Scenic hike to Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley

Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Sunset views of Half Dome

Scenic hike to Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley

The scenic hike to Glacier point from Yosemite Valley is over 9.6 miles/15.5 Km round trip. It will take about six to eight hours and goes up to an elevation of over 3200 feet.  Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded with stunning panoramas of the entire Yosemite Valley and all its magnificent landmarks.

The Four mile trail is well-marked with many switch-backs going up through the mountains, it starts at the valley floor by Sentinel Rocks where the trail head begins. This is an intermediate level hike with lots of inclines and switch backs and the trail is partly shady and in exposed full sun. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, water and provisions. Along the trail at different elevations, you will have some amazing vistas and panoramas. All of the major landmarks will be in sight from this trail including: Yosemite and Sentinel Falls, Half Dome, North Dome and the Arches, El Capitan and more along the route, it’s nothing short of spectacular.

There are options of walking up and taking a shuttle bus back down to the valley or do the reverse by taking the shuttle up and  then hiking back down-hill which is easier for those that are challenged with an uphill climb. The nicest part about making the uphill trek is taking the time to enjoy some of the most magnificent views along the way. If you time it right for arriving in the late afternoon, the sunset views are also an amazing experience worth staying up for at Glacier Point. If you plan on remaining for the sunset/evening views you will have to arrange to have a car up or someone to pick you up because the bus service going down usually ends in the early afternoon.  You do have the option of climbing back down into the valley at night-time.


Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Nevada falls





Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Scenic view from Glacier Point from 4 mile trail

 Glacier Point Vistas

When you reach the top of Glacier Point, there are even more spectacular views of the valley and beyond to the east. The vistas are incredible, so make sure you bring your camera with the batteries fully charged. The late afternoon time frame to sunset is the best time for photography and you will see a lot of photo buffs and professionals up at Glacier Point just waiting for the perfect light and the glowing sunsets.


Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Half Dome from Glacier Point





Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Scenic views from the Glacier Point




Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Panorama with Nevada falls





Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Rock outcropping at Glacier Point

You can see the entire valley and beyond for miles and miles…..



Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Hanging Rock at Glacier Point


Sunset views up at Glacier Point looking into Yosemite Valley and Half Dome is stunning!



Scenic hike to Glacier Point

Half Dome framed by pines

 Additional tips

If you plan on doing the scenic hiking to Glacier Point, get an early start in the morning, the trail head is just off the base of Sentinel Rock in Yosemite Valley. Take the valley loop bus to stop #7.

Like-wise you can catch a bus shuttle to the top and can hike down the trail. You need to make reservations ahead of time for a seat in either direction.

To catch the sunset views you will have to drive up to Glacier Point or arrange for a ride, it’s worth the effort. Make sure to bring your camera with charged batteries, you will take a lot of photographs.

There is a concession/souvenir shop at the top of Glacier point if you want to buy some provisions including ice cream!

This is the last post in a series about Yosemite Valley if you would like to start at the beginning here is the first post about the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and dam. If you would like to see the post prior to this, I show some of my favorite black and white images of Yosemite as an homage to Ansel Adams.


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17 Responses to Scenic hike to Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley

  1. Ahmed @ Traveler Corner February 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    Very unique and great images, i love hiking. You may enjoy and see something which is not possible without hike.

  2. UTs Hobby Time September 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Absolutely stunning shots! Wonderful landscape.

    Nothing can beat the beauty of mother nature and you have captured it very beautifully.

    • Noel September 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm #


      Thanks for connecting and commenting, Yosemite is quite spectacular!

  3. Freya August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I loved Yosemite, it’s gorgeous. I really hope the recent fires did not damage to much.
    Thanks for the tip that looks like a great hike.
    Stunning photos.

  4. Kim August 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Great sunset picture! I recently hiked the four mile trail and combined it with the panorama trail which takes you to nevada and vernal falls. It was one of the most beautiful hikes I ever did. Also good to know: you can refill your water bottles at Glacier Point.

  5. Jennifer August 25, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Beautiful photos as always, Noel! Looks like a great hike. We need to make it to Yosemite one of these days.

    • Noel August 25, 2013 at 8:18 am #

      Hi Jennifer,

      You guys definitely need to visit, lots of amazing parks in California including Yosemite.

  6. Kalyan August 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    simply beautifully captured shots…lovely place to be!

  7. SizzleandZoom August 24, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    I’ve been to Yosemite many times. They are fond memories. You have taken some beautiful photos as you do on your blog.

  8. Ruth August 24, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    I should have visited Yosemite years ago – we certainly passed by the area numerous times on the way to California. It is a beautiful area.

  9. Linda August 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Our national parks provide such beautiful subject matter, and your photos are proof of that. Beautiful!

  10. Denise August 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I love how, even if the landscape is fairly barren, it makes up for it through its beautiful and varied land formations. I love the way your shots captured the whole feel of the place too.

  11. Miruna August 23, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Gorgeous! I’d love to see all these beauties on an eventual trip to the US. Your photos are simply stunning! Keep up with the excellent work!

    • Noel August 23, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      Thanks for the comments and connecting Miruna,you need to visit Yosemite someday.


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I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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