Mirror Lake/Meadow Trail
Mirror Lake/Meadow Trail
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This clear lake is a popular hiking spot.
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4.0
827 reviews
Excellent
378
Very good
260
Average
136
Poor
47
Terrible
6

PacificNWFamily
Washington State96,466 contributions
Sep 2022
My hiking group wanted a flatter walk for a ‘rest’ day, and the Mirror Lake/Meadow Loop was just right. We began our hike at the Church Bowl picnic area and accessed the Mirror Lake Trail partway up the creek. We continued to the bridge and walked down the east side.

The walking surface was much gentler on the west side. The east side of the trail has a variety of sections including shady wet, cleared rockslide, and root / rock. We wore hiking shoes or hiking boots as we’re hikers, but folks in good sneakers seemed okay. I saw one preschool age boy in sandals, but I don’t think that was a good choice for the east side trail. (His mom was CARRYING a stroller while his dad wore the baby in a front pack. The west side trail is a much better choice for a stroller and for sandal wearers.)

We saw a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker on the upstream part of the west side trail. Then we heard an unfamiliar bird call. Maybe a pileated? My AT&T service worked well, so I Googled “bird call pileated woodpecker” and determined that was indeed the bird we were hearing. We listened for a while as at least three birds called to each other.

From the trail, we got great views of North Dome, Basket Dome, and Half Dome. The trail was in shade much of the time and definitely suited our needs for the day.
Written 5 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pukeonthestreet
Cranston, RI117 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
The park is quickly becoming disaster tourism. It was a nice shorter hike but it's sad to see that there is no longer a lake there in certain seasons.
Written 20 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

J M
East Lyme, CT80 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
We rented bikes to ride to the Mirror Lake Trail. The last half mile or so rental bikes aren’t allowed so we walked the last little bit. The water level was so low in the lake it is barely a lake. So sad. The pictures I saw online before arriving looked so beautiful.
Written 24 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TheExplorerFamily
Somerset, NJ6,334 contributions
Jun 2022
This small and pretty lake is located in the Tenaya Canyon. The hike is a 2.4 mile round-trip from the Shuttle Bus Stop, and was our final activity for the day. Most of the path was paved, but a few parts of the hike were steep, a little arduous and slippery. Luckily, there are plenty of trees that provide shade.We saw some massive boulders, and quite a few squirrels.

The Mirror Lake is a popular swimming hole that is quite shallow, and a lot of people come prepared to take a dip in there.

We thought it was over-hyped, and were a little disappointed at not seeing enough water in the “Lake”. Yes, the sky and the rocks were reflected in the water, but the water was not clear enough to create a mirror effect.

Make sure you wear good walking shoes if you plan this hike.
Written 21 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jaskel08
109 contributions
May 2022
We did the Mirror Lake hike from the Ahwahnee. It was a pretty easy 1.7 mile hike. The lake is very close to the base of Half Dome. This lake is special for several reasons. One, the water is crystal clear and at the right position, one can see a clear image of Half Dome in the water. Second, it is a popular watering hole, where a decent amount of people actually swims in. Thirdly, the shear beauty of the lake nestled between North and Half Dome.

We saw the lake in May, while it was full of water. FYI, it may not be as memorable later in the summer when it dries up.
Written 29 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL16,623 contributions
Mar 2022
Our group hiked this trail in the morning from the Ahwahnee Hotel to Mirror Lake to view Half Dome from the base. It is around a 3.5 mile round trip hike with little elevation. The trail crosses the Merced River a couple of times then travels though a pine forest with a small portion though granite rocks. The entire time you get views of the valley rimmed by the granite mountains above. The end places you on the north edge of Mirror Lake directly across from Half Dome. I will say afternoon is probably better for the sun and pictures of Half Dome. With that said, our hike was enjoyed by all, right distance and elevation. It addition the views were impressive. If you are looking for an easy 3-4 valley hike, this is a good one. I will agree with other post that if you don't hit the right time there could be very little water in the lake.
Written 27 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

elawson
philadelphia area550 contributions
Jan 2022
One of the rangers recommended this hike for my family of pre-teens and teens. He told us where to park but not which one of the 3 parking lots. So we found another ranger to tell us which way. Yay, found the trail and it says 1.6 miles. No problem, even in snow. Wait. The roadway you have to walk up is covered in ice and still has car traffic. We saw a bunch of people fall. But we had the right shoes and continued for 30 minutes...where we see a sign that says Mirror Lake - 1.9 miles. What? We continue on another 10 minutes and see a sign that says "Mirror Lake - 2.0 miles. And we gave up, turned around and walked 40 minutes back to our car. On our way back, we ran into other people we had met at the beginning of the trail who said they were taking the same walk. They asked how it was and we told them we never found it and they were astounded...and were even more shocked when we pointed out the sign that said it was still 2 miles away. We wished them the best of luck!
Written 8 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John M
San Ramon, CA260 contributions
Nov 2021
So .. let me caveat this review: Northern Cal had unusually good rains in Oct & Nov. Which has resulted in lots of water in the Yosemite valley for fall season.

The last time I walked this trail to Mirror lake was over a decade back, and the 'lake' was almost empty it being late summer or fall then. What a change a good flurry of rains brings !

The trail is about 4+ miles round trip from the Happy Isles stop in the valley. Easy/moderate with just the a wee bit of climb. Well maintained with sufficient room to make it 'covid friendly'. A good portion of the trail parallels the Tenaya creek which was quite full and flowing nicely .. so pretty!

Few people along the trail itself - day trippers generally stick to the yosemite falls. Mirror lake itself is a misnomer - the creek just widens and settles into a largish area. The reflections of trees, mountains and half dome is what gives it the name.
Beautiful area to visit & take photos.

If you have the time, greatly recommend.
There's also a bike trail that goes along the other side of the creek, so biking is another good option.
Written 20 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Patrick M
Orcutt, CA65 contributions
Nov 2021
Comes and goes and it was gone this trip. Excellent hike up and we saw two bears and a buck. There is a bathroom at the entrance to the lake that smelled so bad we nearly barfed our guts out - did not add to the ambiance of the location.
Written 18 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kathy C
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA387 contributions
Sep 2021
When we hiked the trail around Mirror Lake in September, 2021, it was completely dry. All sand, rocks, plants and trees, and not a drop of water. It was beautiful, but it would have been nice to see some water.
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Mirror Lake/Meadow Trail | Yosemite National Park | UPDATED October 2022 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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