Slippery on the way down.
Thomas · Franklin, TN · June 10, 2021
I'm 55 and an experienced hiker but at much lower east coast elevations. I knew this would be a challenge, and it was. However, I took my time, stopped for a few water and photo breaks, and made it up to Glacier Point in about 2.75 hours today. Beautiful views at the top and along the way. Coming down, though, was treacherous. Most of the trail is old pavement worn smooth and covered with a thin layer of sand and dirt. This is very slippery. I fell completely once and almost fell probably a dozen other times on the way down. I recommend walking on the edges of the trail so as to avoid this old pavement if at all possible. When walking on it go slowly as if you were walking on ice. I'm going to send a message to Yosemite Park management to make sure they are aware of this situation. Overall a great hike, just be careful coming down. I give four stars only because of the trail conditions.
FERNANDO ALONSO · SPAIN · October 15, 2019
I hiked this trail with a couple of friends in late September. Obviously, no water at all falling down Yosemite Falls - as expected - but the rest of the pack was there, glowing magnificently under a brilliant sunny morning sky. An unforgettable experience, though we found it a bit more slippery than what can be considered normal in dry conditions. Sometimes, it was difficult not to lose verticality walking through the steepest segments (we hiked downwards), due to the rocks on the floor being extremely polished. Not using hiking poles did not help either; we reached Glacier Point by bus and were informed by the bus company that poles are not allowed, God knows why. Anyway, those were minor drawbacks, which could not possibly spoil one of the best hiking experiencess in my life. Hope we can be back one day, with more time, and walk Four Mile and Panorama trails one after the other. Thanks a lot, Yosemite, for a great day.
Rose · Akron, Ohio · June 27, 2018
I was nervous to do this hike after reading some of the reviews but decided to anyways. We started out ~ 9am. I think we reached the top about 12:30. It was pretty rigorous with lots of switchbacks. We hung around and ate lunch on Glacier Point. I'm not exactly sure when we started the hike back down, but we were in the car by 4pm. So the whole thing took us about 7 hours. We packed plenty of water and snacks. The way down is much easier/faster but watch for loose gravel and slipping. My husband and I are in our earlier 50's and in average shape. I was pretty spent the rest of the day. My advice would be give yourself plenty of time, don\'t rush the hike. There are many fabulous views.
4 Mile Trail: as advertised and Challenging
Mike Rubidoux · Rancho Cucamonga, CA · June 4, 2018
We got to the trail very early and parked right at the trailhead on the Valley Floor. We did the hike up to Glacier Point. From there we did the Panorama Trail with the John Muir section down to the valley floor again. Best thing is to catch a free Valley Floor shuttle bus from the bottom back to your car. I was with a family group of older (me and my wife) and 20 something y/o kids. I am 57, overweight and only in average shape. This trail kicked my booty. It took me 4 hours to get up to Glacier Point. The trail is relentless switchbacks and climbing where you gain 3200 feet of elevation. The views, as mentioned, are spectacular. To be fair, there were a couple of in shape people running up and down the trail. We had plenty of water and snacks (trail mix, beef jerky, power bars and sandwiches). We took a well deserved rest at GP (a major view point accesible by car) where there is water, bathrooms and a gift shop with snacks before tackling the remainder of our 8.5 mile hike. Overall I'm glad I did it as it was epic. I will do the Panorama again but once is enough for me on the 4.8 mile trail.
Went down the trail only
Erica · Modesto, CA · October 26, 2017
We took the Glacier Pt bus from the Lodge at the Valley floor. FYI, The bus ride was 1 3/4 hr to the top but a great ride. The day was all sunshine and the views were spectacular! The trail is 4.6m and then just a short distance more to the roadside. The 4m trailhead from the road was packed with cars so we parked at the Swinging Bridge lot which is very close, so that after the hike we would have the car close. The hike was moderate and beautiful! A must do. Btw, the trail was maintained very well. Wear good shoes with some traction for the patches of the trail that have small pebbling sand that covers the rock surfaces. This can make you do the whoopties if you're not careful ☺
Bud · Missouri · August 22, 2017
Setting in the recliners, rubbing tired feet, and reflecting on today's awesome hiking experience! One of the most beautiful hikes in the park. Once you get about an hour up the trail the views open up and make the effort worthwhile. I'm 68 years old and we did an up and back in 7 hours. Decide how much water you think you need and add 50%. You will be glad you did. Bring plenty of salty snacks. Definitely trekking poles if you're going both ways. The trail is definitely a challenge but you'll be glad you did it!
