7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
Passing beneath the most famous rock walls in America, if not the world, this is an exceptional hike in the heart of a legendary valley.
Being a loop, this route can be started and finished at any point, but doing it from the bridge over the Merced River at the western end of the hike is a classic way to do it.
Regardless of your chosen start point this is one of the best hikes on planet, leading you on a clear and well-maintainted trail past El Capitan, the Leaning Tower and Half Dome and countless other spectacular granite buttresses.
The hike passes through Yosemite village so restocking on supplies is possible, but carry plenty of water - it can get mighty hot in the valley in the height of summer! The route passes through meadows, across talus slopes and along some remarkably quiet forested trails.
Coupled with the scarcely believable scenery, this is an utterly classic hike!