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Submitted on Oct 22, 2018 Useful Info

The best place to take photos in Yosemite National Park

Here's the brief to Christy's original article

1.Tunnel View

  • perhaps the most iconic photography spot of Yosemite. It's composed of El Capitan on the left, Half Dome in the center, Cathedral Rocks (including Bridalveil Falls) on the right, and an expanse of trees below
  • Location: east of the tunnel on Wawona Road with lots of parking available
  • It's crowded!

2.El Capitan Meadow

  • Softer landscape for more ethereal shots

3.Glacier Point

  • Another popular photography spot. It rests 3,000 feet above the valley floor, and the viewpoint includes a sweeping vista of Yosemite Valley – including clear shots of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome
  • PRO TIP: Sunset time is the best for getting colorful, dramatic shots

4.Sentinel Dome

  • Sentinel Dome offers shots of all the classic Yosemite landmarks
  • Direction: It can be accessed by driving along Glacier Point Road for about 14 miles until you come to the dome’s parking area. From there, there is a 1.2-mile hike of moderate difficulty

5.Taft Point

  • Taft Point overlooks the majesty of the valley, offers an excellent shot of El Capitan across the dip, a landscape of unearthly rock fissures, and a vertigo-inducing 3,500 foot drop into Yosemite Valley below
  • ATTENTION: be extra careful approaching the ledges there!
  • Direction: You can get to Taft Point by turning off at the Taft Point trailhead, which uses the same parking lot as the trail to Sentinel Dome. Enter the trail, and after around 100 feet when the trail diverges, take the left path to Taft Point. From here, the hike is a little over a mile

6.Yosemite Falls

  • an iconic photography location with Upper falls, Middle falls (not visible from the ground) and Lower falls
  • PRO TIP: It's best to go in Spring when the flow is most powerful
  • one of the best views of the Lower Falls is from the Lower Yosemite Falls Bridge. PRO TIP: time your visit outside of the peak early-afternoon hours to avoid crowds
  • ATTENTION: the road to Glacier Point isn’t plowed in winter, so heading there is a warm-weather only activity. Additionally, while there is a bus that will take you there, it's better to drive as the ride is just as beautiful as the summit itself

7.North Dome

  • Great for hikers - it will take roughly 5 hours and, at the end, you’ll get a great view of Half Dome and Clouds Rest.

8.Bridalveil Falls

  • Location: Bridalveil Falls is easily accessible via Bridalveil Falls Trail near the west entrance of Yosemite Valley
  • PRO TIP: Don't shoot from up close, but from a vantage point such as from the trail leading into the area or from the aforementioned Tunnel View for the best views of the grandeur

9.Mirror Lake

  • The glassy sheen of the lake reflects Half Dome, giving a split view shot of the iconic rock.
  • PRO TIP: Spring is the best time to go once the snow melts in the springtime. User submitted photo of Yosemite National Park

10.Vernal Falls

  • One of the most powerful falls in Yosemite, Vernal Falls is a 317 foot tall waterfall along the Merced River that thunders down below
  • There is a lake at the top of Vernal Falls called Emerald Pool, amazing view after a hike
  • PRO TIP: hike either the John Muir Trail or the Mist Trail in early spring when the waterfall flow is heaviest

User submitted photo of Yosemite National Park

11.Nevada Falls

  • Location: About a mile and a half down Mist Trail from Vernal Falls
  • ATTENTION: The trail to both of these falls can get quite wet, be sure to be very careful when climbing over the rocks, and make sure to bring the appropriate gear to keep your camera equipment dry