Glad I did this
Baz · California · August 21, 2017
I just did the 4 mile from Glacier Point to Valley floor. Great hike, worth doing, little hard on the legs. Trail condition was pretty good. I did not feel in danger of slipping and trail was wide enough not to be too intimidating. I am an out of shape 55 year old guy and I made it down. Last mile was not easy.
Great Hike with Beautiful Views
Tito · San Francisco · August 18, 2017
This was a great hike with tremendous views of the entire Yosemite Valley. It is very long and strenuous as it starts at the valley floor and goes all the way up to Glacier Point if you do it bottom to top (as we did). It is pretty much straight up and as you get higher, you'll be looking down on the tops other strenuous hikes such as upper Yosemite Falls and Nevada Falls, so you know you are up there. Once past the treeline, it gets really hot so bring plenty of water - you'll drink it all. And the top is 7200 feet, so the air gets thinner as you climb from the floor at 4000 feet - definitely for the physically fit. But the views are some of the most spectacular in Yosemite - especially the different perspective on Yosemite Falls. As you get higher, Half Dome comes into view, and then even Vernal and Nevada Falls.
If you do it bottom to top and down again, you can grab a snack and more water at Glacier Point, which is a huge incentive to get to the top. Descending can be a little slick and it's easy to slip on the dusty trail, especially if your legs are tired from the climb. But overall a great climb that shows you the most of Yosemite Valley and all its beauty.
Hard work, but excellent hike
Jon H · Czech Republic · July 15, 2017
We did this hike in the opposite direction to most, going from top to bottom and then back, without a break. Unless you are pretty fit I would not recommend this variant. Whilst the kids (13 and 16) breezed down and walked up relatively comfortably, I found the return journey tough. Perhaps some more energy boosting snacks might have helped, but I had 2.5 liters of water, which was almost enough on a warm, but not hot day; take more! I did the round trip in 4.5 hours (I'm ok fit, 52), the kids had to an hour and 30 minutes for my arrival, but this was tempered by ice cream and drinks from the shop at Glacier Point. My wife only had to wait 30 minutes, but we did the first half of the ascent together until she pulled away as I began to slow up too much.
The views are spectacular and my stopping for photos perhaps slowed the descent. I didn't take as many on the way up!
I can totally recommend this hike in either direction. Up first might be a more prudent decision if going both ways, which with limited return shuttles makes sense for those arriving by car.
The scenery is spectacular, so take a camera or decent smartphone, lots of water and some snacks. Fantastic day out.
Hard but rewarding
Mary · California · June 25, 2017
This is easily the hardest hike I've done in my life. I'm not a pro hiker or anything near but my husband and I thought that it would be cool to go up through 4-mile and maybe do Panorama + JM + Mist to go down (haha we never made it past Glacier Point). I wouldn't recommend this trail if you're not in very good physical shape. We overestimated ours.
The path is quite steep in 95% of the way with LOTS of switchbacks all the way up to near Glacier Point. The last quarter of a mile or so is quite flat without switchbacks in comparison to the rest of the trail, although you'll still be in a steep-ish road.
We took 5L of water, little Gatorade bottles, protein bars and we also took peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (sugar and peanuts can do magic here). We drank all the water, half of the gatorade, ate a couple of sandwiches and a couple of protein bars and survived. We made it in aprox 5 hours stopping for rest, cooling down and water breaks on the way.
Needless to say, our legs stopped working when we got to Glacier Point and we had to take the shuttle back down. Ask the guys in the Glacier Point shop for the shuttle service hours and cross your fingers. If they have a free spot, you can hop on and pay the driver.
