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Mirror Lake

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.


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Lodging Near Mirror Lake

See all 573 Properties near Mirror Lake
Bordentown West
Bordentown West

Bordentown West

8041 Chilnualna Falls Road, Yosemite National Park, CA
     
    5.0
    of 5, from 1 reviews
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Yosemite National Park, this cabin is in the same area as Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake. Regional attractions also include Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.

    Yosemite View Lodge $236
    Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
    See details
     
    Yosemite View Lodge

    Yosemite View Lodge

    11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA
       
      3.8 of 5
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      We had a great time at this hotel. It was in a great location next to the park, the room was...roomy, plenty of space for our family of four with tons of luggage for a two week road trip, the kitchenette was so nice to have, as well.

      Yosemite West Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals $295
      Reviewed on May 30, 2019
      See details
       
      Yosemite West Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals

      Yosemite West Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals

      Various Addresses, Yosemite National Park, CA
         
        4.7 of 5
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        It was the best place I had been. Super clean condition and perfectly well equipped kitchen tools was impressing.

        Yosemite Scenic Wonders - Wawona Area $350
        Reviewed on Jun 10, 2019
        See details
         
        Yosemite Scenic Wonders - Wawona Area

        Yosemite Scenic Wonders - Wawona Area

        Various Addresses, Yosemite National Park, CA
           
          4.8 of 5
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Ideal for multiple people. Great family reunion spot. Loved the hidden waterfalls down the street

          Sweetwater Lodge: Modern Home Inside the Park
          Sweetwater Lodge: Modern Home Inside the Park

          Sweetwater Lodge: Modern Home Inside the Park

          Yosemite National Park, California
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Set in Yosemite National Park, this family-friendly vacation home is within 9 mi (15 km) of Sierra National Forest, Yosemite Valley, and Badger Pass. Tunnel View and Bridalveil Fall are also within 12 mi (20 km).

            New Upscale Yosemite West Vacation Home Inside Yosemite National Park Gates
            Reviewed on Sep 25, 2018
            See details
             
            New Upscale Yosemite West Vacation Home Inside Yosemite National Park Gates

            New Upscale Yosemite West Vacation Home Inside Yosemite National Park Gates

            Yosemite National Park, California
               
              4.9 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              I had high hopes for this rental. Especially since all the reviews were raving about it... and somehow it still exceeded my expectations. Very beautiful home with all the amenities you would need and more. Bathrooms had toothbrushes, toothpaste, mini shampoos and conditioners, sunscreen, lotion, ...

              Inside Yosemite N.p. Gates!, our Luxury Home is Minutes From Valley Attractions
              Reviewed on Dec 31, 2018
              See details
               
              Inside Yosemite N.p. Gates!, our Luxury Home is Minutes From Valley Attractions

              Inside Yosemite N.p. Gates!, our Luxury Home is Minutes From Valley Attractions

              Yosemite National Park, California
                 
                4.9 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                A beautiful home with excellent views of surrounding Yosemite with snow capped mountains. David and his wife were wonderful hosts. I wondered if there was an outdoor grill and David said it was stored for the winter. I said "no problem," but he took it out of storage and placed it right outside the ...

                Inside Yosemite N.p. Gates!, Our Cozy Rooms Are Minutes From Valley Attractions
                Reviewed on Nov 23, 2018
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                Inside Yosemite N.p. Gates!, Our Cozy Rooms Are Minutes From Valley Attractions

                Inside Yosemite N.p. Gates!, Our Cozy Rooms Are Minutes From Valley Attractions

                Yosemite National Park, California
                   
                  5.0 of 5
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  At the heart of a beautiful environment, the peregrine lodge meets all your needs. The location looks secret as in a dream. The huge window offers you a spectacular view on the Yosemite forest. After an endless contemplation, the night sky full of stars makes you feel dreaming. In the king bed size ...