Spectacular Views and No Hiking

Published: August 23rd 2010
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View from Glacier PointView from Glacier PointView from Glacier Point

The Half Dome viewed from Glacier Point
One area of the park that was close to our hotel is that containing the giant Sequoias trees. We went early in the morning, which was a good move as it was very quiet and peaceful. We were able to talk around the trees without meeting anyone else. By the time we got back to the car park it was starting to get busy and the inevitable coaches were arriving. Later in the day it gets so busy that they have to close the road and run Zion-like shuttles from a place called Wawona nearby.

The really big Sequoia trees were all space amongst the usual smaller trees. These all had names that matched their shape and form, including the Grizzly Giant, the Faithful Couple (two trees that have joined together), the California Tunnel Tree and the Clothespin Tree. Some have split at their base to form a gap that is large enough to drive a car through (apparently). One thing that you really notice is how burnt the trees area. The burning process is actually essential to the development of the trees. In fact, there was a period when any fires were prevented and it actually hindered the development
View from Glacier PointView from Glacier PointView from Glacier Point

Panoramic view from Glacier Point
of the trees. There are now regular controlled fires to ensure that the forest continues to develop as it should.

The best view in Yosemite is from Glacier Point, but it is another 35 mile drive to get there. It’s well worth it though as the views are absolutely stunning and the reputation is well earned. You can see over the valley, including the Yosemite Falls, you are looking right on to the Half Dome mountain and you can see round to some other falls, which I think are the Vernal and Nevada falls.

There were the inevitable coaches however, although I wouldn’t like the idea of driving on a coach along some parts of the road that was leading to Glacier Point. Or being on one for that matter.

Probably the only other view to rival Glacier Point would be from the top of Half Dome, but that is nowhere near as accessible. There is no lazy option of driving to the top so you need to hike. I was talking to someone who was still on a high from having hiked it the day before. He said it took him 11 hours for the round
View from Glacier PointView from Glacier PointView from Glacier Point

Yosemite falls and valley viewed from Glacier Point
trip and it involved an accent totalling 4,900 feet. It is probably the most famous mountain in Yosemite and it dominates the valley. It is called the Half Dome because of its shape. If you don’t want to do the hike, there is a more direct route, but that involves a direct climb up the sheer face itself. Either way, I understand that so many people now want to get to the top that the park needs to ration permits.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Grizley Giant TreeGrizley Giant Tree
Grizley Giant Tree

The Grizley Giant sequoia tree
Faithful Couple TreesFaithful Couple Trees
Faithful Couple Trees

The Faithful Couple giant sequoia trees
Giant Fur CombGiant Fur Comb
Giant Fur Comb

Size comparison of giant fur comb

24th August 2010

Corrections to Half Dome info
1. The falls you see from Glacier Point are Vernal ( 300 ft) and Nevada (600 ft). 2. The Half Dome hike is 16 miles round trip. 10 - 12 hours. 3. Half Dome was NOT cut in half by Glaciers...it was above the 3 major glacial periods. The 20% of the rock missing was due to exfoliation - 10,000 years of rain water getting in and freezing and shedding the rock along the vertical joints. -- Rick Deutsch ("Mr. Half Dome") Speaker, Adventurer, Author "One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome" www.HikeHalfDome.com - Hiking

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