Four Mile Trail

HARD 1221 reviews
#5 of 246 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.]

walking
icy
no shade
rocky
snow
4 days ago

hiking
icy
7 days ago

Great hike! It was a good workout to the top but we were rewarded with plenty of amazing views along the way that just kept getting better. The trail is only open up until Union Point during the winter months and did get pretty slick close to the end- mini spikes helped. Worth the trek!

hiking
8 days ago

I did the four mile trail in late July 2019. The trail was in good condition and I ran into volunteers and staff who were fixing parts of the trail that were damaged during the heavy snow and rain season. Stunning views and a great hike!

hiking
1 month ago

All I can say is — WOW! We did this hike the day after doing 10 miles worth of hikes so this felt a little rough. It’s definitely quite a challenge but getting to the top feels so darn good!!! I thought it had the best views of the entire Yosemite Valley! I will say that I saw a lot of people starting out on this hike with no food or water... which is not safe at all. Please don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation like that.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

snow almost the entire way. definitely would bring snow shoes next time this time of year. there is about 2 feet of snow at the top, and about 75% of the trail is covered in snow.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike and the signs can be misleading. I recorded this on both all trails and my GPS. To Glacier Point and back to the road is closer to 10 miles. Not for the out of shape by any means. I train on the Nevada Falls trail and this one set me back 45 minutes. I do Nevada Falls in 1 hour 54 minutes using the John Muir Trail. The views from the trail into the valley are spectacular. Will make this my training trail. Much more strenuous.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. Seemed to have five stages to it. Starts off mild/medium, then after a good long open view, the trail changes to straight medium with a decent amount of small length hard parts. Once you get to Union Rock, it becomes pretty hard for the majority of that stage, especially when you enter the nook/very shaded area. but once you start to round the mountain, it flattens out for a good chunk. Then the last stage is probably the last 0.1 to 0.2 miles that has a lot of downed trees, and gets hard again. Most of the views were wide views of the Western part of the valley and once you turn the corner, there are some good shots of half dome and clouds rest. This hike is mostly about the accomplishment of going from the valley to the top of Glacier Point. Four stars because the hike didn't have much variety in hiking pattern, basically I got tired of the switchbacks haha

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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!

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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?

2 months 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
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

Très belle randonnée de difficulté moderée. Le chemin parfaitement entretenu grimpe constamment jusqu’au point de vue final. Pas d’augmentation de la pente à prévoir. Descente facile compte tenu de la quasi absence de pierres ou racined. Prévoir une surveste, le vent peut fraichir sur le dernier tiers haut. Magnifique vue sur half dôme et alentours au sommet.

hiking
3 months ago

Crowded. Beautiful. Must do Yosemite hike.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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.

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