Places and Attractions

Snow Creek Trail

Snow Creek Trail Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

About Snow Creek Trail

Trail Overview

Distance: 9.4 mi (15.1 km) round trip
Elevation gain: 2,700 ft (820 m)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Time: 6-7 hours
Begin at: Mirror Lake Trailhead (shuttle stop #17)

This trail is tucked back in Tenaya Canyon, accessed from the eastern Yosemite Valley. It is a grueling hike that begins on the Valley floor and climbs to its rim, but which offers great views along the way. Comparable to the Yosemite Falls Trail, this trail climbs steeply along several dozen switchbacks but is narrower in comparison. Snow Creek Falls is the nearby cascade, but is not visible from this trail. You will often find fewer people on this trail compared to other Yosemite Valley trails.

The first part of the trail consists of the Mirror Lake Trail. About a mile beyond Mirror Lake, you'll come to the junction of the Snow Creek Trail. From here, you will begin climbing steeply out of Tenaya Canyon, one switchback after another. You are rewarded with good views of various granite landforms (e.g., Half Dome, Quarter Domes, Clouds Rest) after only a dozen or so switchbacks. The views get better as you climb higher until the trail leaves the open canyon walls and enters the forest. Approximately 2.6 miles (4.2 km) after beginning the uphill climb, you'll reach a trail junction near Snow Creek. A right at the fork brings you to the footbridge and makes a logical turnaround point. If you aren't up for the strenuous, 2,700-foot climb to the footbridge, then take pleasure in knowing that you can enjoy fantastic views from partway up and choose your turnaround point at your own leisure.

The Snow Creek Trail is open year-round and in winter becomes a popular trail for backpackers (equipped with snow shoes and/or cross-country skis) to access the wilderness. The lower portion of the trail can be snow covered and very icy in winter (the upper portion receives abundant sun and usually melts out with good weather).

Location Map

Listing Information

Classified Under: Yosemite National Park (For National Parks Page)
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