I’m not sure when this last happened, but I’m sure it’s pretty rare – the only place in Yosemite that was closed over Christmas was their ski area! Typically most of the park is closed off to visitors from November through maybe April, due to snow and ice. But given the lack of snow this year, the whole park (except the ski area!) was available to us.
So while I was sad to miss out on my winter wonderland, it was brilliant to be able to roam free across the park. And this included Glacier Point.
To reach the Point, you drive along Glacier Point Road, 30 miles from the Valley. Another, naturally, twisty road with an abundance of amazing scenery to look out at. When you arrive at the Point (the end of the road), you get to experience one of Yosemite’s most breathtaking viewpoints.
You’re now at an elevation of 7,214 feet above Curry Village down below, and the views are amazing – you can see the entire Yosemite Valley. One of the most spectacular sights is Half Dome.
If you’re not familiar with Half Dome – check out your coins! It’s on the CA state quarter, along with John Muir & the California Condor. And as if that isn’t enough, Half Dome now shows up on the new, revised CA drivers license. It’s also the inspiration behind The North Face corporate logo. That’s the stuff that Trivial Pursuits is made of!
This Yosemite granite icon is the sheerest cliff in the US, at only seven degrees from vertical! The granite rock that forms the Half Dome is an amazing 87 million years old – the youngest plutonic rock in the valley. Its peak elevation is 8,842 feet at the top, 5,000 feet above the valley floor.
I’d been told by one of the Park Rangers that Glacier Point would be a great place to catch sunset. And he wasn’t kidding! It was “spotlight on Half Dome” time, the light was just divine, and changed so rapidly as the sun was setting.
If you get the chance to see Glacier Point, it’s certainly worth every twist and turn in the road, and every slow driver in front of you! The views from up here are unsurpassed, and not to be missed.
The sheer majesty of nature is humbling indeed.