The trail system in and around Yosemite Valley allows visitors to discover a world-famous part of the park, offering a range of hiking experiences and iconic views. Over the years, Yosemite Conservancy donors have supported numerous projects to improve conditions on those iconic trails.

Between 2012 and 2016, with donor support, Yosemite’s world-class trail crews completed everything from minor repairs to major restoration work on the Yosemite Falls Trail, Four Mile Trail, Mist Trail and the Tenaya Zig Zags. Through one extensive project, crews improved accessibility on the Loop Trail from Lower Yosemite Fall to Swinging Bridge, ensuring that people of all abilities can safely and easily explore the Valley.

Other major projects have facilitated upgrades at the Mist Trailhead near Happy Isles Nature Center, the starting point for visitors heading to Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall and Half Dome. Recent donor support has also enabled crews to install sustainable, semi-permeable material on sections of the John Muir Trail, which helps improve the surface for hikers while enabling water flow through surrounding habitat.

Restored trails minimize tripping and slipping hazards while preventing erosion and promoting natural hydrology, ultimately protecting the park’s ecosystems while providing visitors with safe access to spectacular views and experiences. 

Lou Summerfield

Facility Management Division, Roads & Trails

Project Notes

Every year a crew of Park Maintenance trails workers has the privilege of assessing, maintaining and improving the Valley Trails after a winter of snow fall, water runoff, falling rocks, tree falls and other damage. This project provides for the seasonal opening of the entire length of all frequently hiked Yosemite Valley Legendary trails including Mist Trail, Tenaya Zig-Zags, Four Mile and Yosemite Falls Trails.