Panorama Trail, Yosemite National Park Hiking

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Panorama Trail

Panorama Trail takes you past Illilouette Creek, with a view of Illilouette Fall, then leads upward for a gentle climb with views of Half Dome, Nevada Fall and the river. Read More

  • The falls are best in spring and early summer 
  • Mostly downhill hike from Glacier Point, with a short stretch of elevation 
  • Views of Half Dome, Nevada Fall, North Dome, Liberty Cap 
  • At Vernal Fall, you encounter the granite steps of Mist Trail


The Panorama Trail is named for the spectacular views of Yosemite Valley. The easiest way to take this trail in the summer is to ride the shuttle to Glacier Point, then hike the predominately downhill trail to end at Happy Isles. You can hike in either direction or both, as an out-and-back. The trail merges with Mist Trail at Nevada and Vernal Falls.


Begin at Panorama Trailhead, Glacier Point, for the downhill trek or at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley for the uphill climb.


  • Distance: 8.5 miles one way to valley floor 
  • Time: approximately 6 hours 
  • Elevation drop: 3200 feet 
  • Difficulty: strenuous, extremely difficult in winter 
  • Trail type: one way 
  • Trailhead: Glacier Point

Plan & Prepare

Use caution when near the river, and at view points, such as Panorama Point, since there are no guard rails. Be aware of forks in the road, there are three from the Glacier Point Trailhead, but they are marked, just follow them to stay on Panorama Trail.