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Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 | 63 comments

Yosemite National Park: Glacier Point

After twelve years living in California, I finally visited Yosemite National Park.

It is not that I didn’t want to go but, for many reasons, the time was never ideal.

For those of you that are not familiar with Yosemite, this is one of the most famous National Parks in the United States (and in the world).  It is up there in the rankings with Yellowstone and The Grand Canyon.

The natural landscape in the park is formed by granite domes, waterfalls, rivers, meadows, lakes and other formations with names I cannot correctly spell (or pronounce).  Believe me, there is a reason why almost 4 million souls shown up at the park every year.

Thousands of pages can be written about the many marvels of Yosemite. In this post, I would like to describe my first views of the park.  Other informative posts about the area are coming at a later date.

I entered the park thru the not too popular Southern Entrance.  Being a newbie with respect towards the park, I followed the GPS instructions.

The major attraction in the southern portion (a grove of Giant Sequoias) was closed due to restorations efforts.  There was no other option than to drive to the Valley (the most popular part of the park).

I cannot complain.  The drive was beautiful.  There is something soothing about driving slowly thru tall trees lining winding roads.

Before arriving to the junction to the Valley, I noticed the road leading to Glacier Point. This is a high viewpoint that affords panoramic views of the Yosemite Valley and other features in the park.

I couldn’t resist and took the road.  It was time to see the famous Valley for the first time. And, I was going to see it from above.

Things got a bit complicated since part of the road was closed to vehicles.  There were signs advising people to slow down since two bears were killed earlier that day.  Not sure if the road closure was related to that.

The car was left in a lot and we had to stand in a very long line to wait for the shuttle.

Again, I cannot complain.  There was a moment when that shuttle took a curve and the famous Yosemite Valley appeared in front of my eyes.

The shuttle driver slowed down and said: “Welcome to Yosemite folks.”  Everybody started to applaud and cheer.  It was so exciting.

Then, I got out of that shuttle, walked a bit and stopped in front of this view.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

I think nothing can prepare you for something so beautiful.  It doesn’t matter how many photos or videos you have seen about a place.

Half Dome is stunning.  It is not easy to stop taking photos of him.

Since he is the icon of the park, I think he deserves a couple of close ups in this post.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Hundreds of brave souls hike everyday six strenuous miles (one way) to reach the top of this formation.  I used my camera to try to spot the people walking over the granite.  Bingo! I captured them!

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

To the right of Half Dome, many more rock formations are visible.  Do you see the two waterfalls?

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

What about now?

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Nevada Fall is the top fall (the hike to up there is about 4 miles).

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

The lower fall is called Vernal Fall (1.6 miles to the top). These falls’ flow was moderate since I visited in summer.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Many more formations were seen to the right of the falls.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Different kinds of pines were everywhere.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

The U-shaped Tenaya Canyon could be seen to the left of Half Dome.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

I was able to take a good look at these formations but not sure how they are called.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

There is a very cute cabin with geological exhibits.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

I continued walking along the rim and continued enjoying excellent views of Half Dome and other rocks.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Then, I saw a sign pointing to Glacier Point.  Hold on.  I thought I was already at Glacier Point.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Well, I was wrong because from Glacier Point, the Yosemite Valley is seen.  When I finally reached the correct point, this is what I saw.

Yup, the green area down there is the famous Valley.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

It is impressive to see how the Merced River meanders around it.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

The Royal Arches are seen from there.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

And, it is possible to see the Tenaya Canyon “hanging” above the Yosemite Valley.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

At the left extreme of the view, the Upper Yosemite Falls were visible. Their flow was very low but its altitude can be appreciated (it is said they are the tallest falls in the United States).

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

At closer inspection, I was able to capture the base of the Upper Falls (then the water continues to form the Lower Falls).

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

The excitement didn’t fade away after two hours at the point.  My husband and I talked about all we saw during the entire evening.  I am sure we will continue to remember our first view of Yosemite for a long time.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

 

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California

What place you have waited a long time to visit?

Pin it for later?

Yosemite National park seen from Glacier Point.

 

63 Comments

  1. Beautiful views of Yosemite. It is a wonderful park to visit. Awesome series of photos, enjoy your week!
    Eileen recently posted..Ocala FloridaMy Profile

    • Thanks Eileen. I feel blessed because I had the opportunity to visit this park. I already want to go back.

    • I hope you can visit one day too. It is an amazing place. I saw happiness on people faces when they were in front of the granite rocks waterfalls or lakes.

