Glacier Point overlooks the southern rim of Yosemite Valley, directly above Camp Curry. At 7,274 feet (2220m) asl, it commands... more » possibly the best view in the park, overlooking Half Dome, Vernal and Yosemite falls, North Dome, Basket Dome, Grizzly peak and, on a clear day, pretty much all of California.
In the winter, Glacier Point road closes to vehicles and is machine groomed with set ski tracks, making this a great trail for beginners or those wanting an easier ski. A 21-mile (34km) round trip, it can be skied in a long, 10-12 hour day or can be broken up into a more relaxing overnight stay at fantastic Glacier point (you will not be disappointed by sunrise). Frequent detours (such the Ghost forest loop depicted here) add variety and adventure to the trek.
Start at the Badger Pass parking area and ski zone. Pick up your (free) wilderness permit here, if necessary (required for all overnight backcountry use). The rangers will also supply you with a map and let you know the latest weather and trail conditions. You can rent skis and snowshoes at the Badger Pass shop if desired (they are a bit pricey).
There are two ski huts available for back country skiiers: Glacier Point Lodge (available to those in a Badger Pass Ski Area/Yosemite Mountaineering School-operated tour) and Ostrander Hut (by reservation through the Yosemite Conservancy). Most people camp on the snow.
When you arrive at the steep switchbacks, you are nearly there. Badger Pass has a few buildings and a lookout area, likely both covered in snow. Camp at least 1.5 miles from Badger Pass and 100 feet off the trail, but the park and the pristine snow is yours beyond that. less «