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Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Pohono Trail: Glacier Point to Dewey Point

Excursion above Yosemite Valley with spectacular views all around.

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 (4 votes, 1 review)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 18.2 miles / 29 km
Duration: Multiple days
 
Overview: Yosemite Valley is great to see with hundreds of other tourists atop Glacier Point, but doesn't everyone just like to be exposed alone in the wilderness every once and awhile? Dewey Point is much less of an attraction, but provides a very nice view of the valley. Parking at Glacier Point, and with stops along the way at Sentinel Dome and Taft Point, you can see almost everything (with the exception being there are no lakes on this trip). At only about 9 miles each day, the trip can easily be completed in a weekend with time to spare.

Tips: Make sure to get wilderness permit in advance! Especially during peak season (June - September) areas will fill up weeks in advance.

Bear canisters are REQUIRED in Yosemite, so make sure you either bring or rent enough to hold all food items as well as toiletries and other products that are required to be packed away.

The nights can get cold, but during the summer, you can get away with only packing a light jacket, and getting into the sleeping bag early. Winds can pick up especially on the points, so be weary, and plan accordingly.

Points of Interest

Viewpoint
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Glacier Point

The vista can be visited before or after the trip if you start here, but it is most definitely a view that should not be missed. All of the Yosemite allstars are visible from this point: Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Curry Village...
Junction
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Trailhead

There are several trailheads here, make sure you take the one to Taft Point. The Panorama trail and the 4 mile trail go in opposite directions and will get you into a pickle quite rapidly.
Junction
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Road Crossing

If you cross the road you came in on, you're headed in the right direction.
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Small Ascent

From Glacier Point, the elevation increases about 600 feet in a little over a quarter mile. At this altitude, let's hope you're in shape!
Junction
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Junction to Sentinel Dome

You can easily take a half mile detour to the top of Sentinel Dome for another spectacular 360 panorama of the Yosemite Valley, Clark Range, and surrounding area.
Mountain
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Sentinel Dome

At over 8000 feet, the top of Sentinel Dome gives much the same view as Glacier Point, but with more visible in the other directions. A great place to stop for a quick meal.
Viewpoint
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Sentinel Rock

As Sentinel Creek descends to the valley floor, there is a fantastic overlook here looking to the West for a slightly different perspective than you might be used to.
Water
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Sentinel Creek Crossing

The river can have a lot more volume in it in early summer, so be careful crossing. Also this is a good point to fill up on water, if you forgot to at Glacier Point.
Viewpoint
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Taft Point

An easy hike for day hikers, so this point is usually mobbed. Another good spot for lunch. The view here is one of the best on the trip since Taft Point is extended so much out into the valley with sharp drop-offs in each direction.
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The Fissures

Right next to the point, there are amazing crevices that have formed in the rocks.
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Descent to Bridalveil Creek

Not too steep, but just remember, you'll have to come back up this tomorrow!
Water
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Crossing Bridalveil Creek

The river here can be quite full year round so thankfully the bridge here will help get you over without incident.
Water
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Various other small creek crossings

Most of these other creeks will be much smaller in high summer and easy to cross. If you haven't topped off your water, make sure to do so! There aren't any streams close by Dewey Point.
Viewpoint
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Dewey Point

Finally, the point provides much the same view as Taft Point, just slightly different, but nevertheless, still spectacular. There are a lot less people here in this area, so camping will be nice and quiet. Various campsites can be found throughout the hillside, and some include fire rings. Make sure you camp at least 100 feet from any cliff edge, as well as away from the trail.
Parking
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Glacier Point Parking

The parking lot extends around the rear of the ranger station at Glacier Point at the end of Glacier Point Road. During high season, this parking lot can fill up, so make sure to get an early start.
Pictures in this guide taken by: oruwu, msouphy, gigi4791, jasonchiu, pcmasten, mcmanus
Reviews
taurus16tie
I agree that during the high season, the parking lot fills horribly.
Visited on Dec 15, 2006

by taurus16tie on Jan 14, 2013

Pohono Trail: Glacier Point to Dewey Point Trail Map


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About the Author

oruwu
oruwu
2 guides
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I'm a Mechanical Engineer. I love anything with two wheels. I enjoy the outdoors.
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Pohono Trail: Glacier Point to Dewey Point 3 Day Forecast

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