Offering amazing views of both the high country and Yosemite Valley, this hike is a favorite among first time visitors and experienced hikers. After an informational shuttle tour to Glacier Point, we will take in the views and your guide will point out Yosemite’s most iconic features from this incredible vantage point. Our hike then takes us mostly downhill for just over 8.5 miles. We will pass beside three major waterfalls while also partaking in amazing scenery of the Yosemite high country. If you or your group are looking for some of the best, most accessible hiking in Yosemite, look no further! If you are looking for an extended Glacier Point hiking experience, which also includes hiking Half Dome, be sure to check out our 4-Day Glacier Point to Half Dome backpacking trip!
Please Note: This hike requires a one-way bus operated by Yosemite Hospitality. We only book tickets after the request for the hike is made. All tours are private and include bus tickets for all participants. In 2020 these buses did not operate due to COVID. If this is the same case in 2021 we will contact you to select a different tour itinerary.
Meeting Location: Yosemite Lodge at 4,035′
High Point: Glacier Point at 7,214′
Elevation Loss: 3,179′
This day will begin when you meet your guide at the Yosemite Lodge (across from Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Valley) at 8:00am in order to catch the morning tour bus to Glacier Point. After an extremely informational and mind-prepping hour drive to Glacier Point, our hike begins!
During the Glacier Point hike we will take in astonishing views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Cloud’s Rest, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. From here your guide will point out prominent landmarks and discuss the monolith’s historical importance to Yosemite National Park, followed by our first 1.5 mile push descending 800 vertical feet to the top of the 370 foot Illilouette Fall. We will take a break here by the beautiful Illilouette Creek.
The next 1-1.5 miles brings us up a moderately strenuous section of switchbacks ascending around 300 vertical feet. Once the switchbacks are conquered, the trail flattens out for an easy and scenic 1-1.5 miles to our next junction. This is known as the Panorama Trail and it runs along this eastern point in the valley offering amazing panoramic pictures!
The following mile is a serious downhill series of 20 or so switchbacks dropping us 700 feet in elevation to the outflow of 594-foot Nevada Fall. After a breather and lunch break atop this wondrous waterfall, we will continue on one of two trails depending on cliental preference: either a less-strenuous 3.5 mile trek down the John Muir Trail, which offers higher vantage points and beautiful perspectives of Nevada and Vernal Falls as well as of Half Dome’s South face and the abrupt uprising of Liberty Cap, or a slightly shorter route of 2.5 miles down the granite staircases of the Mist Trail alongside of the Merced River and it’s 594 and 317 foot falls of Nevada and Vernal. Both trails bring us to public restrooms and running water at the base of Vernal Fall about 1 mile from Happy Isles.
From the scenic bridge here at the base, it is a 1-mile hike upon a steep downhill, paved trail to Happy Isles. From here we will catch a Valley free shuttle bus which will return us to the Yosemite Lodge.
Profits from our guided trips go towards supporting our youth summer camp program.