Four Mile Trail is a 14.8 kilometer 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, and nature trips and is best used from April until November.

Length14.8 kmElevation gain1,101 mRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeFeeNo dogs
Description
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Getting There

Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are per vehicle or per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is per person. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass. Yosemite is open with some services limited due to COVID-19. Reservations are required to drive into Yosemite. Some services and facilities are limited, and shuttles are not operating. See the park website for more info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm The Four Mile Trail switchbacks 3,200 feet down from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley, providing wonderful views of the valley. Views of Half Dome, North Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, the Royal Arches, Tenaya Canyon, and Yosemite Falls can be seen here. From the top, the trail is fairly flat for the first mile, then hits relentless switchbacks at the reverse Tunnel View. Afterward, hike along with cliffside views to Union Point at the 1.8-mile mark that takes you into the trees and down to the valley floor near the Swinging Bridge. Begin the hike near sentinel rock. Views are most spectacular closer to the top of the trail- There is an option to hike a partial way down from the top of 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. There are bathrooms near the swinging bridge if needed. The descent, while not as strenuous as the ascent, requires your attention due to the decomposed granite. The trail can be very slippery and rocky. Looking to extend the hike? Take the nearby Panorama trail back down the valley instead of the double-back. Tour buses run from the valley to Glacier Point. For more information, please visit https://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/guided-bus-tours/ The Glacier Point Road closes seasonally 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 also closes seasonally 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 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.

Park either at the top at Glacier Point, with bathrooms, snack bar and souvenir shop; or at the bottom near the Swinging Bridge there are spaces along the road or at the Swinging Bridge parking lot. There are no facilities here so be sure you do what you need to do before starting.

Yosemite National Park Call 209/372-0200 (then dial 3 then 5) The public information office is open from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific time (closed for lunch). If the ranger is using the line, you'll be returned to the main menu. If the ranger is not there, you can leave a message and they'll return your call. Public Information Office PO Box 577 Yosemite, CA 95389 California Travel and Tourism Commission, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Be sure to bring PLENTY of water

Directions from south Arch Rock Entrance to park at the bottom: Follow Highway 140 into the park and bear right on Southside Drive. Park your car in the allocated spots near mile marker 18. Recommend you take the hikers' bus to Glacier Point (i.e. 8:30AM bus) and hike down, rather than parking at Glacier Point and planning to catch the hikers' bus back up. Going down, the trail ends about a mile west of Yosemite Village, which is accessible by riding the El Capitan Shuttle (summer only) or by crossing the Merced River on Swinging Bridge. Note the bus tours can fill, so it is recommended to first ride the bus and then hike your return trip. You can also shuttle two vehicles (lots of driving) or have a friend or family member drop you off at one trailhead and hiking up or down.

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Reviews (1,525)
Photos (2,537)
Recordings (1,254)
Completed (3,763)
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Monika Miller
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Hiking

It was great

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Jordan Briski
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Hiking

Great day and beautiful hike with a view of Yosemite Falls the whole way up. Gate locked just below Union Point...

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Erika Mercado
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 9, 2021
Hiking

the trail was closed at the three mile marker. so I was only able to to do 6 miles. beautiful view tho and a great hike.

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Rocco LJ
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2021
HikingIcy

My wife and I appreciate how tough this hike was. We did not get the memo not to proceed past the gate. There was a lot of snow, especially on the darker East side of the mountain. There were many areas with a precipice that was entirely ice and if you slipped you were going down the mountain. We got up to 4 out of the 4.6 mile hike, just a slip away from the payoff point. We didn’t want to, but at this point we had to turn around. There was essentially a vertical wall of ice that we could not safely scale across the darker side of the mountain and thought it would be too dangerous. Add to that, that we are not experienced hikers lol. Despite the fact that we had to abort before completing it, the hike offers many beautiful viewpoints of El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. The views on the way up were worth the hike, but I would not try to continue to the peak until they open the switch gate back up. On the flip side, the hike back down was brutal on the knees and the ice was tougher on the way down that on the way up.

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Rafi S
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 3, 2021
Scenic driving

TERRIBLE! the trail was dusty and had not recently been swept, so I kept slipping. There was an awful view of El Capitan at the top of every switchback that made my eyes bleed. I was told there would be no dogs, but guess what—there were!!! And worst of all, there was a gate after 2.6 miles, past which the snow was too deep to pass over. It made me SO MAD!!!! Also, no Starbucks at the top. Would give zero stars if I could.

