The road to Glacier Point is usually open from June through October. To reach Glacier Point, go into the valley via Southside Road. Just before Bridal Veil Falls, make a sharp right. The road will quickly begin to rise above the valley floor, providing spectacular views.
Once you get through the tunnel the road turns sharply towards the south. It’s paved all the way and isn’t difficult to negotiate, although you will be on the edge heading southbound. The distant vistas are splendid. Several miles down the road, turn onto Glacier Point Road. This road continues to rise but travels through a heavily forested area so you won’t see much in the way of scenery for a little while. Of course, if you like forests, then the sights will be great. The last mile or so of the road rises and falls and twists and turns its way to the parking area at the end of the road. From there it is only a short walk to Glacier Point itself, an unforgettable sight.
The spectacular panorama includes many of Yosemite’s domes (including Half Dome) as well as countless distant peaks of the Sierra Nevada and many waterfalls. The latter look like thin ribbons of silver from this vantage point. Equally breathtaking is the view looking straight down into Yosemite Valley. Details such as roads and buildings are readily discernible, but they look more like little toys than the real thing. Even though it seems to be at your feet, the distance back to Yosemite Valley by road is 30 miles. The valley is more than 3,200 feet beneath where you’ll be standing. There are many different angles to take the view in at Glacier Point as walkways encircle the entire area.
Including the ride on Glacier Point Road, you should allow a minimum of 2½ hours for the Glacier Point excursion. After dragging yourself away from the view, reverse your route back down Glacier Point Road to the main highway, which is SR 41. If you’re heading back to the valley (or north to Tuolumne Meadows) turn right. To continue on to Mariposa Grove, turn to the left.
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