Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite National Park

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    Views from Glacier Point
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  • Glacier Point
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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by richiecdisc Updated Sep 24, 2009

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    Glacier Point Road is only open seasonally (generally May-Oct) and if open when you are there is not to be missed. The drive itself doesn't offer many views along its 16 mile length but once at Glacier Point, you know the hour's drive was well worth the effort. The road begins off of Wawona Road, about ten miles north of town and about equidistant to the Valley Loop Road. There is a small concession on top selling beverages and snacks but be warned, it closes early if you are waiting for sunset. You get a stunning view of Half Dome from one of its more alluring angles, and can see upper and lower Yosemite Falls better than anywhere in the Valley.

    If you do not care to drive up, they run bus tours up to Glacier Point. Adults pay $41 and kids $23 with one-way fares available for those wishing to take one of the many trails down back to the Valley.

    Half Dome with Nevada Falls in the rear upper and lower Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point Half Dome from a dramatic angle us at Glacier Point, getting hungry
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  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point has incomperable views

    by jessicadf Written Sep 1, 2004

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    Drive on out to Glacier Point, along the rim of Yosemite Valley, directly at the top of the sheer cliffs above Curry Village (aka Camp Curry).

    Okay, maybe there are more incomperable views if you hike to Tuolomne Meadows, or to the top of Half Dome. But if you're going to reach your views mainly by car, then Glacier Point is the place to go.

    It takes about 30-45 minutes to get to Glacier Point from the Yosemite Valley floor, by car. There is also a 4-mile hike (named 4-mile hike, appropriately), that goes between the foot of Bridal Veil Falls and Glacier Point. I haven't done that hike, but I suspect it's a VERY good workout.

    Posing over Yosemite Valley

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Panorama Trail

    by richiecdisc Updated Sep 24, 2009

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    The Panorama Trail is one of the top day hikes in Yosemite. The 8.5 mile one-way trail crosses some of the most stunning scenery in the park and while it is more dramatic to do it from the Valley floor to Glacier Point, this requires you to have a second vehicle so you can get back to where you started or to hike back down. This combined distance of 17 miles is not impossible but keep in mind you will pick up 3200 feet and your knees might question your sanity about half-way back. Another option is to buy a one-way ticket for the Glacier Point Tour Bus. You get to do the tour on the way up and the hike back down. Though there are two departures, you would want to take the morning bus to ensure enough time for the hike and stops you will want to make. The one-way ticket cost $25 per person.

    Since we were planning on doing Half Dome from the Valley, we knew we would see the part of this trail from there to Nevada Falls so we hiked down from Glacier Point to Nevada Falls, enjoyed ample time there, and then hiked back up which brought us to Glacier Point late in the afternoon when the light was better for photos. This was also a good workout and pre-backpacking training hike, as we got a fair amount of both ascending and descending. It covered 10.5 miles and 1400 feet. The views heading to the falls are fantastic and the falls themselves, while crowded, are very pretty too.

    some different views of Half Dome await you views along trail are stunning meadows en route on Panorama Trail
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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by goingsolo Updated Sep 3, 2004

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    The turn off for Glacier Point Road is located about 13 miles north of Wawona. The 16 mile road winds upward seemingly through a forest of pine and fir trees. At the end of the road there is a parking lot which leads to a viewpoint for Mirror Lake and Half Dome. If you have binoculars, or a really good zoom lens, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall can be seen in the distance.

    A four mile trail leads from Glacier Point to the Four Mile Parking area, about a mile from Yosemite Valley. The trail is described as strenuous, but is supposed to provide great views of Yosemite Valley.

    Since I had such a brief period of time, I couldn't do the trail. But I took the short walk on the paved path to the overlook and caught a glimpse of the awesome view.

    Glacier Point

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  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by VeronicaG Updated Aug 29, 2007

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    Glacier Point places you on the edge of most breathtaking view in Yosemite!

    This phenomenal outlook is over 3200 feet above the Yosemite Valley, allowing a birds eye view of Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, Illilouette Falls, Half Dome and many other important landmarks of this national park.

    At the overlook, an illustrated map identifies the various formations (picture 2).

    Glacier Point is located 32 miles south of the Yosemite Valley. Around 1990, a fire devastated quite a bit of this area (picture 4), but it is recovering.

    As you travel Wawona and Glacier Point roads, you'll see pretty meadows and the splendid rock formations of the Sierra Nevada.

    The Glacier Point Snack Stand offers hot dogs, sandwiches, beverages and snacks for hungry travelers; some souvenirs (picture 3). Restrooms are located outside by the parking area--some were closed when we stopped by.

    View from Glacier Point Illustrated Map Food/Gifts--Ranger Program Devastation from Fire of 1990
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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by acemj Updated Jun 10, 2004

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    For the most expansive views, you can either hike (about 4 miles) or drive up to Glacier Point. From here, you can see the High Country spread out below you, including great views of Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls and, of course, spectacular vistas out toward Half Dome.

    While here, be sure to check out nearby Washburn Point (just south of Glacier Point) where the views are similarly spectacular.

