring months.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Mirror Lake Interpretive Trail
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Mirror Lake Interpretive Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Mirror Lake Interpretive Trail

Related Activities
North Dome (via Yosemite Falls) Trail - This trail leads approximately 17.5 miles along the northern rim of the Yosemite Valley. Backcountry campsites are available south of Tioga Road.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yosemite National Park, P.O. Box 577 , Yosemite, CA, 95389, Phone: 209-372-0200, Fax: 209-372-0220, TTY: 209-372-4726


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