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Mirror Lake
Vacation Travel Guide

Explore a jewel of a lake located between North Dome and Half Dome. It is the final remnant of an ancient glacial lake that once covered Yosemite.

For a unique perspective of Half Dome, plus stunning views of Mount Watkins, Washington Column and Tenaya Canyon, visit Mirror Lake. Yosemite National Park’s seasonal lake provides a great hiking destination any time of year.

The trail begins at shuttle stop #17. Stroll along the paved path that leads directly to the lake. At 2 miles (3 kilometers) round-trip, this is a great option for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. Complete the whole hike in less than 1 hour.

For a more in-depth experience at Mirror Lake, continue beyond the paved path on a trail that loops around the lake. Follow the trail along Tenaya Creek to the Snow Creek Trail junction, cross two bridges and circle along Mirror Lake’s shoreline south of Tenaya Canyon. Give yourself about 2 to 3 hours to hike the complete 5-mile (8-kilometer) loop around the lake.

Despite its name, Mirror Lake does not have visible water for a good part of the year. The lake is most full in spring and early summer, when melting snow increases Tenaya Creek’s flow. Many refer to Mirror Lake as Mirror Meadow in late summer, because a lack of water turns much of the lake bed into a sandy and grassy area.

As you walk along the trail, check out the informative exhibits that explain how Mirror Lake developed geologically and delve into the area’s cultural history. Watch for wildlife such as coyotes and bobcats. When the lake does have water, enjoy shimmering reflections of Half Dome and other granite peaks on the surface.

You can traverse the first part of the trail by bike. When you approach the end of the paved section, either return to the trailhead or leave your bike in the rack here and continue the loop hike on foot.

Explore Mirror Lake year-round. The trail may have some ice and snow in winter, especially along Tenaya Creek’s southern bank.

Top things to do in Mirror Lake

Top Hotels Close to Mirror Lake

The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
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Located near the slopes, this Yosemite National Park hotel is in the mountains, within 1 mi (2 km) of Ahwahnee Meadow and Yosemite Visitor Center, and close ...

4.3/5Excellent! (182 reviews)

"Excellent we really enjoyed our stay the staff was very accommodating"…"

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2021

The Ahwahnee
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
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Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor Center. Cook's Meadow and Yosemite Falls Trailhead ...

4.1/5Very Good! (170 reviews)

"My family had an excellent 1 night early March stay at this lodge. We selected the Yosemite Valley Lodge because of its great location as it is minutes walk from Yosemite Falls. Additionally, their Base Camp Lounge and food service is pretty decent for the cost and no complaints with Starbuck right ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 8, 2021

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
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Situated in a national park, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Yosemite Mountaineering School, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite Visitor Center. Ahwahnee Meadow ...

4.3/5Excellent! (29 reviews)
Beautiful Yosemite

"Great stay! You will have shared bathrooms and showers, but there is plenty of space in the tent/cabin for a couple or family of four. Really enjoyed the stay in Yosemite, and the surrounding beauty!"…"

Reviewed on Oct 22, 2020

Curry Village
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Mirror Lake Flight + Hotel Deals

Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Southbridge Napa Valley
SENZA Hotel
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Virtual Hikes and Outdoor Activities

Virtual Hikes and Outdoor Activities

Virtual Hikes and Outdoor Activities
Things to Know Before Going to Yosemite Park in Winter

Things to Know Before Going to Yosemite Park in Winter

Things to Know Before Going to Yosemite Park in Winter
Yosemite, daughter-style

Yosemite, daughter-style

Yosemite, daughter-style

Popular places to visit in Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

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Best Lodging Options Near Mirror Lake

The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The Ahwahnee
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Curry Village
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Yosemite National Park, CA
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
3.5 out of 5
7507 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders Blue Sky Lodge 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders Blue Sky Lodge 3 Bedrooms
3.5 out of 5
7594 Azalea Lane, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonders Blue Sky Lodge 3 Bedrooms
Yosemite West Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals
Yosemite West Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals
3.5 out of 5
7540 Henness Circle, Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite West Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals
Scenic Wonder Ahwahnichi Lodge 3 Bedroom
Scenic Wonder Ahwahnichi Lodge 3 Bedroom
3.5 out of 5
7475 Henness Circle, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonder Ahwahnichi Lodge 3 Bedroom
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.