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D K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

We started the hike around 9am and had the trail pretty much to ourselves. The falls are roaring and half dome at union point was a great reward for the effort! We didn’t venture past the gate, still very snowy up there. There is still snow and ice on several of the switchbacks leading up to union point, poles are helpful for stability.

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Kyle Ladrech
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HikingClosedIcyRockySnow

WARNING: YOU CAN DIE ON THIS HIKE. We took the trailhead originating at Southside Dr. and after 3 miles of grueling ice-covered switchbacks reaching 2,200’, we reached the closed gate only to realize that we were significantly underprepared. Past the gate the switchbacks continue in the snowy shade of the mountain. We attempted to press on only to quickly accept that slipping and falling would be certain death. Even with crampons this is a bold destination not meant for common hikers. Don’t be fooled by the inappropriate title of this one.

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Ashlin Steele
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Hiking

Definitely sketchy if you pass the last gate. Bringing hiking sticks would be a good call if you want to pass the closed gate.

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John K
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HikingIcySnow

First mile has lots of fallen tree debris. Snow patches start about 2 miles up. Microspikes recommended but not required (would be able to do it running shoes if you’re experienced walking on icy snow). The last couple switchbacks past the gate and up to Union Point were all icy and microspikes are required.

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Lisa Reynolds
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Snowshoeing

Fresh snow - used micro spikes were perfect!

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Andrew Eselby
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Hiking
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Al Lu
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Hiking

Packed snow and ice on steep slopes made further ascent dangerous, some people kept forward, but it’s a nasty way down if you slip. Lots of downed trees and debris on the bottom walkway, seems to be a recent rock slide

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Dusty Ventura
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2021
Hiking

The trail is all snow and ice after mile 2. bring crampons and poles. Some hikers went all the way to Glacier Point. Epic views.

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Alisha M
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HikingIcySnow

Beginning of the trail is dry with some trees covering the trail. About 2 miles in, you’ll have to start crossing areas that are completely covered in snow, where if you fall or slip, you will slide down the hill for quite a bit of time and get more hurt. My partner and I went up about 2.5 miles before having to call it quits as it just got too unsafe with just hiking boots and poles. If you have crampons, it might be easier for you and you might be able to get bette to the top. The views from the hike are outstanding and we were very disappointed not being able to finish the hike. We will definitely be coming back in the spring/summer to finish this

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Brian Cameron
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Hiking

A well maintained trail as far as I got. A rock slide had covered a few places with tree debris and rocks. Snow covered some of the trail so I decided to turn back.

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Brad Koegel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 22, 2021
HikingIcySnow

I was only able to make it up 1 mile. There’s about 100 feet of iced over snow that’s on a steep slope connecting the two dirt trails. I wasn’t able to make it more than seven steps over without slipping and had to turn around. I recommend getting micro spikes or crampons for this hike. I was really looking forward to hiking the entire thing, but you get some views along the way that makes the mile seem worth it. I would also recommend layers for at least the morning. I started hiking at 9:15/930 Also, be careful of the black asphalt on the first quarter mile or so. It’s hard to see, but lots of it is iced over or slippery

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Jenna Zitomer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 20, 2021
Hiking

Beautiful but hard. Bring more water than you think you’d need. Weather conditions can also change quickly so pack appropriate gear/ layers.

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Margaret Yoon
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Hiking
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Nicholas Coleman
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HikingGreat!

Great workout! El Cap and Yosemite Falls views for days on this trail. Never thought a slab of rock could be so beautiful until you are up close.

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Bryan Chong
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Hiking
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Chloey Sniecinski
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HikingIcySnow

Beautiful view! The only problem was that we couldn’t make it to the Union Point gate because it was way too icy with dangerous cliffs once we got .5 miles from the gate since the snow storm last weekend. We had the goal of making it to Glacier Point today since many many people are going anyways, but it just wasn’t feasible even with micro spikes. Gorgeous views and I’m sure even more beautiful from glacier point.

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Scott Kinney
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Hiking
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Kristen Bellows
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HikingSnow

The views on this trail are beautiful starting about a mile up the trail! At the one mile point, there’s a lot of debris and fallen trees right now to navigate around. We wore microspikes but definitely wish we brought our snowshoes by the 1.5 mile point. Very deep snow and we were sinking in every couple of steps.

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