- This route is part of the little-used but very worthy bridle trail that loops the edges of the whole Valley floor. The least used west end is described elsewhere. It gains little elevation as it leads through the central chamber of Yosemite Valley. This trail can be accessed from Camp Four Campground, Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, El Capitan Bridge, Cathedral Picnic Area, Four Mile Trail or Yosemite Lodge. One way to do this is to begin the hike by following the trail that leads west out of the Yosemite Lodge/Yosemite Falls area. A half mile from the Lower Yosemite Falls area the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail heads up the wall to the right. The center Valley loop leads westward from Camp Four, where a new Indian Cultural Center is being built, then crosses Northside Drive. The trail follows the Merced River through Leidig Meadow to El Capitan Bridge. This stretch of trail provides sweeping views of the Merced River and the Valley's cliffs. Cross the El Cap Bridge and head east on the trail there. The trail crosses Southside Drive then continues eastward through the forest toward Sentinel Rock. The crossing of Sentinel Creek can be tricky in May. Shortly beyond it is the junction with Four-mile Trail. East of this junction the trail either crosses Southside Drive to the Swinging Bridge picnic area and back to Yosemite Lodge, or continues east in deep woods to emerge behind the Yosemite Chapel. No bikes or pets are allowed on this route.
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