WHERE CAN YOU FIND TWO ANCIENT THINGS... side by side? Well, you can see sand and surf down at any of California's glorious shorelines. You can gaze up, in the redwoods, and admire a very high tree top against the sky. And you can enjoy the contrast of ice and rock in Yosemite National Park. True, the ice we refer to can be seen each winter at the Curry Village Ice Rink, so, granted, the ice isn't all that old. But frozen water as a concept definitely is -- no quibbles there, right? Ice=old -- and Half Dome, the granite giant that often symbolizes the national park, has seen a sunset or two. Which makes them the perfect duo to sit adjacent, or fairly adjacent-ish, from November through the beginning of March, when the skaters are out enjoying icy twirls and granite views.
PHOTOGRAPHS REVEAL... that the rink has held recreational sway in the picturesque valley for over 80 years (though today's skaters are more apt to don Lycra and fleece rather than long wool coats and muffs). That Half Dome is framing the scene, and Glacier Point, too, speaks volumes about that early decision to place a rink there: It was a good one.
AS FOR COST? Well, you'll need to get into Yosemite National Park, so there's a fee, and the rink? It's ten and a half bucks for adults and seniors, a tenner for kids, and skate rentals cost four dollars. A fire pit is snug with the rink, and guests are welcome to purchase warming beverages at the not-too-far-away Curry Village Gift and Grocery Store.
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WE'RE NOT SAYING... to forsake your favorite slab of ice, the one down the block from you. Nor should you give up the seasonal rinks that pop up outside malls and shopping centers. But for that spectacular natural experience, gliding under the watchful, eternal granite eye of Glacier Point is unparalleled, here in California, or anywhere. Hyperbole? Sure, but if ever a place merited an occasional hyperbolic statement, it is the big Y.