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Re: 4 Mile Trail

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4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 10:20AM
My parents who live in Yosemite's backyard (Fresno) realize I probably know more about Yosemite news than they do so they recently asked me if 4 mile Trail is open yet. I can't remember seeing the answer and didn't find the answer with a quick perusal on the park site. Is it open?

(What is really happening is that last year as I was training for some big Yosemite hikes I was stuck in Chicago walking up and down stairs of tall buildings while my father was taking day trips to Yosemite. This year, I'm doing 3,500 ft climbs at least once a week and my father is falling behind in our training for Mt. Whitney.)
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 10:57AM
The Four Mile Trail is closed below Union Point, (approximately halfway up the trail to Glacier Point), due to hazardous snow conditions. The lower section of the trail is open, but may be snowy and icy.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm
Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 11:00AM
I've hiked all the trails in Yosemite and the Four Mile Trail has always been my favorite. It blows away Half Dome for me in every respect.

I've never seen the entire trail open up to Glacier Point until May, at least not in the past 25 years. If you want to extend the hike another three miles, you can continue from Glacier Point to Sentinel Dome. There's also a drinking fountain at GP, so you can refill your water bottles there.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 11:23AM
So you've been to my beloved Loch Tablae?

On a related note... someone asked me my fav-o-rite trail in Yosemite... and I couldn't answer them.
(I did tell them that Yosemite is not just the valley though)

I do sort of owe you an apology... I certainly do like the 4 Mile Trail immensely.

Have fun and enjoy your pic-a-nic



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Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 11:24AM
Thanks much. That was the info I was looking for and failed to find in my search of the site. I found the rock climbing closures and the road closures/status but not the trail info. I told my parents yesterday I assumed the trail was closed since this site basically handles every major announcement from the park and I hadn't seen it yet.

Glacier Point/Sentinel Dome and the trail are indeed awesome but there is something to be said for looking down those waterfalls and experiencing the roar. And that is long before you even get to Half Dome.

I'll tell my dad he needs to do Yosemite Falls trail or Snow Creek. Actually I know he has never done Snow Creek so he REALLY should do that one. (I haven't either, and I know its a tough climb, but man what an awesome view of the Canyon, Domes, and Clouds Rest.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2012 11:30AM by chicagocwright.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 11:52AM
Of course he can still go up to Glacier Point the long way. Take the John Muir Trail to the Panorama Trail. Or take the Pohono Trail to Glacier Point. In regards to the Pohono Trial, one can even start at Yosemite Valley by hiking the Old Wawona Road up to where it intersects with the Pohono Trail. I think though that right now there still may be some snow along the Pohono Trail, especially along the tree shaded portions of it. I would think that almost all if not all of the Panorama Trail should be snow free by now due to the very warm weather we had last week.

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Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 12:10PM
Speaking of closures and the 4 mile trail; I can't imagine that the 4 mile trail as is "closed" in the winter, is much harder or "hazardous" as some of the hikes I'm doing. But Yosemite is a different beast. One they have to protect the large crowds from getting in situations they can't handle or S&R would be overwhelmed. Two they also have to protect the trail itself from erosion and wear and tear that can happen in off season travel. The trails here are not even close to being as maintained or defined.

So I guess my question is: does "closed" really mean "CLOSED" as a fineable/punishable offense? Based on some Mist Trail pictures I've seen I think I know the answer...Or am I just completely misunderstanding the 4 mile trail in the winter?

Edit: One thing I know I didn't mention are the avalanche chutes. Causing an avalance in Alaska on an unpopulated mountain is different than Yosemite Valley.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2012 12:35PM by chicagocwright.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 01:42PM
Have you hiked the 4 Mile Trail?

The huge issue is way up at the top where you traverse around a sheer rock wall which is 100+ feet high
and the abyss below (ok, the old trail is actually below.. but it's a long a way down).
Fill that baby with snow and you got yourself something that you will need a large pair and crampons
to get across in the worst condtions.
The same is true for the "Ice Cut" on the upper section of the JMT.

I'll run down to the 4 Mile trail section this weekend from GP (rd. should be reopened by then) and take
a picture. Last year I wanted to go up 4 Mile with it closed and they refused to give me a overnight permit.
So I ended up going up the Pohono instead. The lady didn't buy that I knew which way to go up... o well..
I'm conviniced there are ways around the problem areas... but since I haven't done it myself yet... good luck
If Old Guy will drive the Chick-on Mobile down and get pick me up I may go down that way this weekend.

