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Panorama - Mist Trail
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2016-05-27  
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mini location map2012-06-27
30 by photographer avatarJohn9L
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Panorama - Mist TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2012
John9L
Hiking15.50 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
4,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had an open morning and was considering my options. I wanted a hike that I could start very early and not have to rely on the bus service in Yosemite. I decided on a loop hike up the Mist Trail. I would walk from Curry Village to the Happy Isles trailhead and then head up the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Falls. From there I would connect to the Panorama Trail and head up to Glacier Point. I would then return to Yosemite Valley on the Four Mile Trail. This was going to be fun!

I was out the door in Curry Village at 6:10am and made fast time to Happy Isles. This would be my fourth hike on the Mist Trail and the first time I've walked to the trailhead. It was closer then I thought. I hit the Mist Trail and made quick time to Vernal Falls. I could tell most of the people on the trail were heading for Half Dome. I continued on and cruised all the way to Nevada Falls. Once up top I took a short break and then headed for the Panorama Trail. I was surprised the turnoff did not have a sign. Regardless I continued and the trail started ascending up a series of switchbacks. I made good time on the uphill. Eventually things leveled off and I found myself at the top of the Panorama Cliffs. The views into Yosemite Valley were spectacular!

I followed the Panorama Trail and after a couple of miles the trail descends towards Illilouette Falls. I made my way down and crossed the bridge. From there you start making switchbacks up as you proceed towards Glacier Point. There is a fantastic view of Illilouette Falls from the trail on the Glacier Point side. I continued on and made my way up. Everything was going great and I never felt better! After some effort I reached Glacier Point. This was my third time up here but the first time I've hiked up from the valley floor. Naturally the views are spectacular! I ate some lunch and spent a few minutes in the store and spent time walking around Glacier Point.

Eventually I was ready to tackle the Four Mile Trail back to Yosemite Valley. I picked up the trail and was off. I made quick time on the first mile or so. After a bit you start hitting switchbacks and they seem to never end. On the way down, I was asked at least a half dozen times how much farther they had for Glacier Point. I felt bad for some of them because it was going to be a struggle. I was glad I made this loop in a clockwise direction because ascending the Four Mile Trail will take massive effort! I eventually reached the valley floor and then turned east and started walking back. After a mile I decided to pick up the valley shuttle for the quick return to Curry Village. Another wonderful day on the trails in Yosemite! The hiking is starting to feel like a job!

These three trails are epic! The Mist Trail is the most popular trail in the park for good reason. Over the course of three miles, you ascend to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls. From there the Panorama Trail takes you even higher and deeper into Yosemite. Luckily there were only a handful of people on this section. Glacier Point is an absolute must on any Yosemite visit. There were plenty of people there but I didn't mind. The Four Mile Trail has epic views of Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. This is an amazing combo of hikes and will leave you with a great feel for Yosemite Valley!

One last note, I could not get a good signal on my GPS until I was at the top of Vernal Falls. I estimated the total hiking distance and AEG.
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