Glacier Point has been described by thousands as one of the paramount scenic points of the Valley. And, it is true that from here, nearly thirty-three hundred feet
above the floor of the Valley, an unsurpassed view of the Valley and the surrounding country can be had. Words cannot paint the haze clothed heights and depths of the marvelous panorama unrolled before one's gaze from this glorious scenic viewpoint. From here every deep cleft, every storm-chiseled gorge, every heaven-scraping crag and towering peak of the great chain of the Sierra for a radius of many miles is visible to the naked eye. Looking up the cliffs from the Valley floor toward the top of Glacier Point one notes the two great ledges or steps in the cliff face, which look almost as if they had been fashioned by the hand of man, and jutting out over the bulging brow of the cliff, the famous overhanging rock. This rock, a block of granite some twelve feet in length by six feet in width, which looks as if it might have been carried and balanced there by some prehistoric giant, shoves one-third or more of its length over the thirty-three hundred foot brink of the cliff in splendid disregard of the breath-taking void beneath it. It is a favorite subject of the kodak artist and is probably the most photographed spot or object in the Valley. A fact not generally known about the overhanging rock is that by springing up and down on the smaller rock wedged against its base one can cause it to really rock, swaying up and down with a play of some four or five inches.
The top of Glacier Point is probably more easily reached, and by more different routes, than any other height in the Park. And, some two or three hundred yards back from the brink of the cliff stands Glacier
[paragraph continues] Point Hotel, which is itself entitled to the distinction of being classed as one of the features of the region. Affording accommodations for some two hundred guests, and embodying, as it does, all the comforts and conveniences of the most modern city hotel with its own delightfully informal and rustic atmosphere, it stands unique among the hotels for which our western country is justly famous.
For the lover of hiking the Ledge Trail should hold a compelling attraction. Beginning near the Le Conte Memorial Lodge, the trail winds its way by more or less easy stages to the top of the cliff, presenting at every turn some new beauty to gladden the heart.
Visitors stopping overnight at Glacier Point will be lulled to sleep by the drowsy murmur of Vernal and Nevada Falls pouring into Merced Canyon far below, and throughout the day will be treated to a series of scenic spectacles that can hardly be duplicated anywhere else on earth. It is a particularly fortunate spot from which to watch the sunrise. Here the early riser may "Hail! smiling morn, that tips the hills with gold," and "watch the streaming tails of mighty comets of light heralding the approach of dawn from among the snow-clad peaks and forest heights of the Sierras." The highest peaks are first to catch the golden rays. On their lofty crowns the light lingers as if hesitant to disturb a sleeping world. Then the dark shadowed snow-fields are slowly changed to gleaming white, the golden flood catches and gilds the wavy tops of the forest, and as the light comes flooding slowly over the mountains the great peaks smile out one
by one their joyous, age-old greeting. Far, far below, still sunk in the purple hush of shadow, lies the Valley, while the sun shoots lance after lance of gold down the mountain side. Then it suddenly streams through the canyon into the Valley below, throwing a long golden wedge of light that shoves out and out, reaching and stretching its luminous point, until in a few minutes it lights up the rugged, weather-beaten face of grand old El Capitan, bringing out in bold relief the figure of Tu-tok-a-nu-la. From far below the river shoots up glittering shafts of light, Half Dome throws its miles long shadow adown the Valley, and the brooding quiet is only broken by the soothing voices of the waterfalls, that rise in waves from the void below, and the glad, wild song of a bird trilling a rapturous greeting to the newborn day.
Here one may sit for hours, charmed by the magnificence of the giant canvas spread before him, and the always busy hand of the artist evidenced in the ever-changing color, light and cloud effects. From here one commands a splendid view of Half Dome, and of the three glaciers Lyell, Dana, and McClure. Lyell Glacier lies at the base of Mount Lyell, the highest peak in the Park. Off to the south, Gale Peak rears its pyramid-like bulk into the clouds; high above the Merced Canyon Mount Starr King and Mount Clark dominate the range, while just to the left of Nevada Fall, Mount Liberty Cap and Mount Broderick can be seen lifting their storm-beaten heads. Below one, softened by distance and the intervening blue haze, surrounded by the immutable cliffs of everlasting granite, sleeps the Valley, spread
like some landscape artist's dream in miniature, the trees but "feathered toothpicks," the buildings and tents but tiny dots, and the Merced River a glimmering, silvery ribbon winding across a bed of green.