Short walk from Glacier Point = Big Rewards!
Debby · Fairview, TN · January 5, 2013
I'm sure this trail is spectacular from top to bottom. However, if you are at Glacier Point do not miss walking a short distance down this trail. We walked less than a mile, but still had beautiful views of all of Yosemite Falls.
Spectacular views at every turn!
Robert & Susan Dunn · Little Rock, Arkansas · September 27, 2012
Hiked this trail down from Glacier Point, thinking for the first mile or so that we could have hiked UP from the valley – then it got quite steep and we were glad we didn’t! Wife and I agreed that while we could have DONE it, we wouldn’t have ENJOYED it.
Spectacular views at nearly every switchback – and there are LOTS of switchbacks! Views of Yosemite Falls are particularly impressive, especially when you can see the upper and lower falls AND the middle cascades all at once. Some sections of this trail are steep and rocky, while others are relatively smooth and level.
As others have said, sunscreen, bug spray, and PLENTY of water are essential for this hike. Energy snacks (trail mix, nutrition bars, etc.) are also a good idea, as is taking numerous rest breaks. There’s no prize for hiking the entire 4.6 miles without stopping – take your time and enjoy the fabulous views!
When you get to the lower sections of the trail that are shaded by large manzanita trees, you’ll be glad for the shade! The hardest part about hiking this trail from top to bottom may be pulling yourself away from the absolutely STUNNING views at Glacier Point.
Oh, and the bus ride from the valley to Glacier Point was informative and entertaining – wonder what fascinating facts we missed out on by not taking the round trip!
mrblister · Nebraska · September 21, 2012
Did this hike in mid-September as part of a bigger hike. In spite of a bone dry Yosemite Falls, the scenery was stunning. Trail ends at Glacier Point, which might be the best viewing spot in Yosemite.
Steep and full of switchbacks, this trail is a challenge, and has a couple butt-clenching spots. Water was available at the start, end and one spot along the way. Not as popular as some local trails (I met a handful of hikers the whole way), but a great trail that I would happily do again.
Rachael · Bar Harbor, Maine · August 15, 2012
After spending months using your website to plan our four days in Yosemite, I took my family DOWN the 4-mile trail from Glacier Point on August 1, 2012. You must look down all 3,200 feet at almost every switchback. Being afraid of heights, I had to crawl over half of this hike. At one point on a corner, I became a bit dizzy (vertigo, first time EVER), and was just simply unsafe. I live and hike in Acadia National Park all the time, and have no trouble with Bee Hive which has iron rungs on cliff faces, but only a 520 foot drop. Watching my two daughters walk this trail was just as difficult as walking it myself. Please warn anyone with a fear of heights to seriously reconsider this as an option. (ref. review from July 14, 2011)
p.s. 5 stars because my family loved it....except for the hysterical mom part!
4-Mile Trail: I'm Down
Mike · San Diego, CA · July 21, 2012
If you're a more wimpy hiker, this is an AWESOME trail to take back down to the valley floor. Same incredible views as the suckers who decided to go up the thing, but you don't even have to "earn" those views! Just keep walking. Offer some water to the folks heading up. Keep walking some more.
When you get to the bottom, cross over the bridge to Yosemite Lodge for a celebratory burger, etc.
We were there in July, and the trail was sparsely populated. Came upon maybe 15 folks.
Must do hike
Bret · Central Florida · July 14, 2012
If you are going to hike from the floor to the rim, THIS is the hike to take. I spent a week in Yosemite last month (June 2012) and took several hikes. This ranks at the top. The scenery is great. Sentinel Rock, Valley floor. Reverse tunnel view. Yosemite Falls. Half dome. I started ranking hikes on a "Reward for the effort" scale. (My very subjective, very unofficial scale. The tougher the hike, the greater the reward had to be.)
Reward for the effort: 5 out of 5.
Jeremy · Salinas, CA · December 18, 2011
After waiting (way too long it seemed) to get into Camp 4, I started on the 4 mile trail. It was not as hard as it has been said to be. I totally recommend it. There are several great lookout spots besides great views from the trail. After checking out Glacier Point, I headed back down to the valley via the Panorama trail, which was totally awesome!
Great hike! We did the long version.
Emily Turner · Lake Mary, FL · August 14, 2011
We took the suggestion of going up the 4 Mile Trail, to Glacier Point, then took the Panorama Trail to the Mist Trail. The crowds down the Mist Trail annoyed us, so we didn't want more crowds on the bus. We opted for the 3 mile walk back to the car. The shin splints hurt, but when we saw a bear - we forgot about the shin splints and the extra 3 mile walk was worth it. Thank you for the great advice on the hikes! Awesome views of the waterfalls, up the mountain, down the mountain, and through the valley - it doesn't get much better!
