Half Dome's other half
One of the more popular hikes in the Yosemite Valley. The Mirror Lake Trail is a 1 mile paved road (closed to all but authorized vehicles) that parallels Tanaya Creek until it reaches Mirror Lake, a small but serene body of water that reflects the surrounding mountains from directly below Half Dome. The "lake", which is nothing more than a slow-flowing pool in Tenaya Creek, is separated by a small "fall", creating an upper and lower pool. Both are extremely popular swimming holes when the weather is warm, and finding solitude here in warm weather is rare.
There are numerous interpretive displays explaining the history of the area, how the lake was formed, etc.
Most visitors will hike to the lake and head back (about 2 miles total), but there's another option for the more adventurous: The Mirror Lake Loop Trail (about 5 miles in length). Continuing beyond the lake on the north side of the valley, the Mirror Lake Trail continues past the junction of the Snow Creek Trail (which ascends quickly up toward Tuolumne Meadows) and then crosses Tenaya Creek and heads back downstream on the south side of the valley. In 2012, a new alignment of trail opened here after the previous trail was buried under a massive rockfall in 2009.
Caution: NPS warns that the only safe crossings of Tenaya Creek are on the bridges at the east and west ends of the loop. Crossings that appear shallow elsewhere along the creek turn deep quickly and have caught unsuspecting hikers off-guard and swept them downstream in swift currents. Do not attempt to cross the creek except on the bridges!
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.