A problem for us was the hour since we planned on taking the El Capitan Shuttle to the trailhead, but the first bus didn't depart from Yosemite Village until 9 am, so we had to walk about 2 km to get there. We do recommend starting the trail early in the morning since you'll have the shadow of the mountain, specially in the last part of switchbacks because it turns quite hot and it doesn't have many trees around.
Also, use the toilet on the Sentinel Beach picnic area even if you don't feel like it since it'll be the only available toilet until Glacier Point and needless to say, Glacier Point toilets are way worse.
The views you get are AMAZING and it was the reason that motivated us to keep on going. I don't understand why people rush through this trail and I mean it. Most people just rushed through trying to do it quickly and didn't stop to see the stunning views they just earned with the hard hike. Once you get high enough, you'll be getting views of the valley each couple of switchbacks that are picture-worthy or at least demand you to stop and gaze in wonder for a few seconds. Even though you may think that it's the same mountain or view, little details will start to change as you gain height. I seriously recommend appreciating every second you're in here, the views, the forest, the mountain. Everything is beautiful.
Consider having extra cash to go down in the bus. It's expensive, but sometimes it's worth it.
Most people were going down the trail but some rocks were quite slippery with sand or the dirt was a bit loose so be careful and don't fall!
Due to poor condition of the trail, 4.8 miles downhill does not mean it’s “EASY”
Karen & Jon Stahl · Boston, MA · June 23, 2017
None of the reviews online mention the current conditions, so please read this. Yes, the valley views are breathtaking from Four-Mile Trail! However, we do not recommend hiking Four-Mile trail from the top, Glacier Point, to the base. Hiking UP is definitely safer, but this warning is valid in both directions. This review is intended so readers will be safer & more prepared, in either direction.
CURRENT CONDITIONS: This trail appears not to have been maintained in over 20 years. There was a crazy attempt to pave it many years ago. Now, most of its 4.8-mile length consists of stretches of sand interspersed with annoying, cracked, broken chunks of 20-year-old old asphalt covered with gravel and rockfall. A treacherous combination, where slipping & sliding can happen with every step. The numerous switchbacks are not the problem, they are sandy and easily navigable in the downhill direction. It’s the straight sections, where an accidental slip on the unstable surface could result in a deadly fall off the precipice. We completed the entire length downhill, which should have met the expectation of a rating of 2 - 4 difficulty (like Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon) but due to the poor condition of the surface, took us 4+ hours to the base. (not 2 hours, as described)
SUGGESTIONS TO PARK MANAGEMENT: these were sent to the park superintendent. Hopefully the management will be responsive & take action to improve safety and encourage more use of this beautiful trail:
* Each year, some section should be examined, raked, and repaired
* All asphalt chunks should be removed, and filled with earth
* Posted mile markers would be essential for such a long trail (there was only one marker)
* Published descriptions should be updated, more accurately describing this trail
* Signs should be posted at Glacier Point as well as at the base, describing the conditions, such as “Warning: 4.8 miles downhill does not mean it’s easy, due to broken surface”
* Time expectation for downhill hike should be adjusted to 4 hours, in order for hikers to safely make it down in time for last shuttle bus pick-up of the day (Beware: inaccurate signage at the Four-Mile Trail shuttle bus stop. Last pick up is around 5:00pm.)
The park administration has a duty to prevent accidental deaths when simple measures could be taken. If you agree, please send a note to the Superintendent of Yosemite NP. email@example.com.
Four-Mile Trail provided unique views of Yosemite Valley that were unmatched, and will linger in our memories forever. However, due to the unexpected poor trail conditions, we would discourage anyone from taking it entirely DOWNHILL at this time. If you’re planning to hike UPHILL even part of the distance, be very, very cautious, and definitely don’t get lazy on the way back down! Take your time, your life depends on it.
