Yosemite; Hiking Up Four Mile Trail To Glacier Point


Perks of a three hour time change, we woke up at 5:30am ready for the day! We took it easy, did some work, got an accepted offer on one of our homes and had a good complemtary breakfast. Headed 45 minutes into the park and stoped at the Wilderness Center to see about hiking Half Dome since a back country permit is required. As we figured, no permits were available for the duration of our stay. People reserve months in advance. I was super bummed.

The ranger suggested we enter the daily lottery. They pick 50 lucky winners daily. The daily lotteries have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night. For example, we entered Tuesday before 1pm Pacific time to hike Thursday (on my 28th Birthday :). There are two fees. We paid $6.50 per application to enter on the phone. We both called and applied to better our chances! If we win its an additional $8 fee per person for the permit. This fee pays for park rangers checking for Half Dome permits and providing hiking and safety information. The woman on the phone said there are about 120-150 entering daily so the odds were against us! Click here to see our results!

Now for the fun part! We headed into Yosemite Valley to Four Mile Trailhead. It took us another 45 minutes or so from the wilderness center. There are not many parking spots near the trail head but we somehow managed to squeeze in at the end and got a spot! There are shuttles available but we did not use them, click here or here for information and schedules.

The hike was flat for about 5 minutes to the tail head. From there it was a gradual incline the entire 4.8 miles with several switch backs and a 3,200 ft elevation change!

The trail was very well maintained, part of it was even paved!

It quickly turned into a dirt path for the rest of the way.

This hike is not easy people! I am quite fit and I stopped several times to catch my breath, which I was okay with because look at these views! Every turn got better and better. Though it got me nervous about hiking Half Dome. They say its the hardest hike in all of Yosemite! Don’t get me wrong this hike is doable and well worth it! There were several people on the trail of all ages, you just have to take your time and have plenty of water. You also have the option to hike from top to bottom which is much easier and take a shuttle back to the top, click here for tips.

You can see Merced River below!

I love me some boulders and fresh pines!

Almost there! The last part of the trail was filled with beautiful red woods and bright green moss.

We made it to the top! We treated ourselves to ice cold Gatorade and Redbull from the shop! They even have ice cream, strange I didn’t get one, I know, but I was too hot!

Ron cooked our first freeze-dried meal using our Jet Boil.

I had Santa Fe with beans and rice and Ron had Pad Thai. His was much better. I don’t like Thai food but I have to admit, it was delicious! We are totally going to get these packs more often. Its light, cheap ($4-8 each from REI), filling and easy! No more smushed food!

I crawled down to the edge to one of the greatest views in the park, can you agree?!

Walked over to Glacier Point, the famous spot I see all over Instagram. I wanted to get an epic shot but I have to admit, I was to afraid to go to the edge.

As much as we would love to stay and soak up these views, we had to head back down. It always seems to amaze me how different the trail looks from a different angle.

I was on a sugar high can you tell!?

Eye spy Ronald.

About a mile left we came across a girl with no water, improper shoes and beat red face hiking up. We told her she’s not going to make it back before the sun goes down. She said they left their car at the top of Glacier Point and thought they could take a shuttle back up if they hiked down. It was too late in the day so they either had to hitch hike or hike back up. Her boyfriend was about a mile ahead of her. We felt awful so we filled up a water bottle and wished her luck. This goes to show the importance of planning your hikes ahead of time. Know your limits.

Made it to the end! It took us about 6-7 hours total with hanging out on top for a while.

We decided to pull off and watch the sun go down as we were heading out of the park. Can you see the tiny crescent moon in the distance?!

Drove two hours back to Mammoth Lakes, where we stayed. It was a fun filled, intense, sweaty, breathtaking views kinda day but we were excited to lay down and relax!


DISTANCE: 4.7 miles one way; 9.4 round trip. 2-3.5 hours one way.


DIFFICULTY: I rate it a 7 out of 10, with 10 being most difficult. 3,200 elevation change. Gradual incline all the way up with several switch backs.

TIPS: Expect a full day, start early, plan your hike before you start if your going to take a shuttle or not click here for schedule, hike top to bottom for an easier route, bring lots of water, you can re-fill water and get refreshments at top of Glacier Point. 

What is your favorite hike in Yosemite? I would love to hear from you! Comment below,Pin,Share and Subscribe!


2 Comments on “Yosemite; Hiking Up Four Mile Trail To Glacier Point”

  1. Pingback: My Experience Hiking Half Dome & Everything You Need To Know | The Wanderlust Brunette

  2. Pingback: 5 Must-Do Adventures in & around Yosemite National Park | The Wanderlust Brunette

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