National Parking in California, Glacier Point

“Let The Fire Fall!”

On the southern ridge above Yosemite Valley are numerous viewpoints that present the Valley and the surrounding Back country with panoramic views.

The road curves down from Washburn Point and ends up at Glacier Point. From 1872 to 1968 a man-made “firefall” was made at this point.

I remember being sometimes at Glacier Point, and other times on the Valley Floor to witness this event. Downed bark from Red Fir Trees was transported to Glacier Point where it was lit and kept glowing until there were just glowing embers left. Someone down in the Valley at Camp Curry along with another person at Glacier Point would yell to each other in order to .60s_yosemitefirefall160s_yosemitefirefall2

“Let the Fire Fall”

There we all are, those 60’s Yosemite Tourists waiting for the event to occur at Glacier Point.

In 1968 this process was discontinued due to its unnaturalness and difficulty in obtaining downed bark. I guess, I was lucky to experience it, while others in this day and age of preservation and global awareness, probably would not be able to understand how such a thing could continue all those years?

The one thing that has remained the same are the views from Glacier Point.


Here is a view looking down toward Camp Curry. Glacier Point at 2200m and Camp Curry at 1220m.

The surrounding views of the landmark peak, Half Dome and the others around it also are magnificent from this viewpoint:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sunrise and Sunset are also good times of day to take photographs from this point, so you might want to camp at Bridalveil Campground (along the Glacier Point Road) in order to give you access at different times of day.

Before leaving Glacier Point, I noticed an activity that was getting ready to take place at an amphitheater nearby the main Visitor’s Center at Glacier Point. It was Homeland Security which was conducting Naturalization Ceremonies for new US Citizens.


Here is an excerpt of this event:

In partnership with USCIS, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is also holding judicial naturalization ceremonies nationwide to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Federal judges are presiding at naturalization ceremonies scheduled at courthouses, historic landmarks, and NPS sites, including such iconic locations as the Lincoln Memorial, where USCIS Chief of Staff Juliet K. Choi will deliver keynote remarks; Ellis Island; and Yosemite National Park.

Source: Homeland Security (

Nice place to do this event, and even though I was invited to observe this event, I chose to move on.

My next stop would be a short hike up another viewpoint, Sentinel Dome.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s