You must take a drive to Glacier Point and try to time it for an hour before sunset. If your lucky sometimes the Dome will turn yellow and it is a most amazing site.
I said, girls, lets go for a drive to Glacier Point. Because of low funds we are trying to do something fun each Sunday that only requires gas money and possibly a little food or picnic. Of course they agree because they know how crazy their mom needs to be and how antsy she gets sitting around.
If you go from Fresno area you will get to the main Southern Gate. There is a gate that goes through Mariposa and another one further north. As you pass through Coarsegold or Oakhurst make sure to make a pit stop for potty and drinks. You will continue up Hiway 41 and if you haven’t been there in a few years there are many changes. Tenaya Lodge has expanded and now has cabins. There is a lot of road work going on at the time of this writing, but we didn’t have to deal with it because it was the weekend. You will also notice a great expanse of forest that has been cut down or is about to be cut down. There was a horrible infestation of a bug that killed 1000’s of trees. It almost made me cry to drive through there. As you get to the gate make sure you get your disabled pass if you don’t already have one. They are free. A senior pass is $10. Not sure if you can get that at the gate. I don’t need one because I have the girls passes. Also the fee is now $35 for entry so make sure you get a pass if you qualify. I left ours at home and the ranger kindly had one of the ladies sign for a new pass and off we went. If you choose you can now stop at the big trees, which are on your right as you pass through the gate.
We were headed to Glacier Point so we did not stop.
About 15 or 20 minutes in you will come to Wawona Hotel and History Village. If you have time they are both worth a stop just to look around. We took another pit stop here and also stopped at the little store right past Wawona.
About another 20 miles you will come to the Glacier Point turnoff. The first few miles of driving we noticed more devastation caused by a fire last year. It’s so sad but that is also how new growth happens and in a few years it will be beautiful again. This drive is around 10 miles. Keep watch for bears, coyotes, and deer. You don’t want to run into one of these. About 8 miles up you will come to Taft Point. This is a pretty easy 1 or 2 mile hike. We went here a few years ago and saw a tightrope walker, walking very high off the ground. Thank goodness he had a harness on because he didn’t make it out very far. You can go to the end of the hike and look out over the valley. Keep driving and you will soon get the breathtaking view of Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls and more. There is a small parking lot here so stop and take some photos.
Get back in your car and go around a few very curvy, curves and be prepared because there is one curve where the view is so breathtaking you just want to stop. But don’t! And try and keep your eyes on the road. I lose my breath every time I see this. It’s like Half Dome is right next to you. You will then get to the parking lot for Glacier Point. Park you car and visit the restroom if needed. I would take wipes of some sort because they were not very clean. But thank goodness they had some. All those stops for drinks on the way make it necessary. The walk up to the point has a few turnouts for different views. Part of it is uphill a little. You can take a wheelchair path too. I didn’t do this so can not tell you how easy it is. All the paths are asphalt and its a very easy walk. When you get to the top you will be amazed at the beauty surrounding you. It’s worth driving those slow curvy roads and the time it takes to get here.
Of course you can always drive up to Glacier from the Valley floor if you are in Yosemite. Or if you go to Glacier in the morning, go back down and continue on to the wonderful, beautiful valley of Yosemite.
Enjoy and if you go, send me an email or comment about your trip.