If you’re ready for a challenge, Yosemite National Park is the place to find one. From less-traveled Hetch Hetchy to the famous Taft Point and Sentinel Dome Loop, the best moderate hikes in Yosemite are at your fingertips thanks to Rush Creek Lodge’s expert guided Yosemite hiking tours.
Read on to see our 10 favorite moderate hikes in Yosemite!
Hetch Hetchy Wapama Falls Naturalist Hike | 2.2 Miles Each Way
This moderate hike covers 5 miles of Hetch Hetchy, 2.2 miles each way. Hetch Hetchy is typically less crowded than Yosemite Valley, and boasts similar beautiful views complete with mountain domes and waterfalls. Once you reach Wapama Falls, you’ll have the opportunity to relax by the water or continue past the falls for a little more adventure before hiking back to the lodge.
The Hetch Hetchy Wapama Falls Naturalist Hike departs from Rush Creek Lodge’s sister property, Evergreen Lodge. Participants should arrive at the Evergreen Lodge Recreation Center 15-20 minutes before departure.
Giant Sequoia Hike or Snowshoe | 3 Miles Round Trip
This half-day Giant Sequoia Hike or Snowshoe is one of the best moderate hikes in Yosemite. The giant sequoias in Merced Grove are incredible any time of year, but the year round accessibility of this hike means you can snowshoe through the rarely-traveled landscape seen by few visitors when snow blankets the grove in winter. Snowshoe rental is included in this hike’s fee.
The sequoia grove portion of this tour requires a 3 mile round trip hike or snowshoe. Participants should be comfortable walking or snowshoeing up to 3 miles in varied terrain, at elevations up to 6,000 feet.
Wonders of Yosemite Hike and Tour | 3 Miles Round Trip
The Wonders of Yosemite Hike and Tour is a full day, moderate hike in Yosemite. The trip begins with a driving tour of Yosemite Valley, where expert guides from Rush Creek Lodge will do the driving so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery. You’ll see rushing waterfalls, majestic giant sequoia trees, and stunning vista views on your way to the giant sequoia groves.
This moderate hike in Yosemite will take you on a 3 mile round trip hike through the giant sequoias that were an integral part of Yosemite’s beginnings as a National Park. During the winter and early spring, this moderate Yosemite hike turns into a snowshoe adventure – snowshoe rental is available through Rush Creek Lodge.
Yosemite Valley Explorer | 4-5 Miles
Get to know Yosemite Valley on the Yosemite Valley Explorer hike, one of the best moderate hikes in Yosemite. Rush Creek Lodge’s expert guide will show you Yosemite Valley’s hidden trails as you traverse 4-5 miles around many of the area’s iconic wonders.
Rush Creek’s friendly naturalist guides will take care of the driving while you see the Valley’s icons and hidden secrets. When it’s time to go on foot, participants should be comfortable walking up to 5 miles on varied terrain at elevations up to 6,000 feet. This moderate hike in Yosemite may be a snowshoeing trip in late fall and winter.
May Lake + Mount Hoffman Naturalist Hike | 5.5 Miles
May Lake + Mount Hoffman Naturalist Hike with Rush Creek Lodge will take you to the geographic center of Yosemite National Park. At May Lake, you’ll see the picturesque Mount Hoffman in double as the lake reflects it.
The journey farther into the park leads to Mount Hoffman, a lesser-traveled area of the park that will show 360-degree views of Yosemite National Park. This moderate Yosemite hike is available through Rush Creek Lodge during the summer and fall.
Taft Point and Sentinel Dome Loop | 5.8 Miles
This moderate Yosemite hike covers the area between two iconic lookouts, Taft Point and Sentinel Dome. At the top of Sentinel Dome, you’ll be treated to a 360-degree view of the park featuring Half Dome and majestic Yosemite Falls. Taft Point’s draw is the picturesque views of the valley’s plunging cliffs, providing some of the most spectacular sights in Yosemite.
Participants should be ready to gain about 1,200 feet of elevation on this 5.8 mile hike. Beginning at around 7,300 feet, hikers will carefully reach up to 8,114 feet before the loop turns for descent.
Mono Pass Naturalist Hike | 7.4 Miles Round Trip
The Mono Pass Naturalist Hike is a moderate hike in Yosemite National Park, leading you to the top of Mono Pass for unbeatable views of the park’s eastern side and boundary. Sierra Nevada is one of the nation’s most rugged and least-accessed mountain ranges, and this hike places you on the crest for an unforgettable experience.
This full-day hiking trip features sights like Mount Gibbs, Kuna Peak, and Mount Dana. Participants should be comfortable hiking up to 7.4 miles on varied terrain at elevations between 9,700 and 10,600 feet.
North Dome Naturalist Hike | 9 Miles Round Trip
Embark on a full-day trip to the North Rim of Yosemite Valley with the North Dome Naturalist Hike. One of the best moderate hikes in Yosemite for Half Dome views, this hike takes you to an impressive vantage point to look out over Half Dome and the surrounding canyons and peaks.
Starting from the Tioga Road trailhead, you’ll follow your naturalist guide through old growth forests, keeping an eye out for local wildlife, and be met at the end with views from North Dome that some call the most spectacular on earth. Participants should be ready for up to 5 hours of hiking.
Glen Aulin Naturalist Hike | 10 Miles Round Trip
Journey to the heart of Yosemite High Country for this moderate hike, the Glen Aulin Naturalist Hike. This trail covers 10 miles (5 miles each way) of breathtaking Yosemite High Country. Tuolumne Fall is stunning, a high cascading waterfall surrounded by granite cliffs and meadows full of wildflowers.
This is a 6-8 hour hike, but you’ll be rewarded with time to swim in the refreshing High Sierra waters if the weather allows. The views of the Tuolumne River and surrounding alpine forest from the top of the falls is unmatched. This hike is available through Rush Creek Lodge from June – October, conditions permitting.
Rancheria Falls Naturalist Hike | 13 Miles Round Trip
This moderate 13-mile hike in Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy, the Rancheria Falls Naturalist Hike, takes you deep into the less-traveled Hetch Hetchy Valley. Your naturalist guide will take care to point out local flora and fauna, flourishing in the quiet forest that surrounds Hetch Hetchy Valley.
The Rancheria Falls Naturalist Hike operates from our sister property, Evergreen Lodge. Participants should arrive at the meeting place, the Evergreen Lodge Recreation Center, 15-20 minutes prior to departure. Please allow yourself 15-20 minutes to drive to Evergreen Lodge from Rush Creek Lodge.
Yosemite National Park is the place for you if you’re ready for moderate level hiking trails. You’ll be rewarded for your work with unbeatable views of Yosemite that you just can’t get without some effort – a moderate hike in Yosemite means breathtaking views and unparalleled experiences. Ready to take on the trails? Book your stay with Rush Creek Lodge today!