Stunning and tranquil in winter
Mes & Sim · London, UK · July 16, 2018
Date: February 2018
An easy loop walk that requires only a little attention for your footing at times. A beautiful trail with lots of fantastic trees and big lumps of mountain that have fallen down to the floor over the years. Lovely views of the river and a thoroughly stunning "lake" at the end of it.
As we were there during winter there were no crowds at all. In fact we saw only a handful of people for the whole walk. And when we got to the lake we were the only ones there, although we could see a few others had been there before us due to the footprints. We spent an hour just hanging out and taking it all in. Snow covered a lot of the area where the "lake" should be and some of what was visible was frozen so the reflections were not quite as good as they could be at other times of year but wow, this is a stunningly pretty location between the water, the trees and the beautiful mountain backdrop. We took some magical photos here.
I'd like to try it again at another time of year to get a bit more "lake" but I can say for certain that in the snow, this whole walk is a genuine winter wonderland.
Easy, Tranquil, Beautiful
Christine · LA, but now in FL · November 16, 2016
I'm 49. I've taken this walk since I was about 5. I've gone with my parents and I've taken my child several times. Today, as an empty nester, I traveled it solo. It's a perfect walk. The nearby grazing deer weren't bothered by my presence although a mere 10 & 15 feet away. Perhaps because I left them to their activities and went about my own. It is mid Nov. I experienced a little hail and slight rain. I also did the walk last May when the whether was quite warm. Both are lovely.
Not-so-Mirror Lake (but still really awesome)
Cristin · Nashville, TN · July 20, 2016
I visited Yosemite for the first time last summer with a good friend of mine. We arrived at maybe 9:30 on a Saturday morning (visiting on a weekend - d'oh), and, after scouring the Valley and narrowly avoiding accidents because we were looking out the windows and up at the glory, we found a parking space. Very close to our spot was the trailhead for Mirror Lake, so we hopped on and headed out. We were immediately struck by the grandeur of the trees and rocks (seriously; it was like Honey, I Shrunk the Tourists). The trail is beautiful, though there were points where we had absolutely no choice but to step in horse patties. There's a spot or two where you need to do some incline-climbing, but, if you're lucky, a deer straight from Narnia will come to guide you and shout encouragements as you continue. My reason for the 4 stars is entirely Climate Change's fault: Mirror Lake was not as lake-y as we had hoped: it was dried up and sad, reflecting nothing but the fact that California desperately needed rain. We still managed to be absolutely hypnotized, however, and finally tore ourselves away and headed back towards the Village via a paved path that is much easier to traverse than the trail and takes you over a very lovely bridge and past the Ahwahnee - erm, Majestic Yosemite - where you can crash a wedding and eat an $18 hamburger. We saved our money and caught the shuttle from the hotel to the Village, where there is a larger variety of dining options. To me, this trail seems like a one-and-done: you\'ve hiked it once, you probably don't need to again.
Bring Mosquito Repellent!
Lisa · Santa Barbara, CA · May 16, 2016
Easy hike. Not my favorite, but wanted to see Mirror Lake. Tons of mosquitos (May, 2016), so use mosquito repellent. Also encountered a rattlesnake on the path, so keep an eye out when you are walking.
A terrific simple hike that most people can enjoy
Elaine · May 27, 2014
It's true that the trail can be crowded and that the lake is seasonal (gobsmackingly pretty when it's there though), but on the plus side, the hike is fairly level and you'll get many views of the creek and the scenery that you won't easily get anywhere else. The water flowing over the white granite towards the far end of the loop is frankly stunning.
Start on the left side for the best views of the lake. It's a nice long pleasant walk, with a bridge over the creek at the end of the canyon. Bring bug spray. If you're in Yosemite Valley, I'd definitely take the time to do this hike, possibly starting early in the morning if you don't like crowds.
There really is a bridge...
Bill Sanderson · Philadelphia · May 24, 2014
On the day I hiked, a week or so ago, many folks were turning back, including some who had hiked it before, because it was longer than they remembered. The trail was closed for some years at a fresh rockfall, but it is open now, and well marked and easy to follow through the rockfall area. I did the loop starting on the right side of the river on the trail, eventually crossing the bridge and then coming back on the far easier (road much of the way) far side of the river.
I had mis-read the map at the trailhead and thought there was a bridge at the lake--no such luck. But I knew there was a loop and I was glad that I persisted because the return trip was far easier than the trail I had come by.
Easy stroll with one spectacular view
Marco J. Meyer · Switzerland · August 18, 2013
I hiked this trail way back in September 1980 and then again in 1984 and 1988. At those times there were not so many people on the way although you never felt alone. After having done the Mariposa Grove tram and hike tour on the very same mornings, the Mirror Lake Trail hike felt like a nice "tourist" addendum in case that you only have one day to stay (which is definitely not enough to enjoy all the park's beauty and awe). The view of the dome reflecting in the waters of the mirror lake is worth alone the hike, even when there was very little water end of September 1980.
Very Nice & Flat
Jerry Remides · Modesto · May 28, 2013
Hiked Mirror Lake loop trail because Tioga Road hadn't opened yet. It was relatively flat, and we were on the trail very early (by 8 am). We parked at Curry Village and walked to the trail head. The extra mile was perfect for adding some distance to a pretty short hike. I recommend taking bug spray as the mosquitos got me on the loop back to the car. The sheer beauty of the reflections on the lake was worth every step! Highly recommend to all beginning hikers.
K Young · Fremont, CA · April 6, 2012
We took our dogs with us (our dog Jason is a tripod so we wanted to have a relatively easy hike for him). Absolutely amazing. We were there in the end of March and we had the trails mostly for ourselves. Mirror lake is breath-away-taking. We sat down for a very private lunch and had a wonderful peaceful walk back to the camp. An easy hike and amazing views.
It's a must-do
Candice · California · June 4, 2011
I definitely do not classify this hike as overrated. Yes, it can be crowded but there aren't many places in Yosemite Valley that aren't crowded during summer. The water level is low so the name "lake" may be a misnomer but it's still a lovely place to visit. Take time to wade up the river, away from the crowds. On a hot day, the cool water is brisk and refreshing. The river is still and peaceful here, and the views of the cliffs are awe-inspiring.