Have fun



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Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 02:00PM
I wonder if I was so awestruck looking down that I forgot to look up and see the sheer rock wall you are talking about. Its been a few years since I hiked the 4 Mile Trail. I didn't remember anything that was similar to the Mist Trail where you have Rock on one side and a "cliff" (Mist isn't so much a deep cliff as just a dangerous river below where the end result would be the same) on the other. I was leaning toward the idea of your idea that there would be "ways around the problem areas" unless the snow is so completely unstable. I'm just trying to compare different things, is it worse than the Clouds Rest ridge in Winter? I'm not asking these questions to plan a trip or certainly send my dad for an inheritance trek but pure curiosity.

Our traditional family lunch spot since I was a kid is a big boulder up on Glacier Point. From Fresno, we used to always stop at KFC (WHICH THEY CLOSED) in Oakhurst and eat on the rock. The problem with the rock is there is now one tree branch that creates a problem with space. Is it a problem to saw off that tree branch? winking smiley Anyway after multiple times doing this I finally decided I was hiking down to the valley instead of driving.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 10:16PM
Pizza Guy.. here's two of the section I speak of:



and this one was JUST when the trail was opened...


The gate is way below Union Pt. proper... which can get get dicey too... (since that is where the gate is... )
I don't have pix of that... haven't seen it bad... but as you can see from the 2 above... with enough snow... no go... w/o crampons



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avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 09:35PM
Quote
chick-on
Have you hiked the 4 Mile Trail?

The huge issue is way up at the top where you traverse around a sheer rock wall which is 100+ feet high
and the abyss below (ok, the old trail is actually below.. but it's a long a way down).
Fill that baby with snow and you got yourself something that you will need a large pair and crampons
to get across in the worst condtions.
The same is true for the "Ice Cut" on the upper section of the JMT.

I'll run down to the 4 Mile trail section this weekend from GP (rd. should be reopened by then) and take
a picture. Last year I wanted to go up 4 Mile with it closed and they refused to give me a overnight permit.
So I ended up going up the Pohono instead. The lady didn't buy that I knew which way to go up... o well..
I'm conviniced there are ways around the problem areas... but since I haven't done it myself yet... good luck
If Old Guy will drive the Chick-on Mobile down and get pick me up I may go down that way this weekend.

Have fun

He'll drive the Chick-on Mobile down. What time Saturday AM? 6ish? Bring the 30inchers.



Old Dude
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 10:17PM
Ok sir. And ok.

We're gonna run around the valley for a bit beforehand.



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Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 11:33PM
I know you will but please post pictures. And be careful! Don't want the bird getting hurt taking pictures for me!

That said, does the Old Dude wait at the top until you give him a call back after getting past that tough part? In case it is so bad you have to turn back? And it that a footpath in the first picture?
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 27, 2012 06:32AM
Quote
chicagocwright
And it that a footpath in the first picture?
Yes that is the trail ... in both pictures. The second one is looking west-ish.
Obviously taken on two separate occasions.
I will be careful... and give you hint... I'm not taking the trail. wink



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avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 26, 2012 10:28PM
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 27, 2012 06:01AM
Something like that. He's lucky I don't take the wife's car:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,51504

(I have no idea who that is next to it though... came back with gas and some clown is trying to be funny)



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Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 29, 2012 08:03PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mrcondron
He'll drive the Chick-on Mobile

http://www.flickr.com/photos/enderike/2997548337/

or

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/agilitynut/3828163333/

?

Oooooo, I like the second one. If you are driving that come pick me up!
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 29, 2012 07:53PM
The trail is open. Slightly worse than the photo above.... but open on top and bottom.
NPS has put new signs about snow covered trails... and one was atop GP.
Also, they have new signs with "Trail Closed" they just flip.... both one the top and bottom...
they were both closed (i.e. trail is open for your enjoyment)



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avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 29, 2012 10:04PM
Quote
chick-on

NPS has put new signs about snow covered trails... and one was atop GP.

