Glacier Point#3 in Best Things To Do in Yosemite
Price & Hours
Glacier Point is considered one of the best and most comprehensive lookouts in Yosemite. Visitors regularly describe Glacier Point's sweeping, panoramic vistas as "breathtaking," calling it a truly can't-miss spot in the park. From Glacier's vantage point, visitors are treated to panoramic views of Yosemite Valley, as well as landmarks like Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. Unlike many lookout points in Yosemite, Glacier Point is accessible via roadway, allowing drivers to forego a difficult climb. This is particularly fortunate if you're traveling with young children who would otherwise be unable to enjoy a scenic, high-altitude view of the Yosemite Valley.
Because this is such an accessible attraction, as well as one of Yosemite's most popular, recent travelers urge visiting during off-peak hours if you have a car. Otherwise, there's a big chance you won't find parking. If you visit during peak hours, which are between 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from mid-May to September, you may be directed by park rangers to park elsewhere and take a shuttle from Badger Pass to Glacier Point. To avoid the chaos, wake up early, or as some travelers suggest, visit in the evening for an unforgettable sunset.
If you'd prefer to leave your car behind, you can reach Glacier Point via the Glacier Point Tour. It's important to know that the NPS shuttle does not offer transportation to Glacier Point. The Glacier Point Tour is the only option between Yosemite Yalley and Glacier Point if you aren't driving. The tour bus leaves from Yosemite Lodge and costs $54 round-trip and $27 one-way. Many visitors choose to take the Glacier Point Tour bus to the top of the peak then hike their way back down one of the many trails available. For more information on hiking from Glacier Point, visit Yosemite National Park's website. Glacier Point Road is open from May to October or November (depending on conditions) and during the winter months, it transforms into a popular cross-country ski spot as part of the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.
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#1 Yosemite Valley
Unless you are solely planning backcountry expeditions during your trip to Yosemite, chances are you'll end up in Yosemite Valley at one point or another. That's because Yosemite Valley features much of the park's top attractions, including Tunnel View Outlook and a handful of Yosemite's most famous waterfalls, including Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Bridalveil Fall and Yosemite Falls, to name a few. One of the world's largest granite monoliths, El Capitan, is also located here.
Yosemite Valley is an excellent place for first-time visitors to set up shop. In addition to housing many of the park's most popular points of interest, Yosemite Valley is home to Yosemite Village, where you'll find plenty of amenities and lodging options, including campsites and hotels as well as visitor centers, some dining options, including a grocery store, and a couple shops. There are also a handful of lookout points, picnic areas and light trails, perfect for those who aren't looking to do strenuous hiking in Yosemite.
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