One of the most beloved viewpoints in Yosemite National Park is the famous “tunnel viewpoint,” which has been vowing visitors for more than 75 years with its view of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome.
The only trouble is, it’s a parking lot view almost always crowded with tourists.
But for anyone game for a bit of a hike, an even better—and far more private—view is yours for the taking. Just park across the road from the tunnel viewpoint. At the right of the parking lot, head up the trail 1.3 miles to Inspiration Point.
Jack and I have taken this hike for the past two years in a row. It’s a short hike—just 2.6 miles round trip—with a big payoff.
The trail is uphill, about a 990-foot elevation gain. You may meet another photographer or two, but if you stay for awhile to savor the view you’re likely to have have the place all to yourself for a while at least.
More details on the hike are available here.