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blueBlack Yosemite Valley Traverse

  4.6 ( 9 ) Favorite


13.1 mile 21.0 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3,990' 1,216 m
Descent: -3,931' -1,198 m
High: 7,255' 2,211 m
Low: 3,988' 1,215 m


Avg Grade: 11% (7°)
Max Grade: 52% (27°)


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Trail shared by Jason Chan

An amazing Yosemite Valley hike to Glacier Point that starts at the Four Mile Trail trailhead and ends at Happy Isle.

Jason Chan

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Trails may close if snow is present.


Want to take a hike that allows you to experience almost all the major points of interest in Yosemite? This route will take you from the valley floor to the top of Glacier Point then back down to the valley floor, presenting you with vistas of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, Mist Trail, Illilouette Falls, and more!

Need to Know

Snacks and drinks are available at Glacier Point store. Water fountains available at Glacier Point and Vernal Falls bridge.


This route will take you from the valley floor to the top of Glacier Point then back to the valley floor again, highlighting many of Yosemite's most famous viewpoints and features. Frequently, you'll come across deer and birds in the early hours, which is the recommended departure time. From time to time, you might even see a bear. There is something magical when you start early in the morning as you watch the first light hit the valley. Feeling a need for a refreshment? Take a break at the Glacier Point store. You can even soak your feet at Illiloute Creek.

Enjoying the Yosemite Valley Traverse can be broken down into three distinct segments. The journey starts at the Four Mile Trail trailhead.

From the trailhead, you make up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point. This portion is the most strenuous part of the trip, and you gain most of the hike's total elevation here. There are many switchbacks, and the trail can still be extremely steep in sections.

From Glacier Point, follow the Panorama Trail along the rim of Yosemite Valley towards Nevada Falls. You'll have hit the highest points of the hike by this time, and will be enjoying a mostly mild descent. The grades level out, and the views unfold, so be sure to keep your head up to enjoy them!

Right before you reach Nevada Falls, take the John Muir Trail down to Happy Isles. This will be the longest descent, as your knees will let you know by the end. The going is long, and there are some steeper sections, so use caution as you make your way down!

The trail is mainly dirt with a couple of paved sections near Happy Isles and Glacier Point. Most of the trails feature switchbacks so the going is not that steep. While trail is fairly well maintained, there are still some spots where obstacles like water bars, rocks, and downed trees can be encountered.

When hiking in the winter, trails might close due to snow. When hiking during early summer months, don't forget to bring bug spray for the mosquitos.

Flora & Fauna

Snakes, squirrels, mosquitos, bears, lizards, wildflowers

History & Background

Four Mile Trail used to be 4 miles, until it was extended to 4.8 miles. Glacier Point used to house a hotel before it was burned down.


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Jun 21, 2019
Morgan Brinkley
Jun 19, 2019
Toutee Vang
Toutee, Ethan, Nina, Jubay, Mark, Corbin — 9h 25m
Jun 16, 2019
Sergiy Cherepov
Did this trail plus Centinel dome and back to 4mile trailhead on the valley floor. 22 miles total. Took about 10 hours. 3.5 liter of water was not… 14mi — 8h 00m
Sep 17, 2018
Omar El Ayach
Sep 4, 2018
Franck Chev
Aug 27, 2018
Max Zaluska
Aug 25, 2018
david coe
Hard climb
Jul 1, 2018
Viktor Pishchulin

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 9 votes


  4.6 from 9 votes
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in California


217 Views Last Month
2,355 Since Aug 26, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



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