Today, glacier point is where people stand on the glacier-carved valley. There’s a distinct glacier formation in the slope characterized by rounded cobbles, boulders, and angular fragments. That’s why it is called “glacier point.” Now, there are few things people should know before the hike to glacier point through Yosemite National Park.
Hiking has been one of the essential activities for people. It can be an exercise, exploration, and a form of reflection. According to the American Hiking Society, hiking is an activity where people can walk through natural areas. Hiking can help people establish their human spirit, build physical fitness, and develop environmental awareness.
Hiking offers an enjoyable and healthy way to gain and deepen their connections with people, places, and nature. People can hike through foot-only trails or hiking trails. It is developed for peaceful pedestrian travel and enjoyment that people can get from nature.
There are available places where anyone can hike. However, among all of them, Yosemite National Park offers a lot of hiking trails. Some of them may lead up to their famous glacier point. People hike through the paths of Yosemite National Park because they want to witness the beauty of its glacier point.
The glacier point is one of the most beautiful and jaw-dropping overlooks in Yosemite National Park. It is a viewpoint located in the southern rim high above the Yosemite Valley. When people heard of “glacier point,” they automatically thought of a glacier in Yosemite National Park. Well, historically speaking, there’s one glacier in this place that takes place millions of years ago. Getting interested? Read on to know better.
How Long is the Hike to Glacier Point?
Hiking to the glacier point can start from Yosemite Valley to the glacier point. However, it is an extreme and challenging trek. That’s the reason why few hikers choose this trail. If someone wants to accept the challenge, take the four-mile trail. This trail gains more than 3,000 feet, almost 4,000 feet, which leaves most hikers breathless.
In addition, the four-mile trail allows hikers to witness the beauty of Yosemite Falls. There are other memorable places around the track as well. Hikers can also view the most significant landmarks in Yosemite Valley, and there are also excellent places around the hikes. So, when there are many hikers, people do not pile up in a specific spot.
Furthermore, the four-mile trail is also considered hazardous during the colder months because the snow and ice make it more dangerous. The hike usually ends up after an eight-hour journey from the Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point.
Even though it is unsafe (for some months) and challenging (most of the time), the glacier point is still worth going to. A hiker should be ready to face difficulties and prepared things that will help them go through the four-mile trail. It will be a memorable experience for every hiker!
What to Expect in Glacier Point?
Since the glacier point is one of the most famous places in Yosemite National Park, everyone can expect that there will be people taking photographs. Hikers can also expect the beautiful panoramic views and the look of the whole valley from above.
Additionally, everyone can also have an extra layer of clothes because it is colder in the glacier point than in the valley. People tend to miss out on the beautiful snowy view of the glacier point during the summer months. Although the hiking trail is dangerous during the winter months, the idea of glacier point is one-of-a-kind.
The glacier point is also an exceptional place to view starry skies every night. So, hikers stay at night to camp at the glacier point. In addition, there are stargazing tours when Glacier Point Road is open. Usually, it is available from June to November.
There are also places where people can buy snacks and souvenirs in glacier point. Everyone can shop and grab a bite while enjoying the scenic view of Yosemite Valley. On the other hand, anyone can also expect families with children in glacier point because the paved trail is accessible. It is also wheelchair accessible.
Lastly, what to expect most in the glacier point is the peaceful and beautiful overlook and sceneries. Nothing can replace the experience of connecting nature again.
Why Should People Visit Glacier Point?
Other than exploring the Yosemite Valley, the glacier point offers a lot more that is worth visiting. The panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, three waterfalls, and half dome. The experience of witnessing the milky way across the glacier point’s sky. These things are exceptional experiences that not everyone was able to experience. That’s why, when the opportunity knocks on your door, grab it!
Other than these, there are also activities in glacier points. Below are the following activities that everyone can do at glacier point.
- Skiing and Snowboarding (in the winter months)
- Ranger Programs (in the summer months)
Furthermore, hikers can start another hiking adventure from a glacier point. Glacier Point is the starting point to some famous hiking trails. Here are the hiking trails that hikers can hike from glacier point:
Hikers will head down to the east part of the glacier point to go to Panorama Trail. This will join up with the John Muir Trail and Mist Trail at Nevada Falls.
Hikers will head down to the west part of the glacier point. The west part is along the rim that will go past Taft Point. The trail descends past the Inspiration point that will end at the Discovery View/Tunnel View.
Four Mile Trail
Hikers can head back to the four-mile trail to go back to the valley. They can lead to the northwest part of the glacier point. This way, they can descend to Yosemite Valley to the Sentinel Beach picnic area.
Lastly, the reason why people should visit the glacier point is the opportunity to reconnect with nature and inner peace. Nature can help everyone to maintain the inner peace of people. The feeling of contentment with life and having inner peace is exceptional. This will help people develop their personal development and satisfaction in life.
Going to Glacier Point and Its Schedule and Closures
A four-mile trail is the hiking trail where hikers can walk through to go to glacier points. However, there are also other ways people can use to go to glacier points. Below are the modes of transportation available to get to Glacier Point:
People can visit glacier points by driving a vehicle from late May through October, sometimes November. People can go with the use of State Highway 41 that will continue to Wawona Road. They can turn into glacier points via the Chinquapin intersection. The amount of time is usually an hour from Yosemite Valley and Wawona.
Glacier Point Tour provides a free shuttle service. It is another travel option available for everyone of all ages. The tour departs twice daily at Yosemite Valley Lodge. Then, it will return after four hours of a guided tour at glacier point. There are available one-way tickets for hikers interested in hiking back Yosemite Valley from a glacier point.
Ski or Snowboard
Cross-country skiers can experience skiing in glacier points from mid-December to March. They can ski for 10.5 miles from the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.
These travel options are sometimes not available in glacier point because there are times that it is not open. Everyone should be aware of the schedule and closures of glacier points, especially for hikers. Since the four-mile trail is not safe sometimes, the glacier point has its schedule and closures.
The glacier point is open from late spring until the beginning of fall. However, there are exact dates where the glacier point is available for everyone. It is because they depend on when the snowfall starts and ends.
The activities in glacier points are limited as well. Skiers can only ski and snowboard at glacier point from mid-December through March. Then, the ranger programs are only available during the summer months. Lastly, the stargazing tours are only available on selected dates.
That’s why people should choose the perfect date to experience the wonders of glacier point. People can make Yosemite reservations. There are a lot of cabins, home rentals, and condominiums available in Yosemite National Park. The accommodations can make people relaxed and comfortable while enjoying the beauty of nature.
Hiking at Glacier Point is an exciting opportunity to witness the beauty of Yosemite National Park. Through the four-mile trail where hikers can see the various wonders of Yosemite Valley. Once they are at the glacier point, they can enjoy the panoramic view of glacier point, stargaze, and sometimes, ski. Among all these activities, hiking is the most significant activity to truly enjoy the Yosemite Valley and glacier point truly.
Hikers can enjoy the falls, hidden beauties along the trail, and the view of the whole Yosemite Valley. Regardless of the activity that people would choose, the most important thing is to enjoy the place. Let yourself enjoy and wander the beauty of nature.