Though not as famous as many of the other trails on this list, The Panorama Trail certainly lives up to its namesake by providing a multitude of memorable views along the entirety of its length. Bookended by Glacier Point and the Mist Trail, The Panorama Trail offers some incredible views of everything you’d want to see in Yosemite, including the Yosemite Valley, some fantastic waterfalls, and more. Add in the enjoyable hike along it, which is both challenging and accessible, and it becomes puzzling why this hike isn’t more well-known.
Difficulty and Length
We would rank this a solid 6, simply because of the downhill route and its rockiness. The descent can be very difficult on peoples’ knees, and the rocks add some natural hazards that are a bit difficult to avoid. Plus, it is 8.5 miles one way (17 miles round trip) so it is a very long hike that you absolutely must be prepared for. Expect to be walking at least 4.5 hours (and upwards of 7 hours) when you visit The Panorama Trail
Unlike some of the other trails on our list, this one has some flexibility in where you can go. As we have already said, Panorama Trail gives access to both the Glacier Point and Mist Trail. But, there is also an unmarked detour to Panorama Point. Here, you will have incredible views from Glacier Point to the Royal Arches, North Dome, and the back of Half Dome. Even better, it’s not that crowded, precisely because it is unmarked, so keep an eye out for the turnoff when you are out hiking. Just be careful; some of the point fell off in 1977, so there are no more guardrails.
Best Time to Visit
Come during spring and summer, as this is when the Mist Trail’s waterfalls have the most water pouring over them.