It depends. Of course! ;-)
About The Trail:
This is a 4.8 mile hike one way with a 3,200 ft elevation gain. Yosemite National Parks ranks the difficulty as strenuous. You're looking at around 3-4 hours one way and obviously twice that (or more because you'll be tired roundtrip)
This trail contains a lot of trackbacks (aka zigzags in my vocab). You have a lot of elevation to descend in a short time so they are steep, at least to me.
Do I think Four Mile Trail Was Hard?
Yes and no. Due to a poor weather forecast and lack of time, we decided to start at the top of Glacier Point and do the hike down only.
You can either catch a bus that will take you to the top, or if you're with someone who doesn't want to hike, they could drop you off and meet you at the bottom several hours later. I felt the bus was a little costly at $25 per person, but the ride is actually quite long to the top. The roads are windy and steep and not everyone would feel comfortable with it. So it's a good option to have.
This was the first "real" hike I ever did, and I hadn't really packed for it. SO! That is why I hiked Glacier Point in Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers. hahahaha. Seriously. I will tell you that they are (obviously) not made for hiking, BUT, with a walking stick, you can hike in them!!!!
At first the hike was going quite well. It was dark, snowy, and foggy at the top of the mountain. It was ominous yet serene? I felt like I was in some fairytale story... Once I found a good walking stick I was enjoying things even more. I felt a little more secure since I didn't have amazing grip on my footwear.
After we took a break to eat, the last leg was considerably more intense. The trail hadn't been opened too long yet for the season and there must have been some rocks down because part of the trail was pretty sketchy. In fact, a lot of it. I had my camera on, cross body style, and was able to take great photos for most of the trail. Then when I got to this part, I just had to pack it away because the terrain was becoming more unpredictable to me and I was afraid of slipping and breaking my camera OR trying to protect the camera and breaking ME. EEK!
Granted, paranoia makes it worse. So... once I slipped a couple of times, then I was walking even more overly-cautiously which probably lended to more slipping, I don't know.
Once we made it to the bottom, I was SO glad it was done. (Especially because it was about to DOWNPOUR) But I was also SO proud of myself for completing it. I know to some people it wouldn't be impressive because we didn't do the upwards hike, but for me.. this was a huge accomplishment.
[P.S. I loved to cheer on the people doing the upwards hike. "Awesome job!" "You can do it!" "You're almost there!" ... They may have thought I was coming back down after completing the upwards hike, but... no... haha. Still, I hope it gave them a boost in morale to keep going!]
Is It Worth It? Would I Do It Again? What Would I Do Differently?
Yes and yes and a couple of things!
1. Absolutely it was worth it. The views were incredible all throughout and it was so satisfying to accomplish a measurable goal.
2. For sure! (Although there are a lot of other great trails to explore at Yosemite as well) Still, visiting the same trail at a different time of the day or season of the year can yield awesome variety in views of the same things. Even standing in one spot for 10 minutes you can look at one scene with fog, fluffy clouds, then bright sunshine and it completely changes the experience.
3. I would definitely wear more appropriate footwear, take a pre-hike ibuprofen, start earlier in the day, and not be as rushed. I would have enjoyed sitting in certain spots and just taking in the mountain air and vistas instead of hurrying and scurrying down so as not to keep anyone else waiting or get drenched with rain.
What About You?
Have you done the 4 Mile Glacier Point Hike at Yosemite? Did you think the Glacier Point Hike was hard?Do you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions? Would love to hear them!
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