"Glacier Point Falls"

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

About “Glacier Point Falls”

Hiking Distance: 2 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2011-06-03
Date last visited: 2011-06-03

Waterfall Latitude: 37.72601
Waterfall Longitude: -119.56276

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“Glacier Point Falls” is the informal name I’m giving to this very short-lived waterfall. In all the years I’ve visited Yosemite and hiked the John Muir Trail, I never really noticed this waterfall. Either it wasn’t flowing or it was a case of bad timing each time I came here. But all that changed in June 2011 when I happened to be re-doing the whole Nevada Falls / Vernal Fall loop and noticed this waterfall flowing fairly well somewhere along the first mile or so en route to the Vernal Fall footbridge from Happy Isles. It could also be that the record snowpack from that Winter and Spring also helped to bring this waterfall back to life. I suppose this unpredictability alone could make one argue that this shouldn’t count as a legitimate waterfall. Either way, I put this page in so you can decide.

Because this waterfall appeared to be sourced from the melting snow around the Glacier Point vicinity, this was the how I came up with this informal name for the falls. Actually, I had recalled other websites citing this so-called “Glacier Point Falls” and perhaps this was what they were talking about.

In any case, you could make the argument that this really should be called “Washburn Point Falls” because I recalled hiking across a flooded part of the Panorama Trail somewhere beneath Washburn Point. And it’s totally reasonable to conclude that the cascade responsible for the flooding on the trail also drained further downslope over the cliffs into the Merced River Canyon at least 2000ft or more below.

In addition to noticing the waterfall on the paved part of the John Muir Trail, I was also able to spot it from the brink of Vernal Fall.

Vernal_Nevada_Loop_019_06032011 - The paved part of the John Muir Trail
Vernal_Nevada_Loop_046_06032011 - The brink of Vernal Fall
Glacier_Point_047_06022011 - Flooded part of Panorama Trail


This waterfall can be found on the John Muir Trail starting from the Happy Isles Trailhead (signpost V24).

See either the Vernal Fall or Nevada Falls page for directions on getting to the Happy Isles Nature Center.

As for the overall context of getting to this part of Yosemite Valley, from Los Angeles, it was about 311 miles (5.5 hours drive) via our preferred route of going through Fresno, Oakhurst, and passing near Yosemite West.

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Tagged with: yosemite, national park, john muir trail, mist trail, vernal fall, mariposa, sierra, california, waterfall, glacier point, ephemeral, washburn point

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