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Visit Glacier Point Yosemite and The Pioneer Yosemite History Center With Kids

In this Yosemite National Park review we discuss 

  • Yosemite National Park through the eyes of your kids
  • A Stop At The Pioneer Yosemite History Center 
  • How to get to Glacier Point
  • Glacier Point View With Your Kids
  • Hiking Yosemite from Glacier Point
Yosemite national park sign

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Yosemite National Park through The Eyes of your kids

Yosemite National Park is by far the most well known and highly revered of all the national parks.  Chances are even if you have never visited Yosemite National Park, you have seen the stunning photos and breathtaking scenes like this one. 

Gorgeous Panoramic View of Yosemite National Park from the Glacier Point Amphitheatre

Seeing these sights for the first time can not be put into words.  Seeing them through the eyes of your kids is priceless. 

Glacier point view Yosemite Three kids Viewing

Visit The Pioneer Yosemite History Center

When planning your visit to Yosemite National Park, make time to explore the Pioneer Yosemite History Center.  It is fascinating if you are a history nerd like me! Your family will enjoy the historic buildings and beautiful scenery.  We happened upon a school function when visiting and enjoyed some living history! 

How To Get To Glacier Point Yosemite

After spending some time touring the Pioneer Yosemite History Center, stop at  Wawona Visitor Center for some snacks, trail maps, or other needs. Then head north on Hwy 41, also called Wawona Road, toward Glacier Point Road.  The drive from the south entrance to Glacier Point is about an hour, but it is a scenic hour and you won’t even notice.  However, BE ADVISED, enter the park early no later than 7 am.  Arrive after 8am and expect to sit in traffic for an hour.

Getting to Glacier Point via car is easy when the road is open.  We arrived  a week before Memorial day and were fortunate that hey had plowed the snow from Glacier Point road just a few days prior.   We stayed in Fish Camp just 10 minutes outside the south entrance. While it is true, it takes an hour to get to Glacier point, you are in the park and surrounded by beauty in under 20 minutes. (It will take longer if you don’t arrive early in the park)  

Glacier Point Road open from late May through October or November depending upon conditions.  We were there in late May and there was still evidence of the huge snow amounts they received in the previous winter.

Glacier Point View With Your Kids

Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park is perfect for families with young children!  Glacier Point is a perfect place for your kids to explore and for you to capture unforgettable memories on camera

Kids playing on boulders at Glacier Point Yosemite
Image by Margaret Napier

Once you arrive at the Glacier Point parking lot, you can take the short trail to the mind blowing Glacier Point View of Half-Dome Village and the floor of Yosemite Valley.  

Glacier Point Welcome and Trails Signs
Image by Butter Chou

The Glacier Point Amphitheater on  your right provides you with those awe inspiring views of Yosemite Valley, Half-Dome, and three major waterfalls: Yosemite Falls, Nevada, and Vernal Falls.  Because our visit was in the spring after a major wet winter, these falls were in full force and stunning to behold!

Glacier Point

For yet another vantage point, walk on up the trail toward the actual Glacier Point!  It’s fun to look down into the valley and tell the kids, “Tomorrow, we will be those ants.”  Of course, seeing all the cars lined up to get into the valley wasn’t all that great. But, that is a talk for another day. 

A View of the Yosemite Falls and rock formations at Glacier Point located in Yosemite National Park
A view of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point Upper Viewing Area

Finish Your Day At Glacier Point With a Hike

As you can see, Glacier Point, is definitely worth your time.  There are other hikes and vantage points surrounding the area. Depending on your plans for the day, you may want to bring a picnic lunch or grab a bite at the visitor center and then take Four Mile into Yosemite Valley or Panorama Trail toward Mist Trail and Nevada Falls. However, if you are with smaller children or have a stroller, this may not be an option.  We opted to get back in our car and head out for some more scenic driving.   

Here is a great post for more information on easy hikes in Yosemite.

Here’s a guide for backpackers to Yosemite if you are looking for more in depth hiking. 

Need some other bucket list ideas? Check out this post for tips for photo ops in the National Parks. 


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Amanda Bowers owner and author at VeraVise WOW Travel


At VeraVise Outdoor Living, our family has been living & playing in the Great Smoky Mountains and Appalachian region for more than 35 years. Let us help you create and outdoor lifestyle for your family!


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  2. During my first visit to Yosemite, Glacier Point was the first thing we did. It felt incredible to see the Valley for the first time from the top. I would love to visit the park again. We stayed there three days but that was not enough to do everything we wanted. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • It was our first stop too! It was so amazing to finally see something I had only read about and dreamed about for years! Now, I want to go back over and over!!

  3. I can’t believe there was still so much snow, but I guess that’s why its called glacier point? The views look amazing, so will definitely keep this in mind when I finally make it to Yosemite. And I will be sure to get moving early. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • California had record snow falls in 2017. I was so nervous because they were saying the roads wouldn’t be cleared before JUNE!! We were so excited that they got them cleared by late May. Still, we missed Tioga Pass, but that’s ok. Another day! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. It’s been a billion years since I’ve been to Yosemite National Park. I was a Louisiana girl at the time and was in complete awe at its beauty! Your pictures and descriptions have me wanting to book a trip today!

  5. I’ve only been to Yosemite once, during the winter and it was lovely, but definitely couldn’t do any hiking! Would like to go back when it’s warm and explore more of the park! We were literally there just for a few hours! Happy New Year! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • I’d like to go back again too…later in the season because there were some things still unopened due to the snow. It definitely could be a place I could visit several times. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. This is such a great place, Vera, isn’t it? You reminded me that it’s been a long time since I visited Yosemite. My son was about your children’s age at that time. I should go back again to Glacier Point. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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