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Four Mile Trail

HARD 1193 reviews
#6 of 245 trails in

Four Mile Trail is a 9.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 9.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,612 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

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. [Note/Winter Road Closures: The Glacier Point Road closes due to snow, usually from sometime in November through late May or early June. From approximately mid December through March, the first five miles of this road are open to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area (formerly Badger Pass Ski Area). It is not possible to drive to Glacier Point when the Glacier Point Road is closed. The Tioga Road closes due to snow, usually from sometime in November through late May or early June. The road closure extends from the Tuolumne Grove, just east of Crane Flat, to Tioga Pass Entrance Station. (Highway 120, the continuation of the Tioga Road outside the park, is often closed in winter from Tioga Pass to five miles west of Lee Vining.) When the Tioga Road is closed, it is not possible to drive to Tuolumne Meadows or enter Yosemite National Park from the east. All other park entrances, including those along Highway 120 from the west, Hetch Hetchy, Highway 140, and Highway 41, remain open all year.]

hiking
16 hours ago

Fun switch backs, connect to trails up top to see even more !!! I love to take the trail to Taft Point and back

hiking
1 day ago

My husband & I LOVED this hike. The views only get better as you go! Very well maintained & there was plenty of other hikers on the trail. We packed plenty of water & a lunch for the top! Took us about 3 hours to get to glacier point, & about 2 hours to get back down to the Valley. :) Cheers!

Very steep, slippery rocks, AMAZING sunset view, not too busy.

hiking
5 days ago

525,600 switchbacks.....this trail is STEEP! Happy I pushed myself and made it to the top, but this hike is no joke. Should really call it 5 mile trail as it’s closer to 5 miles rather than 4, but who am I so say what the trails should be named?

16 days ago

My husband, 12 year old son and I loved this trail. It’s a continuous uphill but the grade is not steep. Wear good shoes as there is a lot of loose dirt on top of the old pavement and it’s quite slippery, especially coming back down.

hiking
18 days ago

9.6 miles round trip if you do the whole thing. Not too hard. There was plenty of shade starting at 8:30 and ending around 1! Bring water and your camera

hiking
19 days ago

60 persistent switchbacks make this a tough uphill slog that constantly rewards you with views of both sides of the valley. the view from the top is priceless!

hiking
20 days ago

9.6mi (to Glacier Point) Took us about 7 hrs with plenty of stops for pictures. Beautiful views (backwards view of tunnel view). Switchbacks the entire way up. Very wide path that’s very rocky/gravely. Water and bathrooms at top with small lodge building. People can drive up to the peak so can be very busy. Plenty of places to sit and eat your lunch with view of half dome. Don’t see views of half dome until towards end of hike. One of my favorite hikes in the park !! Highly recommend. If you only have one hike, this is a must do. You see so many of the iconic views.

hiking
24 days ago

So happy I took the plunge and did this trail after not hiking for a while. Although tough, the whole way up was a sight to see. Will not let you down!

hiking
24 days ago

Crossed the swinging bridge to get to the trail and before we even started encountered a black bear. It continued to amble on its way without paying us too much attention. There a numerous switchbacks on this trail, but you get excellent views of El Cap and Yosemite Falls. The stop at Union Point is small, but has a nice view of Yosemite Valley. Coming back from Glacier Point is much easier but you still have the switchbacks. The valley shuttle has numerous stops in the area to take advantage of.

hiking
25 days ago

Due to the fires west of Yosemite Valley on the day we hiked this trail, a lot of smoke had rolled into the valley by the time we reached Glacier Point - we could barely see an outline of Half Dome in the distance and couldn’t see the valley floor at all. But, we had absolutely beautiful sunset views on the way down. Glad we brought bandanas and surgical masks to limit the smoke inhalation. Despite our late start, we had no trouble getting down the trail in the dark with our trusty headlamps. If you don’t have a car parked at the trailhead and the El Cap shuttle has stopped running by the time you reach the trailhead, you can walk across the swinging bridge trail to get to the closest stop for the Yosemite Valley shuttle. I’m already planning the “re-do” of this hike (and perhaps an extension to Panorama) for our next visit so we can fully experience Glacier Point under better conditions.

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful trail. It is very well maintained and easy to follow. I agree with a hard rating for the elevation gain per distance. But not nearly has hard as hiking up half dome. The views while hiking this trail are breathtaking. And the view from the top makes the trek even more worth it. We hiked up in 2.5 hours. Spent 45 min up at the top and 2 hours down.

hiking
26 days ago

Very nice hike of moderate difficulty. The perfectly maintained path climbs constantly to the final point of view. No increase of the slope to predict. Easy descent given the almost no stones or racined. To envisage a surveste, the wind can refresh on the last third high. Beautiful view of half dome and surroundings at the top.

hiking
26 days ago

Crowded. Beautiful. Must do Yosemite hike.

hiking
30 days ago

Very nice trail. Up hill is pretty hardcore. Amazing view

hiking
1 month ago

We did it at 8 in the morning and got up in 3 hours with a half an hour break. It was a decent elevation change. However, we had no issues as we Maintained an easy pace. Don’t forget to take a 200 feet detour to go to union lake. The waterfalls on the opposite side are dry at this time of the year. With well planned rests, the hike is not as hard as it sounds. We did drive down as we had left our car on the top the day before when we did the panorama trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views for the entire trail ending at the heavily trafficked Glacier Point. The uphill had some steep areas, but a lot of areas for breaks and flat areas for respite. We came down in the dark after watching the sun set at Glacier Point and it was fun to see the spiders and scorpions come out at night.

hiking
1 month ago

Exceptional views, great climb and fantastic ending at Glacier Falls. Tough hike-straight up-some incredible switchbacks, from 3300ft to 7200 at the top within miles. Shaded and wonderful cool breezes on the way up. Start early and plan for an entire day.

hiking
1 month ago

Spectacular views of Yosemite. My wife and I made the trip up and back and took us 8 hours. The best hike in Yosemite.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Hard.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

An amazing hike and definitely worth the difficulty. Would definitely recommend to anyone willing and prepared enough to take on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views! It was 5 miles up to Glacier Point, took us about 2.5 hours each way.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views! Definitely worth enduring the switchbacks! This trail out and back is closer to 9 miles total according to the trailhead signs and my husband’s GPS. The first view you get of half dome is pretty far in, but you’ll get beautiful El Cap views during most of the switchbacks. This trail is overall pretty steep and I’d recommend bringing some hiking poles for the way down as it can be pretty slippery! Also bring plenty of water and a snack!

This Trail was incredible with so much variety of landscapes to see. Views at the top were spectacular!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views throughout the hike. This trail is a great way to hike to Glacier Point which has hands down the best view of Half Dome and the rest of the Park. Once you reach Glacier Point there is a small store with some food and water to fuel up. If you are up to continue the adventure continue on to the Panorama Trial which connects with Mist Trail and ends up in Curry Village

hiking
1 month ago

great trail in spring.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

One of the longest hikes my buddy and i have ever been on. Steep incline met with two groups of switch backs covered in some pavement,sand and rock. Amazing views of the valley as you ascend this hike well worth it but it is without a doubt on the more difficult side. Glacier point view at the top was the crowning accomplishment of this long hike see it for youself!!!

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