Four Mile Trail - 9.6 miles/15.5 km round-trip. 6 to 8 hours; 3,200 ft/975 m elevation gain. Begin at the Four Mile Trailhead along Southside Drive in Yosemite Valley. In summer months, take the El Capitan Shuttle to the trailhead. Trail can also be accessed from year-round Valley Visitor Shuttle Stop #7, adding about ½ mile to the total distance. This trail begins near the base of Sentinel Rock and climbs to the top of Glacier Point. Although many hikers do this trail as a round-trip hike, an alternative in the summer is to purchase a bus ticket to Glacier Point and hike down. Reservations are required; visit a tour desk for details. Trail closed in winter due to ice and extremely hazardous conditions.
Panorama Trail 8.5 miles/13.7 km one-way to Valley floor (via Mist Trail); 6 hours for 3,200 ft/975m descent. Begin at the Panorama Trailhead at Glacier Point. As its name implies, this trail offers some incredible panoramic views of Yosemite Valley. The trail crosses Illilouette Fall after 2 miles (3.2 km) and continues partially uphill along the Panorama Cliff. At the top of Nevada Fall, the trail joins the Mist and John Muir Trails to Happy Isles. In the summer, hikers may purchase a one-way bus ticket to Glacier Point and hike down. Reservations required; visit a tour desk for details.
Upper Yosemite Fall 7.2 miles/11.6 km round-trip; 6 to 8 hours; 2,700 ft/823 m elevation gain. Begin at the Upper Yosemite Fall Trailhead, Camp 4 (shuttle stop #7). One of Yosemite oldest historic trails (built 1873 to 1877), the Upper Yosemite Fall trail leads to the top of North America’s tallest waterfall 2,425 feet (739 m) above the Valley floor. Do not stray off the marked path, as you will find steep drops adjacent to the trail. Enjoy spectacular views from Columbia Rock located one mile (and dozens of switchbacks) from the trailhead.
Vernal & Nevada Falls Vernal Fall footbridge: 1.6 miles/2.6 km round-trip;1.5 hours with 400 ft./122 m elevation gain Vernal Fall: 2.4 miles/3.9km round-trip; 3 hours with 1,000 ft./366 m. elevation gain (via Mist Trail) Nevada Fall: 5.4 miles/8.7km round-trip; 5 to 6 hours with 2,000 ft./610 m. elevation gain (via Mist Trail). Begin at Happy Isles (shuttle stop #16) . An excellent view of Vernal Fall is visible from the footbridge at 0.75 miles (1.3 km). Beyond the bridge, at 0.2 miles, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge. To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 mile (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer. The top of Nevada Fall may be reached by continuing 1.3 miles (2.1 km) along the Mist Trail. Nevada Fall may also be reached via the John Muir Trail (bypassing Vernal Fall). Portions of the John Muir and Mist Trails are closed in winter due to hazardous conditions.
Half Dome (cables typically up from late May to early October) via Mist Trail 14 mi/22.5 km round-trip; via John Muir Trail 16.3 mi/26.3 km round-trip; via Mist and John Muir Trails 15.2 mi/24.4 km round-trip; 10 to 12 hours; 4,800 ft./1,463 m. elevation gain. Begin at Happy Isles (shuttle stop #16)
DO NOT BEGIN THIS ASCENT IF: 1) the cables are down, 2) there is any chance of rain (moisture makes the granite too slick for safety), or 3) there is any chance of lightning. Follow the Mist Trail or John Muir Trail to Nevada Fall. Continue on the trail, following the signs to Half Dome. The last 900 feet (275 m) of trail is a very steep climb up the east side of Half Dome. Cables assist hikers on the final 400 feet (122 m). They consist of two steel cables, about 3 feet apart and suspended at arm’s height from pipes set in the rock. The top of Half Dome is a fairly large and level open surface. Camping is not permitted on top of Half Dome.