Glacier Point, soaring above the Yosemite Valley floor is one of the premiere spots in the park to view sunrise. Standing at a staggering 3,214 ft above Curry Village, Glacier Point is a must-do and is accessible to all ages and abilities (including wheel-chair users).
- The access road to Glacier Point is only open from mid-May through October or November. If you are driving, you can take the Wawona Road (within the park) south from the Yosemite Valley. Like many of the roads in Yosemite, it has many turns, so slow down and watch out for bears! (I saw five during our drives.)
- After about 13 miles you will turn onto Glacier Point Road at the Chinquapin Intersection (see red dots on map below) and will continue for about a half hour until the road ends, at which point you will have reached your destination. Total driving time from the valley is about 1 hour.
Glacier Point, might be one of the best places in Yosemite Valley to catch the sun's first rays of light. In the summer the sun rises just behind Half Dome, eventually sneaking around the corner to provide warmth and comfort.
- Get to Glacier Point about 45 minutes before sunrise; you don't want to miss it!
- Parking at this time is readily available, however sunrise here is more popular than you may think (people actually like to wake up at 5 a.m.).
- There are several areas that are off-limits and have posted signs. Heed these warnings unless you feel comfortable possibly getting a trespassing ticket and risk falling 3,000 ft. The photo opportunities might be better, but the risk is higher; you be the judge.