    • Felicia, thanks for stopping by. Glad to see you liked the photos.

  2. Yosemite was on my list when I visited California back in March. Since we were not sure about how the weather would be (plus logistics where not favorable) we decided to skip it and visit National Sequoia Park (just to see General Sherman) instead! The views of Yosemite are beautiful and I hope I’ll make it there one day (and definitely go to glacier point first)!
    Anna recently posted..A walk around Downtown LAMy Profile

    • With so many National Parks in California, I think it is difficult to chose which one to visit. I have seen companies that take you to Sequoia, King Canyons and Yosemite in three days. The schedule must be very tight but I guess it is an option if you want to see a lot in a couple of days.

    • You are right. I do not know how somebody may want to skip Yosemite. I am not going to lie. The Valley was packed when we visited. However, everybody seemed to be having a great time. Incredible how a place like this makes people happy.

    • Oh, Lauren…. You have to go. I know you would love this place. So, I hope soon is really soon.

  3. This looks magnificent. Some places are popular for a reason and it is easy to see why Yosemite is. So glad you eventually got here!
    Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust again this week, so great to have you there.
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages recently posted..Wednesday Wanderlust AmsterdamMy Profile

    • The interesting thing about Yosemite is that is famous all over the world. You cannot imagine how many languages I heard during my visit. The campground was full of Europeans doing a road trip thru the West.

    • Well, I guess it was worth to pay a fortune to developed the film ;0) Would like to see your photos.

    • Rob, I am still excited about the trip. I feel like I came out of a dream. I have tons and tons of photos, so, keep visiting because I have way more to share. Hopefully, my photos will inspire people to visit.

  4. WOW… Now I feel a tinge of regret not going Yosemite during my USA West Coast trip. We did not have enough time and had to choose between Grand Canyon and Yosemite. We ended up at the more famous Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon was amazing, no doubt. But I wonder if I ever have the chance to return to the west cost of USA again. Oh well, at least I got a virtual tour today. Thank you for linking up on Travel Tuesday. 🙂
    Bumble Bee Mum recently posted..The Bank Bar + Bistro Review – Kids Play and Dine FREE on Weekends!My Profile

    • Well, at least, you were able to experience one of our grandest National Parks. I understand it is not easy to decide what to see on a relatively short trip. Glad to see you liked the photos.

  5. I adore driving through tall trees so I would have enjoyed the drive too. As for the mountain and rock photos they are issuing a personal invitation for me to visit. We have not started exploring the States yet (apart from NYC) but Yosemite is now firmly on my list of places to visit. I’m thinking road tripping would be the best way of seeing the country. We’ll probably have plenty of time so that won’t be a problem. Thanks for the inspiration.
    budget jan recently posted..Three Days on the Amalfi Coast Rain or ShineMy Profile

    • Jan, I think a road trip would be the best way to see the country. I adore road trips and try to make two or three per year. There are so many things to see that it is difficult to run out of ideas.

  6. We went to Yosemite last summer and it’s still so present in our minds. My son still talks about it. And Glacier Point is one of the best places to view it all. We went at the end of our trip to reminisce about all that we had seen and done during our visit.
    Karilyn recently posted..Camping at Malibu Creek State ParkMy Profile

    • I get your feeling. I am so amazed at all the things I saw in the park. I want to go back ASAP.

  7. Great photos! What a fantastic view. I went to Yosemite once as a kid and didn’t appreciate it. I was one of those kids who didn’t like camping, but I’d love to go now. Someday. 🙂
    Karen recently posted..Sunrise at Borobudur TempleMy Profile

    • Ahhh, the things we do as kids! When I was out of college, I really wanted to move out of Puerto Rico and live somewhere else. Now, that I live in California (which I love) I miss some of the places I visited in Puerto Rico as a kid. Hope you can return to Yosemite someday.

  8. Yosemite is on my list as well. I lived in Reno for 12 years and my best friend’s husband is from Bishop – you’d think I would have made it to Yosemite. I kick myself for it all the time.

    These are incredible photos! Yosemite is such an amazing place, isn’t it? Thank you for joining us for Photo Friday this week!
    Jen recently posted..Photo Friday – Lighthouse ParkMy Profile

    • Uhh, I didn’t know you used to be a West Coaster. Reno is very close to some awesome places in the California Sierra. Hope you visited some even though you never went to Yosemite. We stayed in Bishop on our last day of the trip. That is another area I adore.

    • Great Angie! Love to share my photos.

