These photo spots in Yosemite National Park have stunning rock formations, tranquil meadows, and clear streams.
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Yosemite National Park was a dream destination for me as a photographer and outdoor enthusiast. Yosemite National Park is 750,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness, making it one of the most picturesque destinations in America.
Yosemite is full of iconic and mind-blowing photo spots. These are the top photo spots in Yosemite National Park.
- Tunnel View
Tunnel View, which is probably the most famous photography spot in Yosemite is made up of El Capitan (left), Half Dome (center), Cathedral Rocks (including Bridalveil Fall) and an expanse below.
Although it can get crowded, the spot is easy to find. It’s located east of Wawona Road Tunnel and there are plenty of parking options.
- El Capitan Meadow
El Capitan Meadow is a more tranquil location than some of the more spectacular locations, but it’s still worth the effort. El Capitan Meadow offers a stunning backdrop for more ethereal photos, with its expansive meadow and towering trees.
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- Glacier Point
Glacier Point is another popular spot for photography. This location is located at 3,000 feet above valley floor. The viewpoint offers a panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, including clear shots of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. You can take dramatic, colorful photos from this spot by going west on the Glacier Point railing.
Be aware that Glacier Point’s road is not plowed in winter so it is best to only go there during warm weather. There is also a bus service that takes you to Glacier Point, but I recommend driving. The views from Glacier Point are as stunning as the summit itself.
- Sentinel Dome
Sentinel Dome, which is located on Glacier Point Road in the middle of this trek, is a must-see. Sentinel Dome offers stunning views of Yosemite’s iconic landmarks. You can reach it by driving along Glacier Point Road approximately 14 miles to the parking area. There is a moderately difficult hike that takes you 1.2 miles.
- Taft Point
Taft Point overlooks the majestic valley and offers a great view of El Capitan across it. It also features a landscape with unearthly rock fissures and a 3,500-foot drop into Yosemite Valley below. You should be careful when approaching these ledges!
You can also reach Taft Point from Glacier Point Road by turning left at the Taft Point Trailhead. This parking lot is the same as the one used for the Sentinel Dome trail. Follow the trail for about 100 feet, then take the left turn to Taft Point. The hike takes just over a mile from here.
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- Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls is made up of Upper, Middle, and Lower falls. They are a famous photography spot that can be photographed best in spring when the flow is at its strongest.
Although hiking up to the Upper Falls will be a great experience, the Lower Yosemite Falls Bridge offers the most spectacular views of the Lower Falls. This area can get very crowded so plan your visit to avoid peak hours in the afternoon.
- North Dome
North Dome is a great mid-level hike for those who want to explore beautiful Yosemite woods as well as one of the most stunning photography spots in the park.
It will take approximately 5 hours to hike up North Dome. At the top, you will see Half Dome and Clouds Rest.
- Bridalveil Falls
Bridalveil Falls can be found near Yosemite Valley’s west entrance. It is easily accessible via the Bridalveil Falls Trail. For the best views, I recommend photographing them from a vantage point, such as the Tunnel View or the trail leading to the area.
- Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is the perfect spot to capture Half Dome in Yosemite. The lake’s glassy sheen reflects Half Dome and gives you a split-view shot of the rock, as its name implies.
- Vernal Falls
Vernal Falls, a 317-foot tall waterfall that cascades down to the Merced River, is one of the most impressive falls in Yosemite. You can photograph Vernal Falls from the John Muir Trail, or the Mist Trail, in the early spring, when the waterfall flows at its strongest. If you like hiking, you will find a lake called Emerald Pool at the top.
- Nevada Falls
It is located about a mile and half down Mist Trail, just past Vernal Falls. Nevada Falls is 594 feet away. The trail to these falls can be quite slippery as the name implies. Be careful climbing over rocks and bring enough gear to dry your equipment.
Yosemite Essentials for Packing Photo Gear
Camera Protection: Since so many locations on this list contain water, it is a smart idea to protect your camera with a rain cover, rain sleeve and microfiber lens cloths.
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bags are the ONA Bowery Camera Bag and Kattee Fashion Canvas Camera Backpack. I also love the PacSafe Anti-Theft Camera Bag & Shoulder Bag.
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Compact Tripod: For low-light shots and waterfall shots, a compact tripod is essential.
GoPro Hero 7: I recommend this GoPro Hero 7 for anyone who plans on taking to the water or photographing in areas where your professional camera is not allowed.
Intervalometer: An intervalometer is useful for taking selfies or wildlife photos.