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  • JanPeter74's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point.

    by JanPeter74 Updated Apr 21, 2004

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    Glacier Point is (perhaps together with Tunnel view) the most important viewpoint in Yosemite NP. From here you have a spectacular view on both Half Dome as well as Yosemite Valley. (more to the left, when looking at this picture)

    Bear in mind that it will take quite some time to drive from Yosemite Valley all the way up to Glacier Point. But the view is definitely worth it.

    Half Dome in the morning - seen from Glacier Point
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  • IceBear7's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by IceBear7 Updated Oct 31, 2004

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    One of the big musts in Yosemite!

    You can hike up the 979 m Glacier Point (takes 4 hours) or drive up, what I did and only takes 1 hour. If you go up really early - what I did as well - you might be lucky and have the place for yourself. A feeling like the queen of the world!

    The view from Glacier Point must be one of the most thrilling in the whole world! You see all the peaks, the length of the valley, the hotels and buildings down on the valley floor, and around you this amazing mountain scenery.

    A magical place.

    view to the east
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  • PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo

    The Alpenglow

    by PA2AKgirl Updated Apr 7, 2004

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    Sunset at Glacier Point is incredible. Take a look at the picture and you'll see why...the sun still shines on Half Dome when the rest of the Valley is shadowed. This isn't even a great picture--sometimes Half Dome turns bright red. Lots of people come up here for the sunset, but it's a fun gathering. It's not like you won't be able to see it and you are all there for the same reason. There's usually a Ranger (named Dick Ewert, I believe) up there who talks and answers questions, usually because they are coming off of an afternoon/evening program. There are nice trails up at Glacier Point as well.
    The drive up is a little frightening. It twists and turns and puts you face to face with a dropoff you rather not see.It's really a sheer drop of about 3200 feet.
    Like the other roads in Yosemite, there are turnouts, so if you are feeling pressured by a car coming up behind you, you're able (and supposed) to pull off the road to allow that driver to pass.

    Alpenglow
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  • MarvintheMartian's Profile Photo

    View from Glacier Point

    by MarvintheMartian Updated Aug 5, 2004

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    One of the most classic views of Yosemite is from Glacier Point.

    It's an all day hike for most people, so if time is short then a half-day coach tour will take you there and back via a back road. Good views throughout the journey.

    The half dome was the first thing I saw in Yosemite when I was flying into San Francisco - luckily the pilot pointed it out!

    Half Dome from Glacier Point
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  • Andraf's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by Andraf Updated Feb 22, 2004

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    Glacier Point offers a great view of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls and the remarkable silhouette of Half Dome. This viewpoint is located 3215 ft (980m) above the valley floor and it is accesible only during the summer, the road being blocked by snow in the winter.

    View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point
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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by chewy3326 Updated Jun 30, 2006

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    As far as viewpoints you can drive up to, there is none greater than Glacier Point. From the large parking lot at the point, you just have to walk a few hundred yards to the viewpoint. The ampitheatre also has a wide view, but it does not compare with Glacier Point itself. From here, the grand face of Half Dome dominates most of the scene; there's a good view of Clouds Rest, Mt. Watkins, Tenaya Canyon, North and Basket Domes, Royal Arches, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, Mt. Hoffman, Tenaya Peak, and Mt. Starr King. Then look down 3000 feet to the floor of Yosemite Valley. You can spot Mirror Lake, the Merced River's winding course, the grand Ahwahnee Hotel, and the various meadows of the valley floor. Nearby, there's also Overhanging Rock, a famous icon where many visitors used to pose at the cliff's edge. The rock is now off limits, for everyone's safety. Click on my Glacier Point photo for a larger panoramic view.

    Glacier Point Yosemite Falls and Overhanging Rock
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  • Sienlu's Profile Photo

    Beautiful scenery up Glacier Point

    by Sienlu Written Jul 22, 2011

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    Drive up to Glacier Point, (a good 45 minutes from Yosemite Valley), the view is spectacular with view of the Half Dome mountain and a few waterfalls. Many hike trails start from up there, one that takes you down to Yosemite valley in about 4-5 hours depending on your hiking level, I didn't take it because i have a 3 year old daughter who wants to be held all the time, but my husband did and I watch the video, it was very nice!!

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  • joits's Profile Photo

    Awesome view

    by joits Written Jul 14, 2004

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    We decided to drive up here rather than hike up because it was our last day. But I would highly recommend hiking, you'll be treated to an amazing view. Once you get up there, prepare to be amazed by one of the most beautiful views you'll ever see anywhere in the world.

    View from Glacier Point

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Glacier Point

    by iandsmith Written Jun 30, 2011

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    Mmmm, what can I say that hasn't already been said about this lookout? Nothing I suspect. Stunning one minute, unforgettable the next, it's one of those places that lives up to its hype and then some.
    Someone once said, "If you only have time to see one national park in America, then it should be Yosemite." They were obviously standing at this lookout when they said it.
    It's a clear case of sensory overload, mainly visual but sound and the caressing of the wind play their part as well.
    I would suggest sunrise would be an excellent time to visit, followed by sunset. While the former is happening you have a better percentile chance of having a clear sky in this weather ravaged area.
    One of my panoramas now resides on my computer as my screen saver and, trust me, it takes some special memory to get that status.

    The scene overlooking Half Dome says it all
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