Four Mile Trail

HARD 451 reviews
#5 of 212 trails in

Four Mile Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,277 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

The Four Mile Trail switchbacks 3200 feet down 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.

10 days ago

HARD TRAIL!! Nothing but switch backs the entire way but the views make it all worth it! You gain about 3,000 feet in elevation. But the higher you get the more the Yosemite Valley starts to reveal itself. It is such a beautiful hike, but be careful, some areas are slippery ( asphalt and sand/dirt combo).

hiking
13 days ago

Steep but well worth the amazing views all the way up! We arrived around 830 on a weekday in May and were still able to get parking at the trailhead.

hiking
14 days ago

Great day hike with amazing views of Half Dome and the Valley.

hiking
18 days ago

Good hike with nice views along the way up. It was a brutal hike with lots of switch backs that go on forever. In my opinion, if you have already been to glacier point and know the views you get up there, then i would personally skip this hike. We were at glacier point the day before for some sunset photos so when we hiked this the following day, it was obviously the same view at the end of the trail. Still awesome of course but didnt have that nice reward with doing all those switchback on the way up. I have a few photos posted in my IG from the trail and glacier point area as well if you would like a perspective for what you'll see.
@m_packmore

18 days ago

Love itttt. A must.

hiking
20 days ago

We started at the bottom, hiked up to Glacier Point, and back down. This trail was a real workout. It starts out rough and stays rough through out most of the trail. There are some really nice and scenic areas to rest and a lot of killer switchbacks. There happened to be a wedding at Glacier Point that day. It was a nice surprise. Congrats and good luck to the couple.

1 month ago

We took the bus up to the top and hiked down, amazing views along the way. It took us 5 hours because we stopped and took so many pictures. Great views of half dome and Yosemite Falls. Hike early in day to avoid heat....there is a nice breeze though.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a real review for what to expect going UP to Glacier Point and back down not just down. First, total distance is 9.72 miles. Second, it is very strenuous and you need to be in good physical condition to take this on. Take plenty of water and start early, especially during the summer. The views are worth it but the switchbacks will test you.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail has amazing views. I'd say way better than Upper Yosemite Falls. My group took the shuttle up so I only hiked down this trail from Glacier Point (lol). I'd say it was not a strenuous hike at all downhill but was definitely not easy for those out of shape (like myself, haha). The views were just magnificent on this trail and so worth it going up or down. Bring plenty of water if it's a hot day and food, this one will still take awhile even if you're just going down :P

1 month ago

It’s 4miles to the Union Point. 7 miles to the Glacier Point from the Valley Floor

1 month ago

This was a great hike that was pretty hard. Maybe not as hard as Upper Yosemite Falls (including to Yosemite Point), but it was still strenuous. What made this hike hard for us was the heat, although we did start the hike pretty late (close to 4pm) and it was mid 90s already. I would not recommend starting this late if you would like to reward yourself with ice cream at the end. The store at Glacier Point closes at 7pm, and I was so disappointed when we missed it by two minutes. I felt so terrible for my friend who deserved some ice cream for doing so well on the hike! It took us a little under 3 hours to hike up. Then took us a little over an hour and half to hike back down, but we did go at a fairly fast pace. Left at 7:30ish and ended up around 9:11pm at the bus stop location. It got dark for us on the trail and a flashlight was needed for the last mile and a half so. I would recommend parking across from the bus stop if you plan to be back after dusk. Sentinel Beach parking isn’t allowed after dusk, also isn’t recommended.
Overall, I definitely recommend the hike, the views were worth it and the terrain was decent. Start early to avoid the heat (and get ice cream!!!! ) We saw a couple of deers that got pretty close to us and also a tiny snake on the way down. It’s a bit eerie hiking in the dark...

hiking
1 month ago

This is the better way to get to Glacier and Taft Point in my opinion. Nonstop views to the top. Switchbacks are killer, especially the first two sets. Definitely felt like I was stopping every few steps. But oh, so worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

