originally four miles
The Four Mile Trail offers the shortest route from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point. It is considered a strenuous 4.8 mile hike with 3,200 feet of elevation gain. Those willing to take on this hike are rewarded with spectacular views of El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. The Four Mile Trail was originally four miles long when it was built in 1872. It was lengthened to 4.8 miles in the 1900s. (Source - Wikipedia)
The trail starts along Southside Drive in Yosemite Valley. You can reach the trailhead via the El Capitan Shuttle when the bus is operating. You could also start from Yosemite Lodge (Shuttle Stop 7) or Sentinel Bridge (Shuttle Stop 11). Both stops require a walk of a half mile to one mile to reach the trailhead. The trail leaves the valley floor and starts gaining elevation immediately. The trail has a gradual and consistent elevation gain as you follow a well maintained trail.
A series a switchbacks lead you up several hundred feet. From there the trail heads in a northeasterly direction as you hike beneath Sentinel Rock. After roughly one mile, the trail hits more switchbacks as you continue ascending up the trail. You'll reach a junction at 2.3 miles for Union Point. It's a quick five minute walk to the viewpoint. Your rewarded with a fantastic view of Yosemite Falls. Return to the junction and continue heading up the switchbacks for the next 1.5 miles. At this point your done with the switchbacks and your almost there. Continue on the slight incline and you'll eventually come out at the Glacier Point Gift Shop.
Once at Glacier Point, you can spend time enjoying the wonderful views of Yosemite. The gift shop sells souvenirs, snacks and hot dogs. Take this opportunity to load up for the return hike. You can return down the Four Mile Trail or continue hiking on the Panorama Trail which connects to the Mist Trail. You can follow the Mist Trail back into Yosemite Valley.
Additional Info: There is an option to ride a shuttle up to Glacier Point starting at Yosemite Lodge. This is a pay shuttle. You can make a reservation in Yosemite at any Tour and Activity Desk or by calling 209-372-4386. Restrooms and water are available at Glacier Point. No potable water is available along the hike.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.