Glacier Point is in incredible overlook in Yosemite National Park.
The road to Glacier Point closes in the winter and spring because of snow, but maybe the road should be closed year round. Hear me out… The views from Glacier Point are too extraordinary to be able to drive right up to them! It shouldn’t be that easy. Imagine how someone would feel after hiking all the way to the top of Half Dome, only to find out that a nearby view over Yosemite Valley requires barely any hiking. It’s not fair!
Of course, until the park destroys the road to Glacier Point, you would be crazy not to check it out! In truth, a summer trip to Yosemite National Park is hardly complete without a stop at Glacier Point. The 7,214 foot perch offers unimaginably panoramic views over Yosemite Valley.
The view from Glacier Point includes several notable Yosemite Valley Features. To the north is Yosemite Falls, the longest waterfall in North America, which Glacier Point actually looks down on. Curry Village can be seen on the floor of Yosemite Valley over 3,000 feet below. To the east, rising 1,600 feet higher than Glacier Point is the iconic Half Dome. Behind the dome, the Merced River pours down Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall. The panorama is breathtaking.
For those who actually do want to hike, a few trails leave from Glacier Point. Four Mile Trail drops 4.8 miles down into Yosemite Valley near Sentinel Falls. Panorama Trail takes a longer course past Illilouette Falls to join John Muir Trail and the Mist Trail above Nevada Fall. Take a tour bus from Yosemite Lodge in Yosemite Valley up to Glacier Point in order to hike just one direction on these trails.
Glacier Point was inhabited by the Glacier Point Hotel from 1917 to 1969 and the McCauley’s Mountain Home from 1872 to 1969. The hotels were constructed out of wood and burned in a wildfire in the summer of ’69. While the hotels were never rebuilt, Glacier Point still receives close to a million visitors each year and remains one of the most popular points of interest in Yosemite National Park.
Like Tunnel View, Glacier Point is a drive-up viewpoint that should not be missed. The road to the point is usually closed prior to Memorial Day, so check road conditions before you visit. When the road is open, the exceptional views are worth the drive. The overlook has bathrooms, a gift shop, museum, and other amenities. It is approximately a quarter mile from the parking area to the end of Glacier Point (for a half-mile round trip walk). A park entrance fee is required to access Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park.
- For a similar view to Glacier Point, check out Washburn Point, 3/4 of a mile up Glacier Point Road
To get to Glacier Point: Take Wawona Road (Route 41) to the bottom of Glacier Point Road, about 9 miles south of Yosemite Valley and 17 miles from the south entrance. Turn east up Glacier Point Road and drive 15 miles to the parking area at the end of the road. You will pass the trailhead for Taft Point two miles from the end of the road and pass Washburn Point on the right, 3/4 of a mile from the end of the road.
Glacier Point address: Glacier Point Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Glacier Point coordinates: 37.727145, -119.574516 (37° 43′ 37.72″N 119° 34′ 28.25″W)
Use the map below to view the overlook and get directions:
Or view Sierra Nevada trails and campgrounds in a larger map
|Taft Point Trail|
This 2-mile round trip hike visits an overlook on the south wall of Yosemite Valley with fascinating rock fissures carved into the exposed granite.
This nearly 10-mile long one-way hike travels from Glacier Point down to Yosemite Valley in the most scenic way possible.
|The Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall|
This 1.8 to 6.1-mile hike takes an exciting course past two of Yosemite’s prize waterfalls.
This epic 16-mile hike climbs 4,800 feet on one of Yosemite’s most popular and most challenging trails.
|More trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains|
Explore other destinations in Yosemite National Park and the rest of the range.
|Yosemite National Park Campgrounds|
Thirteen campgrounds with over 1,600 total sites are spread throughout the park to facilitate your visit.
hello I have a question on driving up to Glacier point in Yosemite. Would I be able to drive up there anytime I want like during the night to be able to stargaze? If anyone see this an you know can you please answer thank you.
Good question. As long as the road is open (it closes in the winter when it gets too snowy), I don’t believe there area any restrictions about going up there at night.
What months are considered winter snow months to your area where the roads may be closed? February/March will they be open?
The road will likely be closed in February and March, so be sure to check the road status before you visit.