Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most scenic and spectacular hikes in the world. Over 3.5 million visitors travel from all corners of the world every year to marvel at the waterfalls and hike the famous trails of the 3rd oldest national park in the United States (Established October 1, 1890). With over 800 miles of trails you are sure to keep yourself busy. Most visitors head straight for Yosemite Valley, but there are many great hikes in Wawona, Tuolumne Meadows and the Hetch Hetchy as well. The park's elevation ranges from 2000ft to 13,114ft (600m to 4,000m), stretching from Giant Sequoia groves housing 200ft trees over 2,000 years old, to breath-taking valleys carved by glaciers, and home to the highest waterfall in America, to alpine meadows filled with rivers, lakes, and wildflowers. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the central glacier-formed Yosemite Valley, as does Yosemite Falls, North America's tallest waterfall. Three Giant Sequoia groves and vast wilderness are home to diverse wildlife. Tuolumne Meadows is a great area to visit to get away from the large crowds in Yosemite Valley. This area is a few thousand feet higher than the valley and may take some time before becoming completely acclimated. Wawona is in the south western part of Yosemite National Park and is much less visited compared to the Valley. There are several highlights of this area including the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia which was protected by Galen Clark 150 years ago and is home to over 300 massive Sequoias, some of the largest and oldest trees in the world still alive today.
There's a lot of people on the trail - but for good reason. It's well marked, well maintained and the views are, well, spectacular! I went up the John Muir Trail and down the steep steps past Vernal Falls. The well worn rocks from Nevada Falls to Vernal Falls are slick so watch your footing!
My bride and I have done this hike twice. It's tough! We are avid hikers and we are definitely sore the next day. It's a climb and not a forgiving one but its a great hike to conquer.
One of the times we got caught in a storm with rain and crazy thunder!
We even completed it with our 3 kids who are all teenagers. They too were sore. It's worth it to say... I did it!!
I started at Glacier Point and made my way down to the Valley. Took Four Mile from the Valley to Glacier Point.
The hike has a bit of elevation, but the overall 14 miles was a breeze compared to El Capitan & Clouds Rest.
I really enjoyed the scenery throughout the entire hike. I'd vote that it has better views and scenery than El Capitan, but nothing even close to as epic as Clouds Rest. If you're willing to knock out this much mileage, I'd highly recommend going the extra distance for Clouds Rest.
Good views during the hike. Solid workout: pretty much a steady, evenly sloped climb for the entire 4 miles.
I wasn't a huge fan of though, because when you reach the top and hit Glacier Point, you find yourself in a swarm of people that just pulled up in their buses and cars, smoking cigarettes and pushing strollers. Not exactly what I want to experience when summiting something... the trail itself had little traffic though, to be fair.
To check out photos of this hike, go to my Instagram at: ahaler1
Wonderful hike. Great views, intense workout if you huddle. The end is a bit tricky, so heads up on that. It's a fairly steep downhill to the edge of El Capitan. I went during a fairly wet time, so it was a bit slick. After the long day, it can be pretty grueling to go back up the slick rock hill at the summit.
Views are nice. Solid, but not phenomenal. I give 4 stars instead of 5 because I did Clouds Rest on the same trip, and the view on El Capitan doesn't even come close to comparing. If you have to pick one or the other, Go the Clouds Rest route. That said, if you have the time, do both!
I did the other peaks in the area. All said and done it was about 22 miles and 10,000 feet of gain. Took about 7 hours or so, though you may want to budget a bit more if you don't have a lot of experience.
Check out some of the photos from this hike on Instagram: ahaler1
Whoever gives this hike less than 5 stars is crazy! This is easily one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. Sure, it's long and somewhat difficult, but that is clearly stated and known before going on it.
The first couple of miles from the Valley floor at steep. The last couple miles before the summit are also steep. A great deal of the middle of the hike is totally reasonable.
It's worth every single step, even the steep end. This trail is so peaceful. The views are incredible nearly the entire time. You feel the vastness of the forest during the limited segments without incredible views, as well.
The top is just spectacular. Panoramic views of all things Yosemite. Lake view, Half Dome, countless mountains. I went in the middle of October and the weather was perfect. I was even able to kick off my shoes and do some yoga for about an hour at the top. No wind, warm and sunny. I am going to do this again and again, every time I'm in Yosemite.
It took me about 7.5 hours to do the entire hike, including an hour at the top for some yoga. I didn't need any food and got by with about 1 liter of water, but I'd recommend bringing more water and some food if you aren't experienced.
Check out my photos of the hike on Instagram: ahaler1
Cory M. on Four Mile Trail
Great hike. Mildly strenuous for me, (occasional weekend hiker with concern for knees, hamstring)
Ascent: Great views of Half Dome, Valley, waterfalls and ect. Trail traffic was light in the morning (7:00 start) with mostly shade. Mosquitos were present but weaned off as the day progressed. Couple of trail runners were ascending as well. 2.5 hours to the top at reasonable pace with one break.
The top was tourist central with many were rude and obnoxious people. This was in Yosemite and I understood this could be expected. I wouldn't recommend spending much time up there if you value solitude. Restrooms were available along with a concession building that sold snacks, drinks, and park merchandise.
Descent: Sunny with little shade, almost hot, many more people making their ascent. There were multiple individuals attempting to start later in the day and seemed to be ill prepared. i.e. carrying 1 small plastic water bottle, wearing loafers in dress slacks with a polo Shirt. 3 hours down due to personal physical cautions.
Bottom line: Great hike, great views, but the trail is mildly strenuous. Preparation and appropriate clothing highly recommended. The park had placed multiple notices of situations were individuals had to be rescued/assisted.
Less crowded but just as spectacular as Glacier Point. Parked along Glacier Point Rd as the parking lot is small. There is a bathroom at the trail head. The hike has a slight incline with a couple small areas of rocks you need to traverse through. Steep incline when you get to the dome. It was very windy on top of Sentinel Dome. We continued the hike and took the trail to Glacier Point after enjoying the view on Sentinel.
It's the hike if a lifetime. Lyle Canyon is gorgeous. Donahue Pass .... AMAZING!!! If you want permits just go 2-3 days early and try to get a first come first serve. That's what we did. Happy Isles to Whitney. DO NOT USE MTR IF YOU DONT NEED TO. They are horrible to hikers. Go to VVR. They charge you less for resupply and test you like family. MTR SUCKS!!!!
I planned this hike last for a trip I was taking with some friends, and I am so glad I did, for it was easily my favorite spot that I visited in Yosemite. The initial trek up is a bit of a challenge, but it's a short one and the reward at the end is incredible. We got to the trailhead early (around 8ish after a more than two hour drive), and I recommend this approach. I did not have as much trouble climbing in the high altitude as my companion hikers did, so I barreled up the trail ahead of everyone. This means I was essentially alone when I started the descent toward the lake, and man-oh-man was it worth the effort. I'm not going to lie: I had a bit of an emotional moment. Just me and the fish and the birds and that other animal I think might have been a pika.
This is a hike where you can do some exploring. Take a nice little walk around the lakes. Follow the trail further north to an old abandoned silver mine. You can make it last as long or as short as you want. If you trek up toward Gaylor Peak, you can get a great view. I was there in mid-September, so it kind of looked like Rohan if Rohan had lakes.