Glacier Point

Yosemite National Park, California

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Glacier Point Glacier Point (7214 ft, 2199 m) offers views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra.
Glacier Point The overhanging joint sheet makes a nice diving board although comparatively few people take advantage of it. On the far side is Yosemite Falls, nearly dry at this time of  year. The falls drops down the vertical cleft in the cliff (cutting the shadow line). The deep valley to the left at the base of the higher cliff does not carry any stream. It may be a former course of Yosemite Creek, blocked for some reason.
Glacier Point The floor of Yosemite Valley is a kilometer below.
Glacier Point The Royal Arches formed by failure of vertical joint sheets. Once collapse begins, it stops only if the opening achieves a shape capable of supporting the overlying weight - an arch. The sharp vertical fin to the right of the arches is Washington Column.
Glacier Point Mount Hoffman (10850 feet, 3307 m) is the peak on the skyline. From its summit, virtually all of Yosemite National Park is visible (except, of course, the valley floor).
Glacier Point Mount Hoffman on the far left, Half Dome on far right, and Tenaya Canyon in the center of the picture.
Glacier Point Maps of Yosemite bear the ominous warning "Hiking in Tenaya Canyon is dangerous and strongly discouraged." The lower, flat-floored portion is fairly accessible by road and trail, but about at the distant shadowed cliff the canyon becomes much narrower and steeper.
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Glacier Point At Glacier Point the view is northward over Yosemite Valley and Tenaya Canyon, and provides an oblique view of the face of Half Dome.
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Glacier Point The peak beyond Half Dome is Clouds Rest (9926 ft, 3025 m). The summit of Half Dome is 8836 ft (2693 m).
Glacier Point At Taft Point, a kilometer or so south of Glacier Point, the view looks directly along the face of Half Dome and east and south over the High Sierra.
Glacier Point Nevada Falls at top, Vernal Falls below, with Liberty Cap on the left.

The ring above and right of Nevada Falls seems to be vegetation rimming a boulder field. On the original slide it appears that an exfoliation sheet slid downhill and broke up. The straight diagonal line right of the ring is a small water rill running down the nearly planar rock surface.

Glacier Point Liberty Cap, Nevada Falls and Mount Clark (11522 ft, 3512 m) on the horizon.

Below: Additional views of Liberty Cap, the Merced River, and Little Yosemite Valley.

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Glacier Point Views of the high Sierra looking southeast. The nearer conical peak is Mount Starr King (9092 ft, 2771 m). The distant sharp peak on the skyline is Mount Clark (11522 ft, 3512 m). Below left, Mount Starr King is on the left with Red Peak (11899 ft, 3566 m) and Merced Peak (11786 ft, 3574 m) beyond it. Generally speaking Sierran intrusive rocks are gray, and reddish rocks are inclusions or roof pendants of Late Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic metasedimentary rocks.
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Created 02 February 2006, Last Update 06 June 2020