To be fair, Mirror Lake is more of a pond than a lake, but it's a pretty pond that can be accessed by an easy 2-mile (3-kilometer) round-trip stroll from the valley floor. If you’d prefer to hike around the lake, follow the 5-mile (8-kilometer) loop hike. As you walk, keep an eye out for the white-headed woodpeckers and martens that frequent the area.
Things to Know Before You Go
With its beautiful reflections, Mirror Lake is a must-visitor for photographers.
Mirror Lake is a good option for those who want to hike but don’t have the time and/or stamina for a more arduous, longer trek.
Swimming is allowed, but there are no lifeguards on duty.
When to Get There
Mirror Lake is a year-round destination, though travelers coming during the winter months are advised to bring snowshoes or, at the least, solid snow boots. If photographs are what you're after, be sure to visit in the spring and early summer for the best reflections of Half Dome and Mount Watkins.
How to Get There
Mirror Lake is located in the Tenaya Canyon of Yosemite National Park, between North Dome and Half Dome. The Mirror Lake Trailhead is located at shuttle stop No. 17; a paved trail will take you directly to the lake. To access the loop, take a right at the stone bridge.
How to Get a Good Reflection Photo
For many people, the main reason to visit Mirror Lake is to get a great reflection photo. For the best photos, come earlier in the day for beautiful, low-angled light (and when the absence of swimmers means you'll be more likely to find still waters).