This is a very strenuous hike; with an altitude gain of 3,200 feet. You may be disappointed when you get there because you ... More
Glacier Point Trail Hike
This is a very strenuous hike; with an altitude gain of 3,200 feet. You may be disappointed when you get there because you will find that you could have reached the same place by bus. On the other hand, the trail is lovely, and you will feel virtuous because you spent four or five hours hiking. Take water with you and wear a hat as well as comfortable hiking shoes or boots. For your safety, it is recommended that you complete this hike before dark. The trail may be closed in winter.
I can't believe the first review contains the words "you may be disappointed." This hike is worth every minutes. three hours up, 2 hours down. They don't mention that the bus is $25 per person!! Having hiked in the Adirondacks, I found these trails to be extremely well maintained, smooth, and easy going. The switchbacks mean a steady, uphill climb on the face of the mountain, giving you views you can never find in NY. Could see all the way back to Tunnel View. Stopped and had lunch at one of the points. And when you get to the top; words can't begin to describe it. If you are in Yosemite, and have ever considered a hike, this is a great one to do.
My husband and I took the "easy way" by taking a bus up to Glacier Point and hiking down to the Valley Floor. We went in the fall and it was so beautiful; it's really one of our favorite hikes ever. Obviously the view from Glacier Point is magnificient, but there is also a reason why the hike is called the Panorama Trail. What views! The hillsides are covered with wildflowers, the waterfall is beautiful and the climb up to the other side of the valley is tiring but really not too strenuous. We saw a mule deer and two fawns (keep a safe distance from these cuties; the only recorded deaths in Yosemite from wildlife are from deer - not bears) and very few people which was great. By the time you get to the top of Nevada Falls you are tired, but for us the hardest part was the walk down! Our knees were so soar by the end! Funny enough, the same driver who took us up to Glacier Point was the driver of the tram that picked us up. I think he was relieved to see that we had made it! We plan to do this hike again in the near future.
I hiked up the Four Mile Trail, then took the bus down from Glacier Point. The following day I took the bus up and hiked down the Panorama and Mist Trails. Four Mile is a good, vigorous hike. It covers more than 3000 feet of elevation, so it's not easy, but it's very do-able. The switchbacks are plentiful, and the trail is mostly smooth (lots of old asphalt). By contrast, the Mist Trail has over 600 steps, many of which are very steep. Had I been going up instead of down, I would have been exhausted by the end of the Mist Trail, and too tired to continue on with the Panorama Trail. So I'm glad I did my uphill via the Four Mile. I found the Four Mile to be less crowded than the Panorama Trail.
This is called the"Four Mile Trail," although the distance from the Valley to Glacier Point is closer to five miles. Start in the morning before the sun rises over Half Dome. As you switchback up the trail, the morning sun turns the Valley sedges a beautiful yellow green and the glacier polish on the North walls of the Valley will simply sparkle. As you climb you will obtain unique views of Yosemite Falls, Sentinel Falls and Sentinel Rock, the Royal Arches, El Capitan and more. After you have traveled about three quarters of the distance, the trail turns towards Half Dome and once again you are rewarded with new vistas.
The lenghty climb to Glacier Point well supasses the bus trip for the adventurous!!
However for those in less shape, go ahead and take the bus up and walk down. However the morning climb is the better experience.
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