Do you have a photo of that sign, by any chance?
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 30, 2012 06:22AM
Ask and ye shall receive:


I'm certain these are due to the last couple of years of early road openings.
(by that I mean a road open with booo-ko snow still on trails)
Lots of people lost recently (there were hand-made signs last year "people have been lost here" )
Actually I ended up spending an hour or so helping some guy who was completely
lost follow the trail and get him on his way... I told the guy that he shouldn't be relying
on "footprints in the snow"... he should know how to follow the trail, know where he is,
and know how to get where he is going without the trail.... why? because he might
run across some clown like me who alot of times doesn't care if he is on the trail
and or/ doesn't want to be on the trail b/c is exploring or looking for a sleep spot.

Anyway, have fun out there and be safe

(o... this sign was at Taft Parking.... there was along at Pan Trail and also 4 Mile at GP)



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/30/2012 06:23AM by chick-on.
Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 30, 2012 06:48AM
Quote
chick-on
Ask and ye shall receive: (image of sign redacted)
(o... this sign was at Taft Parking.... there was along at Pan Trail and also 4 Mile at GP)
This sign is very good advice. Without my GPS for the return trip in the dark from Cathedral lakes last year I would have spent the night in the forest.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 30, 2012 09:25PM
Thanks for posting the photo.

On which trail was this fellow lost? It wasn't this past weekend on the Four Mile Trail, was it? Perhaps the trail to Taft Point or Sentinel Dome?

Of all the trails in Yosemite, I would think the Four Mile Trail would be one of the hardest to get lost (once you get onto the traverse from Glacier Point).

But I can see this sign being needed for anyone who wants to hike to Taft Point through the snow.

.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 30, 2012 09:50PM
It was The Pohono.

Pohono is actually not that trivial to follow since it's anything but flat and goes into the woods
quite a bit... and is a north facing slope...
I think a lots o people think the north and south rim trails are flat.... uh... uh huh

Here's what the 4 Mile Trail traverse section looked like:

Slip off to the right and you are a goner

and looking east once beyond the traverse:




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Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 30, 2012 10:04PM
Is the footpath high on that ice pack then? And is the fall ledge directly below the separated piece of snow? I always tell my wife the pictures make it look much worse than it really was...wink
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
May 01, 2012 07:23AM
Quote
chicagocwright
Is the footpath high on that ice pack then? And is the fall ledge directly below the separated piece of snow? I always tell my wife the pictures make it look much worse than it really was...wink
Yes and I'm not sure what you are asking.
Funny thing is... sometimes the pictures make it look much LESS worse than it is.
That is especially true when taking a photo looking down. You just don't get the same feeling.



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Re: 4 Mile Trail
May 01, 2012 07:40AM
Quote
chick-on
Funny thing is... sometimes the pictures make it look much LESS worse than it is.
That is especially true when taking a photo looking down. You just don't get the same feeling.

Now I can't let my wife read this thread! It does show why some topics aren't great for a public thread.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
April 30, 2012 10:58PM
Yes, I definitely could see someone not familiar with the Pohono Trail having difficulty staying on the trail in the snow if they didn't have a GPS on them.

In regards to that first photo of the Four Mile Trail traverse, wouldn't the person – unless they were really unlucky – just tumble down to the old trail below? Also, if I'm not mistaken (though I could be), in that first photo isn't that the start of the old trail up to Sentinel Dome (where the snow ascends along the side of that rock) or is the junction with that trail further west?
.
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
May 01, 2012 07:28AM
The old trail is a good 50 ft. below (at least). I'm not sure about you... but falling down
50 ft. just isn't good. And that would be best case that you stopped. If you fell in the wrong
spot... there's no way you make it. Yes, I'm being over-dramatic here but you have
to realize that a zillion people hike this trail.
The old trail up to Sentinel Dome is behind me in the second picture.
The first picture here was taken from the old trail.



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avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
May 01, 2012 10:22AM
Thanks for pointing out where the first photo was taken. And from that photo you're definitely correct, it's at least a fifty foot drop to the old trail. For some reason I thought at that point it would be maybe just a 20 to 30 foot tumble.
.
Re: 4 Mile Trail
May 01, 2012 11:22AM
Quote
plawrence
Thanks for pointing out where the first photo was taken. And from that photo you're definitely correct, it's at least a fifty foot drop to the old trail. For some reason I thought at that point it would be maybe just a 20 to 30 foot tumble.
.

Is that the difference between a broken ankle and a broken neck?
avatar Re: 4 Mile Trail
May 01, 2012 11:48AM
It depends if it's a tumble down a slope versus a straight drop.
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