    • Paula, great to know these photos help you to get a better perspective of the park. It is a beautiful place that deserves more than one visit.

  9. Oh these photos are just stunning! Yosemite National Park is a place which is right at the top of my list of places to visit and Glacier Point just looks so beautiful. A gorgeous set of photos! – Tasha
    Natasha recently posted..The ‘My Hogwarts’ Story Tag!My Profile

    • Thanks Tasha! Hope you can make it to the park soon!

    • Anda, great to know the post brought you good memories. I hope I can return soon. I didn’t make it there for quite along time and wish that doesn’t happen again.

  10. We visited Yosemite a few years back with the family. We stayed in the park for three days. Your pictures brought back some of the memories. It’s a beautiful park and the giant sequoias trees were our favorite. We even got to drive through one. It’s a shame that you didn’t get a chance to see the giant sequoias because the road was close.
    Carmen | Carmen’s Luxury Travel recently posted..Traveling in Style with Blacklane LimousineMy Profile

  11. Ohhhhh I had heard a lot about Yosemite but I had not seen any photos yet… the views from the Glacier point (and the previous place you thought was the Glacier point) are stunning! Looking forward on seeing more 🙂
    Laia | colibrist recently posted..Awe-inspiring Banks PeninsulaMy Profile

    • I will definitely post more photos soon. The park is so big that I only scratched the surface. However, I tried to go to places most visitors do not visit.

  12. Wow, what a beauty … I can see how no prior pictures of it can prepare you for its beauty. Indeed, no pictures taken of it can capture the true extent of its beauty. Thanks for having a go and what a fab job you did to :-). Very brave of people to climb that high; and my, the waterfalls … exquisite. 🙂 Definitely, a place I’d like to visit if the opportunity arises. #PhotoFriday
    Adventures of a Novice Mum recently posted..Breastfeeding and I Linky 8My Profile

    • Thanks Corinne. Looks like sometimes we give priority to far lands over what we have close to us (not sure why we do that).

  13. I’ve never been to Yosemite but this looks fabulous! We finally got around to Yellowstone last year and now our interest has been piqued on other National Parks in the west. #wkendwanderlust
    Shobha recently posted..The Melting Pot in Downtown ManhattanMy Profile

    • I feel the same. Now, that I have been to Yosemite, I am interested in visiting the other two parks in the Sierra (Sequoia and King’s Canyon). I want to visit the National Parks of Utah too.

    • Thanks Sally. I am happy you liked the Park. it is definitely a must visit. You would love it once there.

  14. Did you know that Yosemite is a UNESCO World Heritage site? Here’s the link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/308/.

    I’ve been to Yosemite twice … finally went up to Glacier Point on my last visit. You’re right: The view is spectacular!

    To answer your question, we lived an hour away from Biltmore Estate for years and never visited it … until we went back for a visit. Now I’m only 10 minutes away from Ca’ d’Zan, John Ringling’s spectacular Venetian palazza in Sarasota. Have I been yet? Nope.

    It’s funny how we keep putting off seeing things that are so close to home, isn’t it?
    Linda Bibb recently posted..River Cruise Journal – Day 6: PassauMy Profile

    • Yes, I knew about Yosemite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I was going to mention it in my post.

      I was born and raised in Puerto Rico (which is not really a big island) and there are some places I never visited. Now, I yearn to return to go to those places.

  15. Wow, Ruth! Your shots are absolutely stunning. I’m starting to think that I want to come back to North America and do a year long road trip. There is just so much to see and do! Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday
    Nancie recently posted..Favorite Buddha Statues from Across AsiaMy Profile

    • You should come here. I would also love to do a round trip around the country. That would be the best!

  16. Gorgeous photos! We were supposed to take the pass through Yosemite on our route from Mammoth Lakes to Monterey, but the road was closed because of snow. So Yosemite is still on the bucket list.
    Connie Reed recently posted..Moqueca: Eastern Brazilian Coastal CuisineMy Profile

    • You are referring to the Tioga Pass. It is closed during winter. I took it to cross from the western part of the Park to go to the east. We took the 395 (passing thru Mammoth) to return home.

    • Like to know you are a fellow picture taker ;0)

  17. What a great collection of photos, Ruth! Yosemite is just beautiful and stunning. I’m so glad you finally made it up there. It is one of our favorite parks. It was actually the first one I visited way back in college which ignited my love for and desire to see the rest of the National Parks. So glad you were able to see it with some of the waterfall flowing considering our drought.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted..Strolling the Historic Center of Bologna, ItalyMy Profile

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