- Glacier Point
Glacier Point is a viewpoint above
Yosemite Valley, in California, USA. It is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of convert|7214|ft|m, convert|3200|ft|m above Curry Village. The point offers a superb view of Yosemite National Park, including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Clouds Rest.
Glacier Point can be reached from the Valley via
Glacier Point Road. Allow approximately 1 hour to reach Glacier Point by car.cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/touring.htm|title=Yosemite Auto Touring|publisher=NPS|accessdate=2008-05-16] During the summer, Glacier Point is often mobbed with tourists. Tours by bus are also available and take about four hours. [cite web|url=http://www.yosemitepark.com/Activities_GuidedBusTours_GlacierPointTour.aspx|title=Glacier Point Tours|publisher=DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.|accessdate=2008-05-16] The road is usually open from June through October. In winter, Glacier Point Road closes due to snow, and access to Glacier Point from the Badger Pass Ski Areais only by ski or snowshoe.
Glacier Point can also be reached via the
Four Mile Trail, which ascends the convert|3200|ft|m in convert|4.6|mi|km. This moderate to strenuous trail can provide access to Glacier Point when the Glacier Point Road is closed. Note, however, that the trail can be extremely hazardous when covered with snow or ice, so is usually closed by the Park Service from December through May. Another convert|8.2|mi|km trail runs from Glacier Point down to the Valley, via the Panorama Trail, past Nevada and Vernal Falls.
The extreme point of the promontory of Glacier Point is wholly bare, but on the slopes below, in the hollow to the west, and on the wooded slope above, glacial material is abundant. Its glacial origin is definitely proved by the presence in it of rocks derived from
Little Yosemite Valleyand the High Sierra.cite book|title=Geologic History of the Yosemite Valley|last=Matthes|first=F.E.|publisher= United States Department of the Interior(USGS)|year=1930|chapter=Evidences of an earlier ice invasion|chapterurl=http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/geology/publications/pp/160/sec3b.htm]
There are three types of glacially-deposited rock at Glacier Point:
#Most plentiful are rounded boulders and cobbles and angular fragments, all deeply weathered, of Half Dome quartz monzonite, the light-colored granite of which not only
Half Dome, but all of the Little Yosemite and its surrounding heights are composed.
#There are also a few boulders of a coarse-grained, highly siliceous granite, light buff in general tone when fresh but vivid rose when weathered. There is only one place in the High Sierra above the Yosemite from which they can be derived:
Mount Clark, the sharp-profiled peak which stands on the east side of the Illilouette Basin, Convert|8|mi|km from Glacier Point.
#Finally, there are fragments of yellowish quartzite and gray schist whose places of origin have been located on the long northern spur of Mount Clark.
Yosemite National Park
* [http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm Road Conditions for Yosemite National Park]
* [http://www.yosemitefun.com/glacier_point.htm Photos from Glacier Point]
* [http://www.virtualparks.org/scenes/ZpaD6aFTW7Q_wxZ5oB_4PUw.html QTVR of Yosemite Valley, including good view of Glacier Point]
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