Where to Find the Best Photo Ops in Yosemite

Yosemite’s natural beauty is so striking that it led photographer Ansel Adams to base his life’s work here in the 1920s. Today, you can get some stellar nature shots of your own. Here are the most Instagram-worthy spots in Yosemite National Park.

Tunnel View
Called the most photographed spot in the country, Tunnel View is definitely the most popular photo op stop in the park (as evidenced by the number of cars perpetually parked here). With pine trees and the wide open sky perfectly framing the shot, Tunnel View offers the coup de grace of Yosemite icons with El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall just waiting to be captured.

Glacier Point
For one of the best views of Yosemite Valley and several of its show-stopping waterfalls, Glacier Point is a must visit for photos. Half Dome’s curved aspect features prominently in the foreground while Vernal and Nevada Falls are just a short walk down the Panorama Trail. Only open from spring through fall, Glacier Point is worth scheduling your trip around.

Valley View
If you're heading to Mariposa Grove (remember to get a shot of yourself standing in the California Tunnel Tree), be sure to stop off at the Valley View lookout. You'll be able to capture the winding beauty of the Merced River flanked by El Capitan on the left and the Cathedral Rocks and Spires—it's a view you can't get from Tunnel View. You'll find Valley View along on-way Northside Drive before the Pohono Bridge.

Cook's Meadow
An easy 30 minute walk from Shuttle Stop #6 (Lower Yosemite Fall), Cook's Meadow in Yosemite Valley offers spectacular sunset views of Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks and the Yosemite Falls area. On the edge of Cook's Meadow is Stoneman Bridge, a popular spot for capturing Half Dome over the Merced River.
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