Easily one of the hardest things I've done in my life
Jordan Satmary · Long Beach, CA · August 23, 2016
I haven't gone on too many long or strenuous hikes, but if I knew what I was getting myself into, I may have reconsidered. It is easily one of the greatest things I've ever accomplished in my life, but dang, the elevation gain is something else. My girlfriend and I went up and down the 4 mile trail, which is more like 5 miles, and going roundtrip makes it closer to 10. We weren't going to pay the ridiculous price of taking a bus up or down, so we went in knowing we'd be on our own.
The trail wasn't too steep, not like the Vernal Falls trail, but it never lets up. There isn't much flatland at all. We did the entire thing in around 6 hours I'd say and if it wasn't for the water faucet and snack store at the top we'd probably be dead. We had camelbaks and sandwiches but nope, both weren't enough.
If you think you can handle it, do it, maybe I'm just inexperienced.
Fine for those afraid of heights
Lisa · NJ · July 15, 2016
I was a little bit hesitant to try this hike (going from top to bottom) based on an earlier review. I am afraid of heights but found this hike completely doable. I never felt nervous and really enjoyed it. There are beautiful views most of the way down. The trail was wide enough formed that I didn't have to hug the inside. Give it a try.
It's all about the views
David · UK · June 11, 2016
Two hours up, two hours down. Views out of this world. Reason for posting is to give comfort to those who hate heights and steep drops. This is a well-maintained, wide trail. There's less than 100 metres near the top where those of us with vertigo could get worried. But luckily, the path is wide and flat at that point. So head down, hug the inside, and you don't even notice. Fabulous way to spend half a day. And although the vertical gain is 3200 feet, it is steady...so an averagely fit person can easily complete the trail, without a problem.
Four Mile Trail - Panorama Trail
Diego · Mexico City, Mexico · April 5, 2016
Visited the park last June and we decided to hike the Four Mile Trail + Sentinel Dome and Panorama Trail. As both descriptions say the views are incredible. From Curry Village to Glacier Point the hike took us about 4 hours, don't miss Union Point and the first view of Half Dome - Tenaya Canyon. After Glacier Point we hiked to the top of Sentinel Dome (about 1 more hour). Again the views were incredible (360°C) and the high sierra was also visible to the east. After that, we returned to Glacier Point and then hiked the Panorama Trail to Nevada Fall. Don't miss Panorama Point (which doesn't have a sign). From Nevada Fall we returned via John Muir Trail and arrived to Curry Village (now Half Dome Village) about 7pm. I strongly recommend you to carry plenty of water and to refill your bottles in Glacier Point (there is a fountain there). Have a good hike!
Over 50? Yes you can hike it up from the valley.
Rich · San Ramon, CA · October 24, 2015
But it ain't easy. I'm 51, and easily 25 pounds overweight, but I exercise regularly, and I did it in 5hours 40 mins. Most people going up are in their 20s and 30s and just blew past me, but really nice people. I took 2 liters of water and used it all. Put on sunscreen, plus a hat, wear boots and use a walking stick. I was alone so I had a Dead concert from Tampa 1973 pumping in my ear buds all the way up. Honestly I felt like death when I got back to the car. But I did it so you can too!
Alice Malia · San Francisco (via UK) · September 21, 2015
Fantastic hike, yosemite village to top and back again in 8 hrs! We did this slower than we might have done had I not been 16 weeks pregnant. IF you choose to do this trail pregnant I would highly recommend having a stick (or 2). I found one on my way to the trailhead in the morning - and boy did i need it! I would also recommend just warming up a bit and stretching before and during the hike. Legs are a pile of aches now. It's just relentless uphill, then relentless down - so it really does work the legs. You do feel the rewards of the quick climb though with awesome views, and doing the uphill section in the morning was the best idea we had as we were in the shade all the way up to the top. As we descended after lunch, the hikers coming up the trail looked decidedly hotter! It's busy, don't expect to have this place to yourself - but if you can only do one hike in Yosemite I think this is a great choice. Thanks to this website - I love it!
