May 25, 2015 – Today was our last day in the park. The weather was gorgeous again, and we decided to do a bit of hiking before heading to the coast near Monterey. First up was a drive to Glacier Point. We got there around 9:30, and the parking lot was already getting fairly full. By the time we left there were tour buses and long lines for the bathrooms – getting there early is definitely essential.
We bypassed the main viewing area and instead headed down Four Mile Trail towards Union Point. The first part of the trail went downhill through the forest, before coming to a series of overlooks providing perfect views of the upper and lower falls (as well as the high meadow above the falls). We walked to the end of the overlook area where the trail began to curve down to the valley, and El Capitan, before heading back to our car.
The parking lot for Sentinel Dome gets crowded early; by 10:30 we were lucky to get a spot (and actually only got one because someone else had just pulled out). If you do get a parking spot though and a clear day, the hike is fairly short (a few miles round trip), and the dome is the perfect spot to catch 360 degree views.
Finally it was time to leave the park, and start the (very, very dry… the drought is real) drive to the coast. We were glad to be going away from San Francisco, since traffic in that direction was nutty. We did have the usual traffic through the winding roads out of the park (why, oh why can’t CA drivers drive around corners at speeds greater than 20 mph?), but otherwise had a pleasant drive.
We got to Monterey in time to go to Hula’s for dinner. They have great food, though this time the drinks seemed smaller and watered down. The food, however, was still spot on.