Stunning and satisfying! And OK for the height-phobic!
Cassandra Coburn · UK · July 14, 2011
This hike is everything YosemiteHikes says it is, a really stunning hike with new views around every corner. It was our first hike in the Valley and I don't think you could find a better introduction.
The main reason I'm reviewing it though is for people who have a fear of heights. I do, I cower down in my seat when driving on perfectly safe roads that have a bit of a steep drop, I scream with terror in cable cars (why yes, I am a fun holiday companion, why ask?). I was a bit nervous going on this hike, and we embarked with the option of me veto-ing and turning tail at any point. I can honestly say that with about 2-3min of exception the hike up is fine for people who are scared of heights - unless you just hate being high up in which case don't bother with most of Yosemite. But if you're scared of sheer cliffs and "one more step = doom" type climbing, this hike is fine for 99.5% of the way up.
We went up and down - down is obviously hairier, heights wise. However taking it slowly was fine and it calms down about 2/3 of the way in. If you only want to do it one way, and you are capable of it, climb up. Much more satisfying, you get to see the views emerge, not drop away.
In short - DO IT, and don't let the height aspect put you off. It's wonderful. Enjoy.
Four-Mile Trail is a Must-Do!!
Scott Hamilton · Moraga, CA · July 5, 2011
I hiked this trail on June 30, 2011, starting from the Valley Floor at 9:15 am, reaching Glacier Point around 11:30 am. Four-Mile trail is awesome! Not only do you get the full view of Yosemite Falls (upper and lower!), there are amazing views of El Capitan and the Cathedral Rocks, as well as Half Dome and (I believe) North Dome. Incredible! The trail grade is strenuous but the terrain itself is relatively smooth, making for a very enjoyable hike. From the Glacier Point parking lot, I took the Panoramic Trail back down to the Valley Floor, via the John Muir/Vernal Falls trail, and picked up the Yosemite shuttle to get back to Yosemite Lodge. An absolutely fantastic day!! Would highly recommend it!
Favorite Day Hike
Jaime · Denair, CA · May 24, 2011
I've hiked this trail at least once a year for the past few years. If you are attempting this hike from bottom up and back, I highly recommend taking some extra cash to cut down the weight of your pack since you can restock when you get to the Glacier Point Store up top. Even if you don't want to spend the extra money to restock on water, food and what not, take some cash anyways. Why? Because once you see the ice cream freezers, nothing sounds better on a hot summer day.
The scenery is practically unmatched, and the wildlife is everywhere. My wife and I have seen a large brown bear roaming up near Glacier Point. He was far enough away we had to use a decent zoom lens for the pictures. I've seen more deer than I can remember, and a few years ago, we turned the corner to see a bobcat walking on the trail.
Please take into account your own personal physical condition as both the length of the hike and the elevation will come into play. Though if you are in good shape, this is a very enjoyable hike.
Four Mile Trail for the older less fit hiker
Susan Budge · UK · May 8, 2011
I did the Four Mile Trail at the end of June 2010. I am in my mid fifties and more than a few stones overweight so I chose to walk it from Glacier Point to the valley. I also have one iffy knee but by taking my time it was ok.
I'm a very keen photographer and this was my main motivation for doing the trail. For this reason it is difficult to give a timing for the hike as I stopped so much to take photographs. I started at 1pm and finished at 4.30pm on a weekday.
I walked the trail alone and the trail wasn't overcrowded, though there were enough people to make me feel comfortable that if something were to happen I wouldn't have to wait long for someone to come by. This trail is steep and I wish that I had trimmed my big toenails back more. The constant sliding of my feet forward in my shoes resulted in me losing my big toenails a week or so after the hike. I used hiking poles which gave me confidence on some of the switchbacks which were not very wide.
I don't have a general fear of heights but some parts of this trail would be challenging to anyone who did. The views are stupendous. Yosemite Falls was in full flow after a heavy snowfall over the winter. Each bend seems to result in another wonderful view. The reverse Tunnel view was spectacular as were the views of half dome. There is a signposted sidepath to Union Point, a lovely view with a wonderful dead tree, but quite a drop off so I didn't go all the way to the point which is only about 100yds from the main trail. Worth a peek though.
This hike was spectacular and I'd certainly recommend it. Take plenty of water, two litres wasn't enough for me.
If the moderator wishes to publish this review, I am happy for a link to my photos to be included which should give people a good idea of what the trail involves.
CYA Boilerplate: The opinions on this page are those of the reviewers themselves, and are not official advice from or the responsibility of yosemitehikes.com. You're responsible for your own safety when you're hiking in Yosemite. Not that you needed to be told this.