Four Mile Trail travels from the Valley floor near Sentinel Rock to the top of the Valley at Glacier Point 3,200 feet (975 metres) above. The trailhead can be accessed by the El Capitan shuttle (stop E5) or the visitor shuttle (stop #7) where you follow the bike path to the swinging bridge and then head West for a few minutes.
This strenuous, steep hike follows an old toll trail that was completed in 1872. Climbing out of the Valley through a series of switchbacks, the trail today is a little nearer 5 miles long, taking approximately 3 -4 hours to hike. The rewards for attempting this hike are panoramic views of the Yosemite Valley that become increasingly spectacular as you climb. After the first mile Yosemite Falls appears in all it’s glory followed by El Capitan and eventually views up Tenaya Canyon to Half Dome and the High Country. On reaching Glacier Point, the Valley opens out before you and you are treated to glorious views from every angle.
At Glacier Point visitors will find restrooms, parking and a snack stand. For the return journey it is possible to explore a different route by following the Panorama Trail (see trail entry for more details) back to the Valley below.
An alternative to the strenuous uphill hike is to take a shuttle to Glacier Point and hike this in reverse and therefore mostly downhill. The easiest option here is travel on the Glacier Point Tour bus from the Yosemite Lodge. By purchasing a one way ticket visitors can disembark the bus at Glacier Point and hike back down to the Valley. More information can be found on their website http://www.yosemitepark.com/glacier-point-tour.aspx
This trail is typically open from May to November. After major snowfalls, conditions can be treacherous and therefore the trail is closed for visitors safety.