3) Lower & Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park
Upper Yosemite Falls as seen from Cook’s Meadow in Yosemite National Park
Lower Yosemite Falls is one of the most accessible hiking trails in the park. An easy 1-mile loop, this trail is often crowded with park visitors who stand still with mouth agape, their necks craning up to catch a view of the Upper Yosemite Falls while Lower Yosemite Falls thunders down the granite mountain with a deafening roar. In contrast to Lower Yosemite Falls, the trail to Upper Yosemite Falls is quite strenuous, being 7.2 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 2,700 feet. This trail is less crowded than the popular Mist Trail though, so it’s a great alternative for a day hike from Yosemite Valley.