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Yosemite Creek Trail

Intermediate
 4.4 (5)

The Yosemite Creek Trail follows the Yosemite Creek drainage down to Upper Yosemite Falls.


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Map Key

5.5

Miles

8.9

KM

Point to Point

7,321' 2,232 m

High

6,803' 2,074 m

Low

272' 83 m

Up

631' 192 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Tioga Road is close in the winter and spring until the road can be plowed and is free from snow. Snow can remain in this drainage until late June, so check in with rangers before hiking this trail. Road conditions can be checked on the park website. nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/…

Description

This trail starts at Yosemite Creek Campground and begins to descend gently through a fairly open forest. After 1.5 miles, you climb up a ridge and move away from the creek. Large boulders can be seen in this area, remnants from the glaciers that moved through this area thousands of years ago. Views of domes and exfoliating granite can be seen throughout various points along the trail. A couple of short switchbacks descend to a trail junction with a trail that leads up to the Lukens Lake Trailhead. The trail drops another half mile and begins to run along Yosemite Creek. Small pools of water and water polished slabs of granite sit off to the left side of the trail as you walk along it. Its amazing to believe that this water will eventually flow over the edge of Yosemite Valley as part of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. The trail moves along the creek for a while before moving away from it and crossing a large gravel bar where you may see people setting up camps. You pass the seasonal Eagle Peak Creek before coming to Eagle Peak Trail about a quarter of a mile later. From here, you can break off to the right and climb up to Eagle Peak and then go on to the top of El Capitan. Continuing straight ahead for about 3/4 of a mile, you'll come to the trail that takes you to the brink of Upper Yosemite Falls. Either option provides great views of the Valley, although if Upper Yosemite Falls is really running, its worth the side trip to the top. You can hike back uphill to your car, or if you have arranged a shuttle, you can drop down to Yosemite Valley and then ride back up to your car.

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#8198

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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4 Star
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Trail Rankings

#731

in California

#8,198

Overall
68 Views Last Month
2,484 Since Jul 24, 2022
Intermediate

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Photos

The most amazing views await you at the top!
Jan 27, 2017 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail crosses a gravel bar with pine trees on it.   The trail moves away from the creek briefly, and there are campsites in this area because you can be away from the creek easily for those backpacking.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
Granite domes can be spotted through the forest as you descend through the Yosemite Creek drainage.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
Lichen and moss cover part of a boulder, possibly a glacial erratic, sitting beside the trail.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Creek flows through polished granite as it makes its way through the forest.   Pools of water provide good opportunities for a nice dip, but not deep enough for swimming.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail descends through a forest of polished granite and burned dead trees as it approaches Yosemite Creek.
Jul 17, 2022 near Yosemit…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 4, 2022
David Hitchcock
Hiked down the lower half of this trail to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls.
Jun 20, 2021
Mike Spinoza
12mi
Jun 30, 2017
Jeremy R
Jun 12, 2016
Lauren Richardson
Great views & camping! Took it to Yosemite Falls. 11mi
Jul 6, 2014
Eve Eve