Four Mile Trail

HARD 338 reviews
#5 of 177 trails in

Four Mile Trail is a 8.2 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
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3228 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 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.

hiking
17 minutes ago

Amazing views of the valley... one thing I would like to mention for folks trying to figure out how straneous this hike is.. I would rate it 3.5/5. The reason one might feel it is hard is because off the elevation profile. Unlike most hikes, where the trail goes up and down a little bit: the attitude on this hike rises continuously from start to stop. So might feel tired frequently as you have been walking uphill since you started. At the same time the hike providers enough scenery for one to stop and take a breath. I am not an expert hiker so, it took me around 3-3.5 hours to reach the top and 2 hours on the way down. All in all it is worth it as you get to see all the famous granite walls of yosemite, El Capitan, Half dome and yosemite falls in a single panorama. The time we went it was partly cloudy and the sun was on the opposite side of glacier point so there wasn't much direct sunlight. As a result, if you stop for long you might feel chilly. Bring a light weight windsheater to shield yourself from fast moving winds in the valley. Hiking poles are not necessary but recommended for ease.

For DSLR owners: Make sure you being your camera as the views are just amazing. I would recommend a normal 18-55mm lens and a zoom upto 150mm is enough. You might need a zoom lens as you can frequently see rainbow getting formed on upper yosemite falls. With better zoom lens you can also capture Nevada falls.

hiking
9 hours ago

This trail was wonderful! Took me a little over 2 hours to get to the top and about 1.5 hours to get back down. Plan for at least a 5 hour day so you can enjoy and eat lunch at the top.

The views are worth every step, but this is not an easy hike. There are great views almost instantly on the trail so you are distracted during your 4 plus miles trek uphill. Make sure you bring plenty of water since the fountains and restrooms may be closed during the off season.

I got there before 9am and barely found a parking spot and I recommend to get there early. There is also restrooms slightly passed the trail entrance so make sure to take advantage before you begin.

Highly recommend it!

hiking
20 hours ago

The trail was beautiful and pretty much snow and ice free (except for one short area). This hike is a killer. Up up up and then down down down. My legs are super sore as well as my knees. But so worth it!

2 days ago

This one was a beast up and down but you can’t beat the views of Yosemite falls on the way up. Views at the top (at Glacier Point) were spectacular!

hiking
6 days ago

Two words MUST DO! what an incredible hike. Challenging enough for the thrill seekers and nothing more beautiful than this hike. You are able to see a beautiful view of the valley, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Half dome. This hike is really the best views of the park. There is no shuttle directly to the trailhead and parking is kind of limited, but plan accordingly and you will experience the best views of the park. Only downside I found of the trail is that they decided to pave it way back when and now is falling apart so its half paved half dirt, I wish it would've been all dirt, but beggars can't be choosers.

trail running
13 days ago

I went on February 2nd. Second time on this trail. Amazing trail, currently the gate is open, I’m assuming someone just opened it, since there is still snow getting to glacier point. I was trail
Running the hike, so I was coming back down once I got to the top. I was only able to get to 3.5 miles up before I decided that it was too slippery coming down. There was also a tree in the trail but you can go over it. Awesome challenging trail.

15 days ago

Other people have written fantastic reviews about this hike, and I have to agree with all of it. Amazing trail. I think it’s better than Upper Falls, also — the footing is easier due to the path being mostly paved. Still strenuous due to elevation gain and length, but worth every step.

hiking
18 days ago

Turned around at the winter closure point (2.8 miles in) due to some knee pain in the group, but this hike was beautiful, challenging, and offered fantastic, photobook quality views of the classic features of Yosemite. Weather was unusually mild, and we found ourselves shedding most of our layers as we warmed up.

The ascent is doable but consistently challenging without a lot of breaks in grade, but most of the switchbacks are wide enough you can stop for a few and and admire the view. Trekking poles may be a good idea for the descent, even if there isn't any ice or snow. Definitely wouldn't want to hike without traction (spikes or yaktraks) if there was any snow or ice.

