Alright, so this isn't necessarily a "hidden" spot in Yosemite. In fact, I would say it is one of the most popular places within Yosemite. Compared to it's neighboring points Taft Point and Sentinel Dome, this point is paved and easy to access. In fact, its not even a hike to get to this point; it's merely a gentle walk to the edge of this 3,214ft high cliff.
However, despite this place being cram packed in the Summers when the Glacier Point Road opens it has always been, and still is, one of my most favorite places! Being able to stand on this 7,214ft tall peak is something incredible. It sits perched atop the granite walls right across from famous iconic locations such as Half Dome, Vernal & Nevada Falls, North Dome, the Yosemite High Country, and Yosemite Falls. I tell people all the time, if you want to see the best wide view of Yosemite, head up to Glacier Point (Sentinel Dome is even better! Its a 360 degree view!).
Not only that, but Glacier Point has the famous rock formations that people like to nickname "the Diving-Board". While seemingly dangerous, no (as far as I have heard) has ever fallen off of the diving board; however, my friend Ryan has figured out the physics and says that if you were to fall off of the diving board it would take a quick 14 seconds until you impact flat on the valley floor of Yosemite. Pretty insane to imagine!
Every time I head up to Glacier Point, I take my chance to sit atop the diving board. It is the most exhilarating experience ever being able to sit dangling your feet 3,214ft above the valley floor. You definitely can feel major vertigo when looking over and peering into the Merced River below, or seeing how tiny the cars in the parking lot at the base of the granite wall are, or even to see the tiny canvas tents hidden within the pine trees.
What's even more cool is the fact that visitors have ventured out onto the diving board for quite a long time! In fact, I would dare to say that John Muir (along with Teddy Roosevelt) actually inspired the famous photo on the diving board.
It was this exact weekend (May 15, 1903) 113 years ago that Teddy Roosevelt made a visit to Yosemite and spent time camping in the wilderness with John Muir. During their time camping in places such as the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias, Sentinel Dome, and Bridal Veil Meadows, John Muir spoke about the environmental degradation that had been taking place such as major development in certain areas. At the time, the Valley and Mariposa Grove were not officially a part of Yosemite National Park, but during these three or four days John Muir spent time convincing Roosevelt and the California Governor George Pardee, that these places should be protected and included in the National Park. Muir succeeded in his attempt to convince the two and Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove were included in the National Park during Roosevelt's presidency in 1906. So, obviously John Muir has inspired more than just these photos!
However, even beyond that iconic photo of Roosevelt and Muir, many people have taken photos on this granite overhang at Glacier Point! Some of them even freak me out, like the photo below where a group of people are hanging off a car that is literally on the little ledge of an overhang. . . eek.
It's pretty insane to see these photos, some being well over 100 years old! Needless to say, it seems these people beat all the "hipsters" that post photos such as this on Instagram at taking this photo. Nonetheless, standing on the edge is obviously a favorite part of coming to Glacier Park for many, many people.
Walking out to the point is a little frightening. As you come closer and closer to ledge you begin to see more and more of the valley floor. But like I said, dangling your feet over is one of the best parts of being up on the diving board.
Another thing I absolutely love when it comes to visiting Glacier Point is that every single time I am there, I always either run into people I know or meet new and rad people! I don't know what it is about this place, but I'm serious; I always run into people here or make new friends. Once I ran into a friend I had made through Instagram up here making for a fun night. Another time I overheard some people talking about YWAM. If you do not know me, I did a YWAM DTS about three years ago now (has it really been that long??). So I approached them and struck up conversation. We still keep in touch today! Well, this particular visit I finally met someone in real life that I've known only through Instagram; it was completely unplanned but so, so rad! I wish I had had more time to actually have deep conversation with Will, but the conversation we had was a good one still. But I am telling you, if you visit Glacier Point there may be a really good chance that you run into someone you know or you leave having made new friends! So beware!
But for real, though; you have to make your way up to Glacier Point. Sitting perched atop the granite walls is an experience that none can compare to. It reminds you of how small you truly are in this giant world. The photos will never do it justice to show how grand and majestic this place is. If you visit Yosemite during the summer, this is a must see location. I recommend spending a good amount of time here. Sit back with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watch as the light passes through the valley for sunset. Watch as the sun turns the face of Half Dome a reddish/pink color and slowly fade to blue/pink. Sit in the midst of something so grand and recognize how small you are in this massive, beautiful world. These are moments the soul craves from time to time. These are moments you will never forget upon leaving . . . these are moments that cause people to come back.
Maybe I will even run into you up at Glacier Point! You never know . . .