Four Mile Trail

HARD 422 reviews
#5 of 208 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
3277 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.

hiking
11 seconds 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.

4 minutes 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
2 days 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

3 days 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.

4 days 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
6 days 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.

6 days 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
6 days ago

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

9 days ago

Bring water and a big hat.

12 days ago

Awesome hiking trail. Definitely worth it.

hiking
17 days ago

Hard cardio but worth it!

hiking
17 days ago

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

hiking
20 days ago

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

hiking
21 days 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
22 days 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
26 days 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).

26 days 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
26 days 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!!

1 month ago

Hiked up and continued to Sentinel Dome. Was not as difficult as I expected. A steady pace was possible completely aerobically. Every corner offered a new view. Changing sunlight kept it interesting.

1 month ago

Please see Taylor M’s review

1 month ago

Despite the elevation gain, the treadway is for the most part is smooth with comparatively few rocks. Stunning views on the way up of Yosemite Falls, and of the eastern end of the valley, including Half-Dome, once on top.
Only small scattered patches of snow remain on the trail in the higher elevations as of early to mid May.

1 month ago

The 4 Mile Trail...was NOT 4 miles

hiking
1 month ago

We were wary given The earlier noted reviews showing track closed. Trail is fully open as of late April, and when we did the trail 6 May there was a very small amount of snow, on the sides of the trail, at almost the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike for the elevation gain and scenery. If you want a challenging hike that has great views, I recommend this for sure.

hiking
1 month ago

We started at the bottom of the trail going up to Glacier Point. Unfortunately, the trail is still closed at mile 3. This is definitely a moderate/difficult incline trail. Beautiful views and the weather is perfect right now. I suggest starting early as there were a few people going up and its kinda narrow. There was some piles of snow bunched up on the side but none that were in the way. Make sure you have some good grip shoes on as there is loose gravel and you are climbing. Make sure you are prepared to come back down as it is steep and puts a lot of pressure on your knees. I would recommend some poles if you have any. I hope you enjoy your time on this one its really beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail has some amazing views of Yosemite falls! Unfortunately, the trail is currently closed after inspiration point and you hit a tricky patch of snow about halfway through and then a few more near inspiration point. It took us about two hours to get to inspiration point and maybe an hour and a half to get back including lunch! We started the hike around 9:30 and the trails weren't as busy and the snow pack was easier to get through before it started melting and got slippery.

3 months ago

Lots of switch backs, my first trail that included significant elevation gain.
Fantastic views, well worth it!
*no bus service going down in winter season

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of snow and ice on the trail today. (3/11/18) Trekking poles are a must! But I’m pretty uncomfortable on snow/ice... Also, the trail is closed after Inspiration Point (~3miles up) right now. I only made it about 2 miles up.

3 months ago

A little snow on the trail today - trekking poles were great. Views were unbelievable!

hiking
4 months 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.

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