The easiest trail in Yosemite, Washburn point is more of a pit stop than an actual hiking trail. But, if you are driving down Glacier Point Road, it’s definitely worth the stop and the 20 stair steps or so to see this gorgeous vantage point. For many, Washburn Point is where they get their first glimpse of Half Dome; so, if you want to experience that eye-popping moment, give it a chance. You won’t regret it! Other views include Glacier Point, Illouette Falls, and Yosemite Valley, though you won’t be able to see Yosemite Falls from here.
Like we said, this is more of a pit stop than anything, so don’t worry about tiring yourself out. Just get out of the car, walk a few steps, and take your pictures—it’s that easy!
Keep in mind that, because it provides easy gratification, Washburn Point is normally awash with tourists. This means you may have to wait a second to take your pictures, and you may find yourself a bit crowded. However, we still think it’s worth it, particularly for first timers.
When to Visit
Springtime and whenever Glacier Point Road is open are probably the best parts of the year to visit Washburn Point. It is during these times that the views are most wide open, and you’ll also be able to see and hear the Vernal, Nevada, and Illilouette falls from across the canyon.