One Mile Trail
30 May 1998 - by David Harris
Laurie Price and your scribe David Harris went exploring the One Mile Trail
to Glacier Point from Yosemite Valley. We'd gathered lots of useful route
info from PCS members and will combine the info in this trip report.
The One Mile Trail, aka Ledge Trail, starts at Curry Village and ascends
the prominent ledge from left to right beneath Glacier Point. It was evidently
an official trail at one point and was closed due to an avalanche in the 60's;
it remains fairly well marked with paint on rocks.
To find the trail, start at the Curry Village hamburger stand and walk toward
the cliffs of Glacier Point. You'll head up the hill, which eventually turns
into a steep dirt wash. The wash terminates on the leftmost end of a broad
(50' wide) overgrown ledge sloping up across the face of Glacier Point. Traces
of the old trail, marked with orange and yellow paint, cut an easy path through
the brush, headed west. The ledge terminates at the top of Staircase Falls
and the route zigs back to the left up a 25-30 degree canyon containing
Staircase Creek. Along the way, you pass a sign saying trail closed and
warning of slick rock. The top of Staircase Falls offers the best viewing
angle on Yosemite Falls of any place in the valley.
The final canyon with Staircase Creek was filled with several feet of snow
in perfect condition for kicking steps. When the snow is gone, the chute
is evidently class 2-3; the rest of the trail is class 1-2. The path emerges
a few hundred yards from Glacier Point.
After enjoying the spectacular and secluded views from Glacier Point, we
descended to Nevada Falls and out to Happy Isles. Thanks to everyone who
sent me information about this remarkable route.
Tony Cruz adds:
My family camped a few yards away from the Merced River in
the Houskeeping area near Curry Villiage over the holiday weekend.
I tried the One Mile Trail on July 3. You can spot the route from
the meadow across from Curry Villiage on the road toward Yosemite
Villiage. There is an angled ledge filled with vegetation that ends
at a cascade.
I didn't get to sleep until 2 a.m. the night before, so I was late
for my 7 a.m. rendezvous with three PCSers that wanted to join
us. They set off ahead us and we had breakfast at the Curry
Villiage Cafeteria. I set off at about 8:30 a.m. with my 9 year old
daughter and a 17 year old friend ofmy son. We hiked directly
toward the canyon wall from the cafeteria past several tent
cabins. It took us until early afternoon to make the 3,000 foot
hike on a beautiful clear day. My most anxious moment was watching
my kid cross the cascade. From there we climbed the gully, which
was almost entirely free of snow and muddy (note in Dave Harris'
attached report that he was able to kick steps in the snow from
this point in May). The effort involved in hiking this "trail" was
comparable to that required to bag some Sierra peaks and it was
well worth it. The views of Yosemite Falls were glorious indeed.
And the SOUND of the water exploding down the canyon wall was
amazing. We saw no one else on the trail. We made it to Glacier
Point and I elected to hike down 4.4 mile trail, since I had never
taken it and I had already taken the trail to Happy Isles on
By the way, I drove up to Toulomne Meadows, which was surprisingly
free of snow. Tioga Pass was opened July 1, I think.
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