moon cathedral peak yosemite

Hiking the Four-Mile Trail to Glacier Point

By Heather

When you’re in one of the world’s premier hiking destinations, you’d be insane not to take advantage of it!

We arrived in Yosemite on Sunday afternoon. Our hike to Half Dome was that Thursday, so I used Monday morning to tackle the Four-Mile Trail. The trail starts on the valley floor and switchbacks all the way up to Glacier Point.

This hike can be done one way in either direction: Hike up to Glacier Point, take a bus back down; or take a bus up to Glacier Point and hike back down. The bus is $25 for an adult.

As always, I got my start early. I felt a little spoiled to be able to roll out of bed and just start the hike. No driving for once!

moon cathedral peak yosemite

Moon over Cathedral Peak.

The trail’s name is a misnomer. When it was first built, it was indeed four miles. Today, it’s closer to 4.8, thanks to some re-routing over the years.

yosemite falls four-mile trail

The trail is a mixture of pavement, rock and dirt. It’s very shady and really easy to trip, so pay attention to your steps. As you climb, you’ll enjoy ever-changing views of Yosemite Falls and you’ll be able to hear them roaring.

Unfortunately, my hike on this trail was full of goofs that kept me from reaching the finish line.

The walk from Housekeeping to the trail head didn’t seem very daunting, but it added about two miles one-way to the hike. I should have driven to the trail head.

I’ve also been experimenting with tying my laces to prevent my toes from banging the front of my boots on downhills. But I tied them so poorly that the tops were digging into the skin above my ankles and the front of my foot ached from tying my laces too tight. Fortunately, I was able to iron out the issues for the Half Dome hike.

By the time I reached the point where there’s 1.5 miles left to go before reaching Glacier Point, I was frustrated and feeling like I should have been farther along than that. On top of that, I began to feel paranoid that I would destroy my feet before Half Dome with the way my shoes were tied. The pain was past the point of no return. The only solution was getting the shoes off and resting.

So, I called it a hike and turned back. It was still a decent trek despite the early turnaround and I still managed to notch about 11 miles or so. Plus, I got to hike in Yosemite.

Oh, well… Next time!