Glacier Point, Yosemite Natl Park

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Glacier Point, Yosemite Natl Park
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The view from Glacier Point is definitely worth the drive up to it. It is a pleasant drive through the forest, with only a few curvy turns, and some wonderful vistas, and it takes an hour from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. Before you get to Glacier Point, make sure you stop at Washburn Point, where there are less crowds and an absolutely marvelous view of the entire Yosemite Valley. You can see a side-on view of Half Dome, three waterfalls, and the hazy layers of mountains that form the valley. Next you come to Glacier Point, also with a great view, but too many people in my opinion. There isn't much shade at Glacier Point so it can feel stark on a hot day (come at sunset instead). The pure vertical views down into the valley where the Merced River winds along, are exciting. You can see the face of half dome better from Glacier Point than Washburn Point. Come an hour before sunset and watch as the face of Half Dome (which faces west) begins to glow. Glacier Point is an appropriate name since the stunning vertical drops that form the valley were caused by glaciers. If you come to Yosemite National Park, you definitely want to take in this view of the entire valley!

There is a small cafe at the top of Glacier Point where you can buy dry and not yummy sandwiches, drinks, and trail mix. This comes in handy as there is nowhere else to eat nearby.
Washburn Point should be called Cellphone Point because it's one of the only spots in Yosemite National Park where you can get cell phone reception! Everyone at the lookout started to joyously dial numbers on their phones!!

Continue to directions...

Forest you drive through on the way.

Visitors descend the stairs to Washburn lookout.

Half Dome, from Washburn Point.

The amazing curves of the valley.

You can see Vernal Falls from Washburn lookout.

Nevada Falls (594 ft tall) above Vernal Falls (317 ft tall), in early August 2012.

The valley is way below you!

See the Merced River winding through Yosemite Valley, from Glacier Point Lookout.

Such a perfect scene!

The valley, carved out by glaciers so that only the hardest rock remains.

So alpine-looking...

A lone tree contemplating its fate...

Half Dome and pine branch, from Washburn Point.

Pretty scenery near Glacier Point lookout.

Wonderful vantage point at the top of Glacier Point Lookout.

View of Lower Yosemite Falls, from Glacier Point Lookout.

A family takes in the views of Half Dome from the Glacier Point Lookout.

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, from Glacier Point Lookout.

Beautiful view from Glacier Point.

Nevada Falls pounding down in early June 2014, as seen from Glacier Point.

Glacier Point is a popular spot.

An idyllic view.


Glacier Point Rd is closed in winter.
From the south entrance to Yosemite National Park, follow Highway 41 until you see signs for Glacier Point. Then turn right and take the road all the way to the top! There is a parking lot at the top. Sometimes the parking lot for Glacier Point is full, but Washburn Point parking lot is less crowded and it's actually a better lookout in my opinion.
The restrooms at Glacier Point lookout have huge tour-bus lines. Walk to the very end of the parking lot and you'll find many more restrooms with no lines and no smell either.
Glacier Point is about 4 hours from San Francisco.
Entrance into the national park costs $35 per car for a 7-day pass.


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Last Updated: Sat, 24 Feb 2024 17:16:35 GMT

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