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tunnel view

The trails from floor to rim at Yosemite Valley are strenuous. This trail is no exception at 9.6 miles/15.5 km round-trip with 3,200 feet/975 m elevation change in each direction it can take six to eight hours. An ever changing perspective unfolds revealing fantastic views at each new turn as you ascend the many switchbacks. Upon reaching the top Glacier Point overlooks iconic valley features.

During the summer months you can pay to take the Hikers Bus to Glacier Point and hike down. Reservations for this Bus can be made in advance at Yosemite Lodge or any DNC activities desk. If you have access to two cars you could do a one way hike in either direction. Sometimes I like to go up the four mile across on the panorama and then down the mist trail for an 18 mile loop. I always start early around first light for this hike. If you start early the ascent is mostly in the shade. If you start later in the morning the direct sunlight will be hot and can detract from enjoyment as you climb.

All photos were taken by me May 30, 2012
Camera = Sony A200

The trailhead is just off the side of the road on Southside Drive going into Yosemite Valley. There is parking for about 25 or 30 cars. A shuttle bus stops there in the summer months.


    Yosemite Falls across road
yosemite falls

     Start of the trail looking up at Sentinel Rock.
sentinel rock

    Leaving the valley floor
start of trail

    The "entering wilderness" sign
wilderness sign

You will want to have bug repellent for this first part of the trail. A hat is also a good thing to have. The bugs are fierce in this area until you climb up out of there.

    The Lower Gate
lower gate

There are a lot of giant boulders scattered around the valley near the walls.
Notice the size of these two by the gate. The middle portion of this trail is closed during winter months. That is when these large rocks tend to fall down from above. Snow and ice conditions on the trail can also become a hazard.

    Old retaining wall

    Yosemite Falls View
falls view

    Water crossing
more trail

    El Capitan and Valley view ( El Cap is on the right )
trail view

    The trail climbs steeply
more trail 2

    Upper Yosemite Falls Trail ( approximation shown in red ) as seen from Four Mile Trail
trail outline

    El Cap and valley view as you gain altitude
wide view

    Yosemite Falls view from about half way up
yosemite falls half way up

    Bee on flowers at around 5500 feet above sea level
bee on flower

    This tree has ants
tree with ants

    Hard to see Ants with wings ( white things ) coming out of the base that tree
ants with wings

    Hiker on trail switchbacks
hiker with falls and trail

    More valley view from higher up
higher still

You can really see how the glaciers shaped the walls of the valley in this view.

    Avalanche chute
avalanch chute

     Lizard on rock
lisard sunning

    First view of Half Dome
first view of half dome

    Upper Gate
upper gate

    Union Point Sign you are now 2/3 of the way up
union point sign

    Looking out to Union Point
union point looking ahead

    Looking left from Union Point
union point looking left

    Looking right from Union Point
union point looking right

    Changing over from Oaks to Evergreens as you ascend
upper trail

    Another avalanche chute, it's a long way down from here
another avalanche chute

    Ahwanee Hotel

This hotel has an interesting dining hall. Go there at 7AM for breakfast. You will enjoy!
Lunch can be nice as well. Dinner requires reservations and "proper attire".

    The last part of the trail goes through the woods and is less steep
trail changes

    First view of Glacier Point Area
first view of glacxier point

    Glacier Point Gift Shop
glacier point store

    Closed Bathrooms ( flush kind )
closed bathrooms

This bathroom structure was built at the same time as the gift shop. ( early 1990's ? )
They had it open for one year but then closed it. There was fear that the septic system leach field was promoting instability of the rock faces after a massive rock fall down onto the Happy Isles Nature Center area happened. You can make arrangements to cross country ski or snow shoe out to Glacier Point in the winter and stay overnight in the store building. Check at the Badger Pass ski area or on line for details.

    Geology Hut
geology hut

    View from Geology Hut
view from geology hut

You can see climbers on the face of Half Dome and hikers on top with the telescope seen here. ( no charge ) The falls seen to the right of Half Dome are Nevada ( upper ) and Vernal ( lower ).

    Half Dome
Half Dome

If you look close you can see people on top of Half Dome. This hike requires a permit.
There is an online lottery system to obtain one. Check NPS web site for info.

    Heading to Glacier Point Overlook
heading out to Glacier Point

    Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point
yosemite falls from glacier point

    Half Dome from Glacier Point
half dome from glacier point

    Heading down
heading down

    Yosemite Falls flowing stronger in the afternoon heat
Yosemite Falls with afternoon flow

    Half Dome view as you descend
half dome

This is my second diary posting. Hope you enjoyed it.

Originally posted to jbob on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 05:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, Park Avenue, and Public Lands.

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