The trails from floor to rim at Yosemite Valley are strenuous. This trail is no exception at 9.6 miles/15.5 km round-trip with 3,200 feet/975 m elevation change in each direction it can take six to eight hours. An ever changing perspective unfolds revealing fantastic views at each new turn as you ascend the many switchbacks. Upon reaching the top Glacier Point overlooks iconic valley features.
During the summer months you can pay to take the Hikers Bus to Glacier Point and hike down. Reservations for this Bus can be made in advance at Yosemite Lodge or any DNC activities desk. If you have access to two cars you could do a one way hike in either direction. Sometimes I like to go up the four mile across on the panorama and then down the mist trail for an 18 mile loop. I always start early around first light for this hike. If you start early the ascent is mostly in the shade. If you start later in the morning the direct sunlight will be hot and can detract from enjoyment as you climb.
All photos were taken by me May 30, 2012
Camera = Sony A200
The trailhead is just off the side of the road on Southside Drive going into Yosemite Valley. There is parking for about 25 or 30 cars. A shuttle bus stops there in the summer months.
You will want to have bug repellent for this first part of the trail. A hat is also a good thing to have. The bugs are fierce in this area until you climb up out of there.
There are a lot of giant boulders scattered around the valley near the walls.
Notice the size of these two by the gate. The middle portion of this trail is closed during winter months. That is when these large rocks tend to fall down from above. Snow and ice conditions on the trail can also become a hazard.
You can really see how the glaciers shaped the walls of the valley in this view.
This hotel has an interesting dining hall. Go there at 7AM for breakfast. You will enjoy!
Lunch can be nice as well. Dinner requires reservations and "proper attire".
This bathroom structure was built at the same time as the gift shop. ( early 1990's ? )
They had it open for one year but then closed it. There was fear that the septic system leach field was promoting instability of the rock faces after a massive rock fall down onto the Happy Isles Nature Center area happened. You can make arrangements to cross country ski or snow shoe out to Glacier Point in the winter and stay overnight in the store building. Check at the Badger Pass ski area or on line for details.
You can see climbers on the face of Half Dome and hikers on top with the telescope seen here. ( no charge ) The falls seen to the right of Half Dome are Nevada ( upper ) and Vernal ( lower ).
If you look close you can see people on top of Half Dome. This hike requires a permit.
There is an online lottery system to obtain one. Check NPS web site for info.
This is my second diary posting. Hope you enjoyed it.