12 Best Easy Hikes in Yosemite: Less Steps, More Sights

Yosemite National Park isn’t just for extreme climbs and hikes – there are plenty of easy hikes in Yosemite near Rush Creek Lodge for those seeking a more leisurely and relaxed adventure. These easy hikes offer the perfect opportunity to explore the landscape and enjoy nature on your visit to Yosemite National Park.

Glacier Point High Five (Shabanova T.)

Glacier Point Trail | .3 miles round trip

The Glacier Point Trail is one of the easiest hikes in Yosemite – it’s more of a short walk than a hike, but takes you to a can’t-miss view of Yosemite Valley. Glacier Point treats hikers to beautiful scenes of Half Dome and the High Sierras, and an interesting perspective of Curry Village below. 

Nature Trail at Rush Creek Lodge | .5 Mile (1 Mile Round Trip)

This leisurely trail is perfect for families and hikers just looking to stretch their legs. The trail takes hikers just off property for views of plants and trees that are unique to Yosemite. Learn more about Rush Creek Lodge’s hiking trails.

Rush Creek Vista Point Trail (Matthew F.)

Bridalveil Fall | .5 miles round trip

Bridalveil Fall is an easy hike in Yosemite Valley that leads to the base of Bridalveil Fall. This 620-foot waterfall provides breathtaking views and a cool, refreshing spray to those who venture close enough. The short trail to Bridalveil Fall is paved, making it one of the easiest hikes in Yosemite. 



Lower Yosemite Falls | 1 mile round trip

The trail to Lower Yosemite Falls is paved and almost completely flat, perfect for beginners, families with small children, and anyone who wants a more leisurely experience in Yosemite. Lower Yosemite Falls is best visited in the spring, as snowmelt contributes to the roaring waters of the waterfall, but the view is gorgeous year round. 

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail on a Winter Day (Matt G.)

Cooks Meadow | 1 mile round trip

A popular photo spot and one of the easiest hikes in Yosemite, Cooks Meadow is one mile of flat, simple trail that takes you to some of the best views of the Valley. The path is boardwalk in some sections and paved in others, and easily accessible across the street from the Lower Yosemite Falls trailhead. 

Mist Trail | 1.6 miles round trip

The Mist Trail is a popular trail for hikers, as it leads to Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and more points up the trail. The trail is aptly named, as the trail beside the fall is constantly alight with spray from the waterfall. The Mist Trail is mostly uphill, but the effort is worth the view and a refreshing spray of mountain water. 

Vernal Fall Rainbow (Cory H.)


Sentinel Dome | 1.8 miles round trip

Sentinel Dome is one of the easier hikes in Yosemite, with less than 2 miles of exposed granite path round trip. The climb to the top of Sentinel Dome gives you a front row seat to the best views in Yosemite, like the Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierras. Enjoy 360-degree views of the most beautiful landscapes in Yosemite at Sentinel Dome. 

View from Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Taft Point | 2.2 miles round trip

This unassuming trail is one of the easiest hikes in Yosemite, and comes to a heart-pounding cliff’s edge. Adrenaline enthusiasts love to take photos standing at the edge of Taft Point’s cliffside with Yosemite Valley thousands of feet below in the background! Follow the trail through a meadow to the Point, where you’ll see great views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. 

Sentinel Meadow | 2.25 miles round trip 

Combine your Cooks Meadow adventure with the Sentinel Meadow Trail for an easy 2.25-mile loop. This easy loop leads you across two bridges over the breathtaking Merced River and brings you back to Cooks Meadow. The Cooks Meadow and Sentinel Meadow Loop treats hikers to incomparable views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. 

Vernal Fall | 2.4 miles round trip

Continue uphill on the Mist Trail about .4 miles to visit the top of Vernal Fall. See a new angle of Vernal Falls, enjoy the cool mist from the waterfall, and marvel at the views of the surrounding Valley. 

Vernal Fall Happiness (Matthew B.)

Giant Sequoia Hike/Snowshoe | up to 3 miles round trip

The Giant Sequoia Hike or Snowshoe, offered winter through spring at Rush Creek Lodge, is an easy and unforgettable journey through a magnificent giant sequoia grove. In the winter, snowshoe through the rarely-seen landscape with an expert naturalist guide. Bright wildflowers and singing birds join the scene in spring as the snow melts. 

Giant Sequoia Snowshoe Selfie (Kim Carroll)

Big Trees Hike + Swim | up to 3 miles round trip

Experience Yosemite’s famous giant sequoias on this hike with Evergreen Lodge. This trail passes through a conifer forest, surrounding you with birdsong and sights to see. You’ll follow Old Big Oak Flat Road until you reach a grove of giant sequoias to explore and learn about at the instruction of your naturalist guide. This hike concludes with a drive a little further into Yosemite to cool off at a swimming hole before heading back to the lodge.  

Learn more about Rush Creek Lodge’s guided Yosemite National Park tours.

Yosemite National Park offers a variety of easy hikes that let visitors take in the breathtaking beauty of the park without embarking on difficult treks. From short walks and paved trails to gentle slopes and surprisingly easy snowshoe trips, you’ll be rewarded with unbeatable views and lasting memories.

Happy trails!