15 :06 hrs
The trail to Merced Lake follows Panorama Trail from Glacier Point then John Muir Trail until mile 6; there is a trail on the left leading to a restroom just after the trail leaves John Muir Trail and follows the Merced River through the canyon. The trail begins by descending from Glacier Point through grass fields dotted with trees. It makes several switchbacks before it descends into the trees and travels along the rim of a cliff. There are excellent open views of Yosemite Valley and the domes that surround it along this section. It makes several more switchbacks toward the Merced River where it follows the river in and out of the forest and over rocky terrain to Merced Lake. This is intended to be an overnight trip; check with Yosemite National Park for required permits.