An amazing hike with breathtaking views. Worth noting - you're looking at the same thing just from a different elevation, as it's mostly switchbacks. The hike is hard considering the elevation, but doable in about 3.2 hours for non-experienced hikers. From Glacier Point we planned to go back via Panorama Trail and Mist Trail, but I had sore toes so we decided to get the bus down. Mind you, there is no shuttle and the bus is not guaranteed. We waited for about 1,5hrs for the bus. The driver asked $26/person and we didn't have enough cash! We didn't end up boarding the bus and the driver was really rude from the start. We had to hike back down as it was getting late. Going down was surprisingly hard, it felt really steep. It took us 1h40min with a rather high speed.
Lovely hike overall, but be sure of how you're coming back and plan well.
P.S. My recording showed me 5.3 distance up and 4.6 distance down :o In general, expect it's more than 4 miles one way.

1 month ago

Walked up here a couple of times. The walk itself isn’t so great but it’s nice to be in the shade and the views steadily increase. Best combined with Panorama to get down.

hiking
1 month ago

This was one of the best hikes I've ever done. There are amazing views all of the way up. It was a really hard hike but the views definitely made it worth it. If you have the energy I would 100% recommend going up to sentinel dome, its another mile and a half up. The views there were even better than glacier point. I went with nonexperienced hikers and they were able to get to glacier point but it took them about 8 hours round trip including spending 45 minutes at glacier point. There were not many people on the trail

1 month ago

Did this hike a couple days ago. We started from the bottom and stayed for about 30 minutes at glacier point and walked back down. In total it was about six hours. You are climbing the entire time on your way up, but going down was harder, especially on my toes. We had a lot of the hike just to ourselves. The views are worth it but I prefer upper Yosemite falls hike or half dome hike over this one.

1 month ago

Definitely worth the hike, total of a 6 hour hike I’d say and I’m not in the best shape. Definitely get there early and park at sentinel beach. There’s snacks at the top (:

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was so rewarding, but you definitely work for it! 100% uphill, and not a gradual incline! Lots of switchbacks. Started in the Valley at the trailhead about 11:30, made it to Glacier point by about 2, then continued on go Sentinel Dome. Arrived @Sentinal Dome around 3, and hiked all the way back down to the Valley and finished by about 5:30. I parked at the Sentinel Beach parking lot. Really close to trailhead and has a bathroom. All around loved this hike and recommend it to those who are active.

1 month ago

Started at the bottom near swingbridge parking lot. Hiked up and decided that I wasn’t excited to go back down so I waited for one of the shuttles that aren’t free or on a schedule to ride down. Note there are not free or scheduled shuttles. Awesome hike if you can just do the hike up and find a ride down to save your toes from 4 .4 miles of downhill

hiking
1 month ago

The switchbacks can be brutal at points, but the views are amazing and the mix of shade and sun were lovely.

2 months ago

Bring water and a big hat.

2 months ago

Awesome hiking trail. Definitely worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Hard cardio but worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely hard, but totally worth it! The views were amazing!! Plus, there is ice cream at the top!!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail plus the Panorama Trail to the JM Trail down to the valley makes for an amazing day of hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing! Difficult but the payoff is well worth it. The views are spectacular almost from the beginning of the hike. The obvious advice is to take plenty of water and wear good, comfortable shoes. Be careful on the downhill journey. I hit some areas that I nearly lost my footing.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike is challenging but worth every second. I saw a fair amount of less determined people on their way down without having made to the top. Regardless, beautiful views all the way up, and best view of half dome once you make it to the top.

hiking
2 months ago

This one has a beautiful view the whole time. It's stunning to watch the Yosemite Falls the entire time.

It was certainly difficult, but totally worth the view at the top. Because of the shuttle time limitations at the trailhead (the shuttle only runs until 6), we ended up parking at the Sentinel Beach picnic area and just walking to the trailhead (5 min walk).

2 months ago

Hiked to glacier point from valley and then proceeded to sentinel dome, ended up being about 11 miles total. Took about 5 hours round trip, great day hike! Saw rattle snake , bring lots of water

trail running
2 months ago

Great trail. Went from Glacier Point down and back up. Easier then I thought it would be but definitely worked up a good sweat
weather was beautiful today!!

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