The Best Photography in Yosemite National Park

Looking for the best photography in Yosemite National Park? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Yosemite National Park. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top photography spots in and near Yosemite National Park

  • Mariposa County, California

    10 Lakes Basin in Yosemite

    5.0
    13.38 mi / 2200 ft gain
    Beginning at the Ten Lakes trailhead, the trail to the lakes is a moderately strenuous uphill grind to Ten Lakes pass, followed by a quick downhill into the lake basin. We met a woman at the top who made sure we didn’t miss the short side trail to a vista point on the pass that offered a sweeping...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Backpack to Grant Lake

    4.0
    12.3 mi / 2000 ft gain
    The trail begins at the Ten Lakes trailhead (7600 ft) right beside Yosemite Creek. The first 4 miles start you on the ascent through the wooded forest, however there are portions of the trail that will take you through granite rock valleys marked with only cairns so keep your eyes peeled througho...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Camp at Yosemite Creek Campground

    Yosemite Creek Campground is on Tioga Road north of the valley at 7,700' elevation. There is a stream at this campsite which you can filter if you don't want to bring a lot of water. Offers access to unforgettable hiking trails. Open July-September. Bring your own tent and $12 for a site. Sites 4...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to May Lake

    4.0
    3 mi / 500 ft gain
    May Lake is a stunning, serene subalpine lake that rests at the base of Mt. Hoffmann. The May Lake turnoff is located four miles past Tenaya Lake. From the turnoff, it's 1.8 miles to the trailhead parking lot. During summer time, I will recommend getting to the parking area early to get a spot ...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to Mt. Hoffman

    6 mi / 2140 ft gain
    The May Lake trailhead is at the end of a 2 mile unpaved road leading north from Tioga Road. The trailhead has pit toilets and bear lockers. (Please be sure to store any food, garbage, scented items, and empty coolers in these lockers while hiking!) After hiking an easy 1.3 miles, you'll arrive ...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike Mt. Hoffmann via the East Chute

    6 mi / 3000 ft gain
    This is a solid, day long trip. It is a great hike with a bit of a scramble on the way up to the summit massif and then again at the nearly 11,000-foot peak of Mount Hoffmann. You will have what John Muir described as his favorite view of Yosemite. You can look down onto Half Dome and across the ...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Explore Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP

    4.6
    2.5 mi
    Tenaya Lake is located alongside Tioga Road in the park's Tuolumne Meadows region. There is a family-friendly trail that surrounds the lake. Though some spots along the trail on the western shore may require fording the waters, the 2.5-mile trip is an easy hike for all to enjoy. Many others pre...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Clouds Rest to Half Dome

    18.52 mi / 4000 ft gain
    Because this is not a loop, you will need to figure out a shuttle situation.  There are two options for this: 1. Drive your car to the Tenaya Lake Trail Head, and leave it parked there.  Once you reach the Valley you will be car-less, but then the next day you can take one of the free shuttles u...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to Tuolumne Peak Plateau

    11.7 mi / 1800 ft gain
    The most direct route begins at Murphy Creek trailhead, on the north side of Tioga Road near Tenaya Lake. Walk north on Murphy Creek trail for 2.5 miles with minimal elevation gain. Polly Dome Lakes are a great side trip via the social trail on the right side of the trail before the first junctio...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Olmsted Point

    5.0
    0.4 mi
    Just off the side of the highway, look for the pullout for Olmsted Point on your Map. There is a parking area with about 25 parking spots and the lookout point with the tree is right next to there. Come in the summertime and during a new moon to get the best views of the Milky Way. Never crowded,...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Backpack Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne

    5.0
    48.29 mi / 10610 ft gain
    This is a rugged overnight backpack into the North country of Yosemite dropping in from Tuolumne Meadows into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. The trail begins at an elevation just under 9,000' and drops to a low elevation of 4,500' almost 19 miles later at Pate Valley. Coming up out of Pate Val...
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  • Wawona, California

    Pothole Dome

    1.01 mi / 250 ft gain
    Getting There From the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, head west on Tioga Road/ Hwy 120 towards Tenaya Lake. You'll only travel about 1 mile down the road until you see Tuolumne Meadows open up again on your right, and there will be a very large gravel pull out where you can park. Pothole Dome ...
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  • Cathedral Lakes Trailhead

    Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley

    5.0
    30.82 mi / 6109 ft gain
    Yosemite is an iconic park, and if you are looking for isolation with spectacular views of the backcountry this trip is for you. The trail itself is approximately 33 miles and can be done in 3-4 days, but I recommend a 6 day hike to enjoy the scenery and to have the opportunity to soak in each lo...
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  • Wawona, California

    Cathedral Lakes

    5.0
    9.04 mi / 1100 ft gain
    Starting at the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead near the Tuolumne Meadows parking lot (if parking is full at the TH), this trail wanders through the classic High Sierra forest with large white granite boulders and pine trees. After approximately 4 miles of quiet solitude in the forest, you will reach ...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Camp at North Pines Campground

    The North Pines Campground is located in Yosemite Valley near Half Dome Village. The sites are available from March-October. Pets are allowed, and permit is $26/night for a site. Some sites are handicap accessible. More info at https://www.nps.gov/yose/plany...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Hike to Yosemite's Mirror Lake

    4.7
    1.54 mi / 100 ft gain
    Mirror Lake is a very popular spot in the Yosemite Valley and definitely a must see to check off your explore list. Crowds are much smaller if you go during the winter, but some parts of the water might be iced over. The trailhead you take to get there is well marked and can be found at the far ...
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