Yosemite National Park: Hetch Hetchy-Vernon Lake Loop

Enjoy the quiet trails and scenic views of Yosemite Valley's less-traveled twin on this 28.7-mile overnighter. Early season is marked by waterfalls surging with spring meltoff.
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Enjoy the quiet trails and scenic views of Yosemite Valley's less-traveled twin on this 28.7-mile overnighter. Early season is marked by waterfalls surging with spring meltoff.

PERMIT INFO: Backcountry camping permits are required by the Park Service. See nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm for the latest details and prices.

MORE INFO: Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-020; nps.gov/yose/

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 43.2

Waypoints

YOS001

Location: 37.9480094909668, -119.788299560547

Cross O'Shaughnessy Dam; pass through Eleanor Tunnel

YOS002

Location: 37.9580192565918, -119.784599304199

L @ Y; hike through shaded switchbacks; views to E of Le Conte Point and Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River

YOS003

Location: 37.9628105163574, -119.79109954834

Stay R @ Y with Miguel Meadow Trail. Climb through pines; trail soon levels, winds through manzanita chaparral

YOS004

Location: 37.9885902404785, -119.787300109863

R @ T; pass through meadows of vibrant yellow monkeyflowers.

YOS005

Location: 37.9958992004394, -119.776702880859

4-way with Laurel Lake Trail (1.3-mi. sidetrip). Stay R toward Vernon Lake and pass through Beehive Meadow

YOS006

Location: 38.0032005310059, -119.758003234863

R @ Y with Moraine Ridge Trail. Begin Moraine Ridge ascent

YOS007

Location: 38.0057792663574, -119.749099731445

Navigate carefully; for next .5 mi., trail turns faint on rocky slope

YOS009

Location: 38.0161018371582, -119.721603393555

Superb lake campsite; rock slabs may make bearbagging difficult. Return to WPT #8, turn L to complete loop

YOS008

Location: 38.0114097595215, -119.732498168945

L @ T toward N end of lake and campsite

YOS010

Location: 38.0074501037598, -119.725898742676

Ascend more than 3 dozen grueling switchbacks into valley; head R off-trail about 75 ft. for wide-open views of Hetch Hetchy high country

YOS011

Location: 37.9731483459473, -119.690101623535

R @ T near petal-shaped lake in Tilltill Valley

YOS012

Location: 37.9567604064941, -119.711601257324

Trail heads S to base of steep bluffs. R @ T near Rancheria Falls campsite; spur trails lead to falls

YOS013

Location: 37.963550567627, -119.765998840332

Wapama Falls; relax on bridge and enjoy the cool, cascading mist.

YOS014

Location: 37.9579086303711, -119.784599304199

Turn L @ Beehive Trail toward dam; return to car