It’s no secret that Yosemite National Park is HANDS DOWN one of my favorite places to visit (and photograph!). The first time I want to this gorgeous national park, I did sooooo much research to make sure that I knew the different spots I wanted to check out, what to expect and more. Of all the places within the park, Glacier Point is probably one of the most epic and most crowded, due to the easy accessibility of this amazing view-point location. There’s a few things that I wasn’t expecting when I first went to this spot even after my prior-to research. With that being said, here’s 5 things to know about Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park!
As previously mentioned, this is THE most epic viewpoint of Half Dome in Yosemite, with the easiest access. With easy access and incredible views comes loooooots of crowds, especially during the summer ‘prime time’ months. Be expecting difficulty to take images WITHOUT people in the background.
What makes this view-point easy to access, is the fact that the parking are for the viewing deck is literally a 5 minute walk from one another. This parking lot marks the end of the driving portion of Glacier Road, which is the winding road that you drive to access the upper portions of Yosemite. If you’re planning to visit this spot, make sure to arrive early so that you can get one of the parking spots! If they’re full, you can park further away along Glacier Road, before reaching this area.
The park has specified areas that you can have your wedding ceremony, with Glacier Point being one of them! I however don’t recommend this as your ceremony location with how crowded it is (click HERE to check out my favorite spot for ceremonies in Yosemite!). Glacier point is definitely a super gorgeous spot for portraits, as long as you’re comfortable with people telling you congrats 10,000 times, haha! A permit IS required for any contracted photography within Yosemite National Park – click HERE to get info on the required permits.
Glacier Road, the road that you drive from the Yosemite Valley Floor to the upper portions (including Glacier Point), is closed from mid-October to late-May due to the weather. This area gets a lot of snow and is very dangerous to drive the winding roads during the wintertime.
Additionally, Glacier Road is going to be closed to ALL traffic in 2021 to rehabilitate and improve the road. While the construction is taking place, there won’t be any available easy-access to the upper portions off of Glacier Road. There are trails that you can hike in order to access Glacier Point such as Four Mile and Panorama – but be warned, these are all very strenuous trails.
I have NEVER seen stars like I’ve seen at Glacier Point in Yosemite. When I visited last July, the milky way was lined up just over Half Dome and it was absolutely EPIC. It’s 100% pitch black, so being able to just lay on the benches in the viewing area and stare up at the stars was so breathtaking (especially for a girl that lives in a very light-polluted city).
Hopefully these ‘5 things to know about Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park’ gave you a little bit of insight into one of the must-see spots within the park! Before you head there, I definitely recommend doing your own research as well to make sure that you get to see all of the sites that you have in mind. Every place within the park is amazing, but if you’re looking for an easily accessed spot – Glacier Point is perfect for you!