Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park at sunrise
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Glacier Point Trail

Updated by Dianne Titos on December 7 2023

Taking the Glacier Point Trail is a challenging journey to one of the park's most iconic viewpoints overlooking the entire Yosemite Valley including Half Dome and High Sierra peaks. Hike this trail and you'll have a real sense of accomplishment and awe at the summit.

An overview of the distance and difficulty hiking Glacier Point Trail
πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ Distance2 miles
⏱️ Time1 hour
πŸ’ͺ DifficultyEasy to Moderate
πŸ”οΈ Elevation Gain50 feet

Where can I find Glacier Point Trail within Yosemite National Park?

You'll find Glacier Point Trail in Yosemite Valley. The closest entrance to the Glacier Point Trail is the South Entrance near North Wawona. After entering Yosemite National Park, follow Wawona Road, then drive to the end of Glacier Point Road to reach the trailhead.

Parking is available at the Glacier Point Trailhead at the end of Glacier Point Road for those hiking the trail.

Glacier Point is also accessible by car during the summer months so you can also drive straight to the viewpoint if preferred.

What makes this hike so special?

This short but rewarding trail provides one of the most spectacular views in Yosemite. Once at Glacier Point, you'll have sweeping views of the valley with the Half Dome across the gorge. It's sure to leave a lasting impression and certainly worth the tricky ascent if hiking.

How we rate the different aspects of Glacier Point Trail.
FeatureOur rating
Natural beauty and scenery⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wildlife spotting⭐⭐
Peace and quiet⭐⭐⭐
Accessibility⭐⭐⭐

View of the sunrise at Glacier Point overlook on the trail in Yosemite
Head out on this hike early and you are rewarded with stunning sunrise across Glacier Point overlook.
Stephen Moehle/Shutterstock.com

What are the highlights of hiking Glacier Point Trail?

The Glacier Point Trail offers one of the most spectacular and unobstructed views in Yosemite National Park, with iconic landmarks like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and the entire Yosemite Valley, all within your sights.

  1. The Glacier Point Trailside Museum - Informative exhibits and insights into the natural history and geology of Yosemite.
  2. Glacier Point - An iconic viewpoint in Yosemite National Park, providing breath taking 360-degree views of the park's most famous landmarks.
  3. Half Dome - Renowned granite dome and one of Yosemite's most challenging and sought-after hiking destinations.
  4. Yosemite Valley - In the heart of the park, nestled between granite cliffs, and home to many of Yosemite's most famous attractions.

When is the best time of year to visit Glacier Point Trail?

Glacier Point Trail can be travelled year round, although if you are choosing to drive to the viewpoint then Glacier Point Road is also accessible during the summer months. The warmer weather in spring and early summer also brings gushing waterfalls and wildflowers.

When is the best time to visit Glacier Point Trail
SeasonConsiderations
Spring🌷Spring brings the melting of snow, resulting in spectacular waterfalls throughout Yosemite Valley and pleasant weather.
Summerβ˜€οΈ Summer offers the best accessibility to Glacier Point, as the Glacier Point Road is usually open, allowing you to drive to the viewpoint.
FallπŸ‚ While the weather is generally good, be aware that fall can bring occasional road closures so it's worth checking in advance.
Winter❄️ A pretty time to make this hike, however Glacier Point Road, which provides access to the trailhead, is closed during winter.

Common questions about hiking Glacier Point Trail

Glacier Point Trail offers both the opportunity to visit by hiking and driving to the impressive viewpoint, so it is an excellent option for visitors of all fitness and ages to enjoy the jaw-dropping views. As well as great access you can also expect convenient restrooms.

Is Glacier Point Trail easily accessible for those with mobility issues?

β­• Yes, Glacier Point Trail is easily accessible for those with mobility issues during the summer months. During summer, Glacier Point Road is open and the viewpoint can be accessed directly by car.

Are there restrooms along Glacier Point Trail?

β­• Yes, there are restrooms at Glacier Point parking area during the summer months when Glacier Point Road is open.

Are there refreshments and water stations along Glacier Point Trail?

β­• Yes, there is a water stations at Glacier Point, from late-May until early-October.

Are dogs allowed along Glacier Point Trail?

❌ No, dogs are not allowed along Glacier Point Trail.

Are vehicles allowed along Glacier Point Trail?

β­• Yes, cars are allowed on Glacier Point Trail.

Can you camp overnight along Glacier Point Trail (or nearby)?

❌ No, you can not camp overnight along Glacier Point Trail.

❗ For those staying overnight, Bridalveil Creek Campground can be found along Glacier Point Road.

Is there anything else to watch out for when I hike Glacier Point Trail?

This trail is particularly popular as it can easily by accessed by all visitors. Make sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds.

Wooden road sign marking Glacier Point trail and Four-Mile Trail in Yosemite National Park
Clear markers lead the way to some of the most impressive views in Yosemite National Park.
Benny Marty/Shutterstock.com