Four Mile Trail is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until November.
The Four Mile Trail switchbacks 3200 feet down and 4.8 miles one-way from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley, providing wonderful views of the valley. See Half Dome, North Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, the Royal Arches, and full views of Yosemite Falls. From the top, the trail is fairly flat for the first mile, then hits relentless switchbacks at the reverse Tunnel View and then along cliffside views to Union Point at the 1.8 mile mark, that then take you into the trees and down to the valley floor near the Swinging Bridge. Views are more spectacular closer to the top of the trail such that if you don't want to go the whole trail in both directions and have transportation (bus or private car) to or from the top, you can hike a partial way down from the top to the switchbacks and the reverse Tunnel View, taking in the best views. The end of the trail puts you at the visitor center at Glacier point. The trip down, while not as strenuous as the trip up, requires your attention due to the decomposed granite. The trail can be very slippery. More info: http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/four-mile-trail/four-mile-trail.htm
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
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.
The view is worth the pain!
My big brother and I just took this hike yesterday. It was hard, but amazing. I'm glad we only went down and not up as it was a killer hike.
Very strenuous but also greatly rewarding! The views of both El Capitan and Half Dome were spectacular. We came in October so there were no waterfalls to see unfortunately.
Good lungs and legs are a must. Switchbacks are a bitch. Worth the views!
Challenging hike but amazing views. Bring plenty of water and snacks.
If you're looking for a strenuous hike in beautiful Yosemite, look no further!
I took my boys (6, 8 and 9) up and down yesterday. It's as advertised... Hard. But it's worth it. The views are stunning. Go early as parking is limited. We hit the trail at 7:30 and were protected from the sun the whole way up. Coming down... Different story. I felt bad for the folks coming up late in the day getting roasted. This hike is not for the faint of heart or Ill-prepared. We have been hiking all summer... So not bad, but we saw quite a few people struggling. Worth the pain. Boys loved it. Views of El Cap are amazing.
This is a great hike! It's called four mile hike but is actually 4.6 miles one way...and, let me tell you, I want credit for that 0.6 miles! This hike is exhausting because it is 99% uphill but it is, undoubtedly, breath-taking. every view is a stunner. Be prepared for 5-8 miles round trip and worked out quads! The view at the top (Glacier Point) and the exhilaration of conquering a challenging hike makes it all worth it.
My 2 kids (age 12 and 14) and I hiked down this trail at the end of July. We had a guide drive us up to the top at Glacier Point, then we spent the next 3 hours hiking down. It was very steep going down. We stopped for lunch along the way. The views were incredible. I think this is the best way to see a lot of Yosemite while getting some good exercise. I was definitely sore the next day due to hiking downhill all day. I would definitely recommend this! (Especially going downhill only!)
I struggled with ranking between 4 and 5 stars because you could argue the view alone at the top of this hike is worth 5 stars (Glacier Point). It's definitely a difficult hike with steep switch backs most of the way up. The view stays relatively the same most of the way up, as you get a great vantage of the Cathedral and El Capitan. Make sure you go early to take advantage of the morning shade, as most of the trail is exposed by early afternoon. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, the view at the top of Glacier Point is spectacular - definitely gives you a nice sense of accomplishment for hiking up.
Just seemingly endless switchbacks but it's true -- you have beautiful Yosemite Falls just across the Valley over your shoulder the entire time, and as you climb it reveals more and more of itself and its drop. I would also recommend starting early as we were caught in the very hot sun during the bulk of the climb and it was fully exposed.
The views from Glacier Point at the top of the hike are unrivaled: Yosemite and Tenaya Valleys, Half, North, and Basket Domes, Arches, Clouds Rest, Vernal Fall . . . BUT! It really is a nasty slap in the face emerging from the last wooded section at the top into what looks like a Nat'l Parks Disneyland up there. It's packed full of tourists who've either driven or paid to shuttle up there and they ignorantly stand or sit in your way as you try to finish the trail or get to the lookout zone. It was difficult to even find a place to sit away from anyone. Congested!
But what can you do? That's summer in Yosemite Valley for ya. Would I do this hike again? Probably not. Too many other great hikes nearby with fewer people to justify it --- but still had to find out for myself!
switchback slogfest. glad i started early got some really great views of yosemite falls.
It is amazing! great views of Yosemite Upper and Lower Falls, then later of Half Dome. I recommend going early in the morning to avoid the heat, as there is shade at the beginning and end of the trail but not so much in the middle. we did see a rattle snake go across the trail, but I am told that it is unusual. For an easier hike, you can pay $25 and take the tour bus to the top, and just hike down the trail.
Hot July day. Lots of water but worth the hike up. Only went one way and met family at top to then hike Sentinel Dome before star gazing later.
Don't let the name fool you!!! This hike is NOT an easy hike but is definitely worth the climb. If you hike from the bottom up, you will spend the next couple hours climbing up with almost no flats or downhill. As you continue to climb, you get great views of the waterfalls in the park and of the half dome. Once at the top, the views are just spectacular. A must-do if in Yosemite but definitely be prepared for a strenuous hike. Bring lots of water and sunscreen!