Panorama Trail

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Elevation Gain3,118ft
Trailhead Elevation7,211ft
Elevation Min/Max5882/7288ft
Elevation Start/End7211/7211ft

Panorama Trail

Panorama Trail is a hiking trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 4.4 miles long and begins at 7,211 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,118 feet. Near the trailhead there are an amphi theatre, telephones, a viewpoint, drinking waters, and restrooms. The Illilouette Fall attraction and the Panorama Cliff can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Buena Vista Trail.

Panorama Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Panorama Trail is one of the greatest adventures in Northern California. With epic views nearly every step of the way, it highlights many of the grandest features in Yosemite, passing three staggering waterfalls and boasting constantly changing views of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley.

There is perhaps no other trail that can claim as many awe-inspiring views as Yosemite’s Panorama Trail. The hike begins with top-of- the world vistas at Glacier Point, quite possibly the Sierra’s finest single overlook, and makes a long, circuitous descent to Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. Though the perspective on iconic Half Dome changes over the course of the journey, the great dome is a constant companion throughout the hike."

"The Panorama Trail’s name provides the necessary description: this is Yosemite Valley’s most view-rich walk. The trail descends from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley via Illilouette, Nevada, and Vernal falls, providing nearly continuous vistas into and across the Merced River Canyon and the east end of Yosemite Valley. It is especially rewarding, for as it traverses eastward, it provides ever-changing views of the surrounding walls, waterfalls, and canyon."

"The Panorama Trail begins at Glacier Point on the south rim of Yosemite Valley, passes Illilouette Fall, and continues to the John Muir Trail at Nevada Fall. This hike leads to Illilouette Fall, which drops 370 feet over a granite lip and plummets down the deep vertical rock gorge, crashing onto the rocks below. Above the falls, Illilouette Creek cascades over large flat slabs of granite rock. The Panorama Trail fulfills its name with spectacular bird’s-eye views of the entire east side of Yosemite Valley. The stunning geologic features include Nevada, Vernal and Illilouette Falls, North Dome, Basket Dome, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Mount Broderick and Liberty Cap."

"This hike is an 8.5-mile one-way shuttle hike that descends 3,200 feet from Glacier Point atop the south rim of Yosemite Valley. The trail ends at Happy Isles on the east end of the valley floor. From Glacier Point, the route traverses down Illilouette Ridge to the top of Illilouette Fall, crosses a bridge over the gorge, and follows along Panorama Cliff to Nevada Fall. The trail joins the John Muir Trail, following the watercourse of the Merced River back to the valley."

"The name of the trail says it all. It follows the southeastern portion of the valley rim above Happy Isles, crossing Illilouette Creek at the top of Illilouette Fall to the (usually) sunny flat where Nevada Fall launches itself over the cliff into Yosemite Valley. The Giant Staircase is in sight much of the way, as well as occasional glimpses of Yosemite Falls back to the west. You get five famous waterfalls in one hike."

Panorama Trail Reviews

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The whole family did this hike in an easy six hours. We stopped a lot, took photos, and enjoyed our day. Our fickle 12 year old did this trails without too much complaining and the 9 year old loved it. We took the shuttle from Yosemite Lodge to Glacier Point and hiked down. Strongly recommend this hike. It's awesome!
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Great views, but not as down hill as one would think. Healthy climb up from Illiloute Falls. Not sure if this is any easier than going up the Mist Trail.
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Panorama Trail Photos

Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Skill Level
PO Box 577, Yosemite National Park 95389; (209) 372-0200
Local Contacts
USGS Half Dome
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018