I hear it's crowded in the summer but was reasonably traveled in the winter, with no more traffic than I'd expect on a day hike you can park at the bottom of. Parking fills up fast so you may need to park elsewhere and walk in (any parking lot along the south-side of the valley loop trail would give you good access).

Possibly my favorite outing yet. Yosemite may be the most beautiful place on earth.

27 days ago

Trail is mint. Uphill from the car park is relentless, but not terribly challenging. Last mile was closed due to snow, but still a great stroll and awesome picture opportunities at every turn.

hiking
27 days ago

Did this trail on Jan 21. The trail isn’t too bad. But there is some snow and ice patches the further up you Go. the pass is technically “closed” at 2.8 miles but there were a lot of footprints beyond there so I broke the rules too. From the closed portion to glacier point it’s pretty much compacted with snow. It’s fine going up but you may want microspikes on the way down for a bit more traction. I found them very useful. I would also recommend trekking poles. I had them and my knees were fine. Most people I met did not and that was their biggest complaint with all the downhill switchbacks. Beautiful route and completely worth the view. Be a rebel.

hiking
29 days ago

did this trail last fall on a whim.hiked from Curry ,and I do mean CURRY village! thinking I was gonna do the valley loop.got to the trail head and said I'll see how far I get and just kept on going!I went at my own pace and stopped to rest when I needed to the views are beyond words and glacier point is the exclamation point!took me pretty much all day, but what a day.couldnt hardly walk for the next 2 days but worth every step! PS not bad for 60!

hiking
1 month ago

It was difficult, but well worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was killer! It was a last minute hiking trail we went on, it was tough, gorgeous, and very rewarding throughout the whole hike. It took all day, so if your planning on taking your time make sure your bringing extra water/snacks/flashlights and layers.

1 month ago

Loved it! Did this hike today and it was incredible. It’s a little tough getting up since it’s 4.6 (I think) miles uphill but well worth the hike. We saw maybe 15 people total - which I believe is very different than the summer.

Very few icey parts - and it was lovely and sunny (a bit cold at the top for obvious reasons).

Will definitely return to Yosemite again to do another.

hiking
1 month ago

Made my second trip up Glacier Point since the road closed for the season and like with the first, the trail is in great shape with just a few spots of snow / ice in the upper stretches (though none required more than gentle stepping to navigate.) Of course with winter finally starting to set in, things are likely to get much more slick soon.

Great views along the way, especially on the middle of the trail with a perfect vantage down to El Cap. Very nice to enjoy the viewpoint with only a few people around rather than the crazy crowds of summer (understandable but a serious drawback.)

Just be sure to pay attention to the clock. Even with the nice weather, the sun still sets real early in winter and gets rather dark inside the valley!

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes I’ve done. The switchbacks can get a little boring but the views on the way up are amazing. The top is worth it. So worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with incredible views of the valley. Watch out for the icy path towards the top! Finished out and back in 6.25 hrs including spending a good 45 min at the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this trail because I knew I needed to make the best out of my one day at Yosemite. Absolutely breathtaking to say the least. Finished it in about 4 hours (down and back) and had plenty of time to stop and take hundreds of photos.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views! It is quite the stair master to get up but well worth it. We ran down and enjoyed every minute of it. Got started at 11:45am and got back to the car at 4:20. Highly recommended!

hiking
2 months ago

I did this trail the first weekend of December after the road had been closed to Glacier Point. The views from the trail are breathtaking- you'll really see the whole valley! I also liked the switchbacks way more than the stairs of the Mist Trail. This really is a full day hike, so if you leave later in the morning during the winter months be prepared to hike down in the dark. There were some icy sections of the trail as well, so consider bringing trekking poles or crampons. I had crampons with me and did not regret bringing them. Also be aware there is nowhere to get water along the trail in winter aside from one stream about a quarter mile up from the trail head. The drinking fountains at the top are shut off in winter and the bathrooms closed. Bring enough water for the whole day.

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