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Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Glacier Point

Drive to the best view in all of Yosemite. This 270-degree view of the Valley, Half Dome, and 3 Falls will amaze you.

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    This guide contains photos
 (3 Stimmen, 1 review)
Difficulty: Leicht
Length: 0.3 miles / 0.5 km
Duration: 1 Stunde oder weniger
Übersicht: Glacier Point is a popular stop for many new visitors to Yosemite National Park on their way down to Yosemite Valley. Although it’s not much of a hike, the view at the end of the paved walkway will leave you breathless. You will see (left to right) both Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley below, Clouds Rest, Half Dome standing proud, and even Vernal and Nevada Falls. What more could you ask for?

If you are up for some more serious hiking, the 4-mile trail to Yosemite Valley starts halfway between the parking lot and Glacier Point. The hike is about 4 miles (go figure) and is all downhill (but could be tough on the knees).

In Winter to road to Glacier Point is closer to cars, but strap on a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes and you should be good to go. If you want to stay overnight, reserve a spot in the Glacier Point Ski Hut where there are bunk beds (dormitory style), a wood fire, food, and good company.

Tipps: If you entered from the South Entrance, turn right onto Glacier Point Road from Highway 41. It is about 15 miles until you reach Glacier Point. If you entered from the West Entrance (or were in Yosemite Valley) follow Highway 41 toward Wawona and Mariopsa Grove, and turn left at Glacier Point Road.

Points of Interest


Parking Lot

There is a fairly large parking lot at the end of Glacier Point Road, but on crowded days in summer it may be full. If this is the case, use your parking tactics you save for Christmas shopping season and loop the lot a few times—something will open up sooner or later as most people only walk to the point for a quick picture and a few minutes of ooh-ing and ahh-ing.

Glacier Point

Glacier Point offers the best view of Yosemite Valley, hands down. The only view that rivals it is from the top of Half Dome, but to get there you need to hike all day and the view is missing one key Yosemite element: Half Dome! When looking out, here are a few things to note (from left to right):

Yosemite Falls
The highest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls stretches 2,425ft from top to bottom. It is best seen in April or May when it is most full. Because the vertical drop is so long, it does not look like the water is falling very quickly because the wind often blows it sideways (but take a hike to the bottom of the Lower Falls and you will see just how powerful it is).

Clouds Rest
Clouds Rest looks much higher than it is because of the immediate drop down to the Valley floor (its peak reaches 9,930ft). You can hike to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake (7 miles one way) or Happy Isles trailhead (9.4 one way), where you would start to hike to Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall or Half Dome.

Half Dome
Likely the most recognized feature in Yosemite, you could stare for hours wondering how Half Dome was formed (see the Geology hut for explanations). Half Dome stands proud over the Valley, but if you wish to stand proud (and a bit exhausted) over it, consider Hiking to Half Dome (16-17 miles round trip).

Vernal Fall
Vernal fall is one of the more impressive and most-seen waterfalls in Yosemite. Many visitors take the short hike along the Mist Trail (you will see why it has been named that when you get closer to the waterfall) for some magnificent views of the waterfall up close, and the chance to see a rainbow in the mist.

Nevada Fall
A little further along the Mist Trail past Vernal Fall, fewer visitors take the opportunity to see Nevada Fall. If you have the time and the energy, you should extend your Mist Trail hike to include this powerful beauty as well.


The amphitheatre isn’t anything like you may see in Greece, but it still deserves a quick walk through, if only to stretch your legs before you get back in the car.

Geology Hut

If you are interested in Geology, or simply amazed and stunned from the view from Glacier Point and cannot believe how something so amazing could have be created, head over to the Geology Hut which offers information about the geological history of Yosemite and how features such as Half Dome came to be.

Four-Mile Trail trailhead

If you are moving on to Yosemite Valley and want to get some more exercise, consider taking the Four-Mile Trail down to the Valley, which is surprisingly about 4 miles long. The Trail winds down the side of Glacier Point and can be difficult if you have had knee pains in the past. If you want even more of a hike, check out the Panoramic Trail which will lead you towards Vernal and Nevada Falls before meeting up with The Mist Trail.


Hungry? Why wait? You may quickly realize that Yosemite can get quite hot in July and August, so head over to the concession stand for a cold drink or snack to get you through the afternoon heat.


Conveniently located at the start of the path, take a quick stop here so that you can concentrate on the view when you get to Glacier Point
Die Bilder in diesem Guide wurden aufgenommen von: gigi4791, rmceoin, msouphy, bheliker, Ralf_Ulrich, chris
I've been to Glacier Point a number of times. While it is often overcrowded, there is good reason why--it offers amazing views of the entire valley. From a single point, you can see Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and more. If you want a picture of the valley, there is where you should come.

There are also a number of nice hikes (4 mile trail, panorama trail) down to the valley which give you a great introduction to Yosemite.

Visited on Jul 30, 2010

von chris on Jul 08, 2011

Glacier Point Map

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When I'm not spending all of my work time and free time working on cool new products for EveryTrail,...

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