Glacier Point affords a grand view over Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
The twisting Wawona Road (Hwy 41) from Oakhurst, California travels through the south entrance of Yosemite National Park and past Wawona Hotel.
The turn right at Chinquapin onto the winding and narrow road, first east, then north leads to Glacier Point about midway along the south wall above Yosemite Valley.
The route into Glacier Point on Glacier Point Road passes the Badger Pass Ski Area, trail-heads to McGurk Meadows and Westfall Meadows, Bridalveil Creek Campground, the trail-head into Mono Meadows and the trail-head to Taft Point before we arrive at the parking area for Glacier Point at 7,214 ft (2,199 m).
Travel in early morning finds the valley hazy from a combination of the smoke of recent prescribed burns combined with condensation in the chilly air.
Conspicuously, our Canadian in T-shirts contrast with other visitors in winter parkas and gloves. The hike to the edge of the valley exposes unfolding spectacular views immediately on the approach to the precipice.
Glacier Point, perched above the south side of Yosemite Valley was once the location of historic Glacier Point Hotel until it burned down in 1969.
A brass, interpretive plaque at the first viewpoint is worthy of attention. The bronze sculpture provides a good representation of the Yosemite Valley topography and its relationship to the High Sierra.
The 'vein-like', wiggly line on photo left is the high altitude Tioga Pass Road connecting East and West Yosemite National Park.
The 'vein-like', wiggly line at photo right is Glacier Point Road which has delivered us, this morning, to the X which is Glacier Point, suspended 3,214 ft (979.6 m) above the Yosemite Valley floor.
Viewpoints at the edge provide sweeping vistas of the rock domes on the north side of Yosemite Valley.
Highlights include Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, El Capitan and Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. These landmarks allow identification of other features and their relationship to one another.
From Glacier Point, Four Mile Trail is a wide, paved trail which delivers people to and from Yosemite Valley. The excellent trail provides a vigorous ascent or descent which will not be done this day.
We pass the trail-head and hike along the wheelchair accessible trail past the Geology Hut towards 7,214 ft (2,199 m) infamous Glacier Point.
The hike proceeds the short distance past Geology Hut to Glacier Point.
Interpretive placards along the outer edge of the Glacier Point viewing platform make it easy to identify major features on the north side of Yosemite Valley.
This knowledge will provide better perspective for hikes planned in Yosemite Valley over the next few days.
The return hike to the parking area from Glacier Point, proceeds past the concessions for the twisting, turning, roller coaster return drive to Wawona Road (Hwy 41).
The breathtaking views at Glacier Point have provided a brisk, cool start to another day of exploration in Yosemite National Park. Next stop is Yosemite Valley.