Wednesday, November 8, 2017
What? Why Would I Ever Want to Give Up my Parking Spot in Yosemite Valley?
Washburn Point or Taft Point).
My memories of Glacier Point go back quite a ways. I was here with my family around 1966 or 1967 when we watched the Firefall from the valley floor. This used to happen as the workers for the Curry Company pushed a bonfire over the brink.The embers glowed bright as they fell for several thousand feet, and it became a nightly tradition. A day or two later we were on the rim at Glacier Point where I could watch them push the fire off the cliff. It was interesting, but over the years the spectacle caused traffic congestion in the valley, and was not in keeping with the natural environment. The practice was ended in 1968. In an interesting twist, a fire fall happened naturally in the valley in 2008. A marvelous picture was captured by Edith Howe-Byrne, a photographer who spends part of the year in the valley. Check it out here.
Glacier Point is accessed by Glacier Point Road, which is about a 22 mile drive from the valley floor (allow an hour to get there). The road is paved, but narrow and windy, and filled with the most dangerous animal in the park, the scared flatland driver. There is a large parking lot, pit toilets, and a modest curio/snack shop open seasonally. The walk to the view point is perhaps a quarter mile, maybe less, and is fully paved, and partly accessible for wheelchairs (mainly the upper viewpoint). A number of trails start from the point as well.