Home Yosemite National Park Yosemite Valley 4 Mile Trail YNP1252

4 Mile Trail

Why We Love This

  • Distance: 4.7 miles (7.5 km) one way; 9.4 miles (15 km) round trip.
  • Glacier Point Elevation: 7,200 feet (2,200 meters).
  • Hiking Time: 2 - 3.5 hours one way.
  • Total Elevation Change: 3,200 feet (975 meters).
  • Yosemite Valley Elevation: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).

Experience Snapshot


Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California


4 hours

Specific Time For Activity

Start Time: Any

Days Available:

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What you'll do

Why Hike the 4-Mile Trail? Because this is where Yosemite Falls gives you the full monty. And if you hike it from bottom to top, you can buy yourself an ice cream at trail's end. Scenery Summary: There may be no better way to see what's so fabulous about Yosemite Valley than to hike the Four-Mile Trail, which climbs from the valley floor near the Swinging Bridge to the south valley rim at Glacier Point (or vice versa, or both, depending on your inclination). This hike offers great views of most of the landmarks that Yosemite Valley's famous for, and all from angles you're not used to seeing on postcards. Difficulty: Call it a 4 out of 10 going down and 7 out of 10 going up. The trail is wide and smooth, and not nearly so steep as Upper Yosemite Falls, whose own valley-floor-to-valley-rim trail is a mile shorter. By the time you finish the second set of switchbacks on the way up, though, you'll know you've been on a hike. Best Time to Visit: Yosemite Falls is a big factor in the scenery here, and it looks best in the spring, when snowmelt is at its peak. The view looking west to Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan tends to get hazy some days (especially noticeable if you're photographing it), and will be better if you can do it on a clear day or early in the morning. There's enough to see here, though, that the trail's enjoyable any time it's open. (Note that it's usually closed in the winter, and might not open in the spring until the Glacier Point Road opens, generally in May - see the park service's Wilderness Conditions Trail Update page to see if it's listed among the currently closed trails.)

What's Included

  • Nearest Bathrooms: In the valley, you'll find bathrooms at the Swinging Bridge, about 200 meters east of the trailhead. At the top, they're next to the Glacier Point parking lot.
  • Nearest Snacks: At the top, the trail ends (or begins) at the Glacier Point gift shop & cafeteria, which sells a variety of snacks. At the bottom, your closest options are the Yosemite Lodge, roughly 0.75 miles (1 km) away, and Yosemite Village, 1.2

Your Journey

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