There are many great hiking trails throughout the Sierra Nevadas. AllTrails.com is an excellent way to find and map trails. From short trails to multiple day hikes, it gives great detail for every trail along with user ratings.
A few of our favorite hiking trails in the area follow.
Woodchuck Basin and Beyond - 35 min Moderately Hard
This hike starts at 7720 ft and tops off at 8910 ft. It starts in forest, delivering you to the beautiful Woodchuck basin meadow, and then you continue to the top of the ridge for amazing views. At the top of the ridge, you can go left to the visible peak or turn right, and head down to Wheeler Lake. Going down to and coming back up from Wheeler Lake makes for a much more demanding hike. Going to the peak to the left is 5.16mi roundtrip with 1178 elevation gain.
Get to the trail head by taking 4 past Lake Alpine about 5 mins. Right at a sharp turn, you will see the parking lot and sign for Woodchuck Basin Trail Head.
Click Map to Enlarge
Ebbetts Peak - 57 min Easy
This rather unassuming peak is found just north of Ebbetts Pass, next to the Pacific Crest Trail.
This short hike starts at 8800 ft and tops off at 9160 ft. It's just 0.5 mi roundtrip with 360 ft elevation gain. The elevation can make it a little more demanding than expected though. This is a great morning hike followed by an afternoon at Kinney Reservoir (5 min farther down Hwy 4).
To get there, take Google Maps to Ebbetts Peak. The trail head is just off Hwy 4. You will go past Lake Alpine and continue for another 30 minutes or so. When you arrive at Ebbetts Pass you'll see a sign and some parking. If you have high clearance vehicle with 4WD, take the forest road FS-8N04 to the north until it ends. There is room to park and turn around. If you don't have 4WD, park at Hwy 4 and it adds a 1/4 mile to the hike..
4-Mile Trail in Yosemite - 2 hr 40 min Hard
People have been hiking this one since 1872 but it's just a dream for now. We have to train for it. 4-Mile trail is actually 4.8 mi (out only) with 3240 ft elevation gain, taking you from Yosemite Valley floor at 3980 ft to Glacier Point at 7220 ft with amazing views throughout.
To get there, take Google Maps to Four Mile Trailhead, Southside Dr, Yosemite. There is limited parking at the trailhead. When we finally do this one, we will have someone drop us off and then pick us up at Glacier Point 5 hours or so later.
Here's a great video guide to the trail from Hiking Guy.com. I traced the trail in the image below right from Google Earth to give a sense of the climb.
Click Map to Enlarge
Click Image to Enlarge