4.8 Miles of Fun
Paul · Devon, PA · July 21, 2014
This was opening day hike with my wife and two teenagers the week of fourth of July. Hit the trail early (0700) and rewarded with cool temps, peace and serenity almost the entire length of the trail. Lots of switchbacks led to amazing views and photo opportunities and you get to end at Glacier Point! Fantastic views there but tends to get crowded with the bus crowd...as my 17-yr old daughter said 'they didn't earn the view' but they did pay their $25 to get there. My kids loved the sense of accomplishment they had. Put it on your list!
Shelly · Seattle · June 3, 2014
I hiked the Four-Mile trail with a few friends in early June. It was definitely a workout - the trail is fairly steep with a lot of switchbacks; however, it was very much worth the spectacular views all the way to Glacier Point!
I am afraid of heights, but didn't have an issue with this trail. My friends brought their baby on the hike using one of those Osprey backpack/baby carriers, and they did just fine as well. We arrived at the top in about 2.5 hours.
In early/mid morning the trail is mostly shaded this time of the year, and it is fully exposed to the sun in the afternoons. With that said, bring layers, lots of water, sunblock, bug repellant, and snacks.
We ended up doing a roundtrip, hiking back down the Four-Mile trail. As others mentioned, you can take the Panorama Trail down, which is longer and offers additional scenic views. For those that don't have as much time and/or energy, there are busses at Glacier Point that shuttle people back down. I believe it's $25 (cash only), and seats are based on availability (they don't take reservations for one-way down). You could also take the bus up to Glacier Point and hike down the trail. You would make your bus reservation at Yosemite Lodge.
Whatever route you decide, the Four-Mile trail is a must-do. It was definitely one of the highlights of my first visit to Yosemite National Park!
P.S. If you're hiking up the trail, there's a gift shop at Glacier Point that sells ice cream (packaged, not scooped). Just FYI, in case the amazing views aren't enough of a motivation for you... ;)
4-mile to Panorama Loop January 2014
Jarred · San Francisco · January 14, 2014
This is a terrific hike. Because of an extremely dry winter, the loop version is currently possible without any extra gear (no snowshoes, crampons, or the like). It makes for a very long day with the shorter days in winter, but you have virtually no crowds at the top. On a Sunday, there were less than a dozen people at Glacier Point.
If you attempt to do the loop in the winter, make a note of the trail closures on the Panorama side of Glacier Point. Descending, you will need to take the valley trail just past Nevada Falls, then detour back to the John Muir Trail just before Vernal Falls (Mist Trail is closed).
Thank you reviewers for recommending this hike
Michelle · Michigan · September 1, 2013
My husband and I have never been to Yosemite so when planning our trip we relied on this site to guide us. We chose to take the Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point and then the Panorama Trail down to the valley and it was an incredible experience. My husband and I are active and in our early 30's and yes, we had to take breaks, but the views and the overall experience were remarkable. We went in late August so Yosemite Falls was dry, but that did not take away from the beauty of the valley. I would recommend starting early because after breaks, photo ops, and taking in the landscape, it took close to 8 hours for the entire experience. Can't wait to go back and try another recommended hike!
Stephanie C. · Florida · June 17, 2013
I wanted to write this because I had been so worried after reading some trail reviews that I wouldn't be able to handle this hike. I was so pleased to find that while I felt a little squirrely looking out over the valley right up against the wall atop Glacier Point, the hike itself went great.
I am a person who gets nauseous if I get more than four steps up a ladder, and I can't get on the roof of my house. But there was only one point at the end of one switchback very early into the trail going top to bottom that gave me any trouble at all. Even there, the main thing that got me was the two European guys who asked us to take their picture at that spot, and watching them posing right on the very edge of the trail with The Void beyond did get my stomach briefly. And I admit I did kind of scuttle around that corner like a crab, but it was all good after that. It was more than worth it for the views and the experience. I used trekking poles and I know that helped. And on this trail as well as the Mist Trail, I just held to the inside of the trail whenever there were sheer drops. Also, I got more used to the sheer edges as I went along.
Magnificent trail, and I can't imagine going to Yosemite and not doing it.
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.
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