The Best Photography in Yosemite Valley

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

Top photography spots in and near Yosemite Valley

  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Photograph Stoneman Bridge in Yosemite NP

    4.5
    This location turned out to be one of our favorite unplanned stops in the Yosemite Valley to photograph and explore.Stoneman Bridge was constructed in 1933 and spans 72 feet long. The Merced River flows under this classic stone bridge providing very photogenic reflections, with Half Dome in the b...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Camp at Lower Pines Campground

    The Lower Pines Campground is located in Yosemite Valley near Half Dome Village just a stone's throw from Mirror Lake. The sites are available from April-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

    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 the Sentinel Meadow Cook's Meadow Loop Trail

    4.5
    2.3 mi / 85 ft gain
    This short, easy walk provides some of the best views of several iconic Yosemite landmarks from the valley floor.  If you complete the entire loop, expect to see Yosemite Falls from the Swinging Bridge, Half Dome from Sentinel Bridge (a popular spot at sunset), and the historic Yosemite Chapel.  ...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Camp at Upper Pines Campground

    5.0
    The Upper Pines Campground is located in Yosemite Valley near Half Dome Village. Enjoy incredible views of Half Dome, green meadows, wildlife, Glacier Point, and fall asleep listening to the Merced River.  The sites are available year-round. Pets are allowed, and permit is $26 for a site. Each ca...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Little Yosemite Valley Campsite and Half Dome

    4.6
    13.88 mi / 4800 ft gain
    First things first. You will need to get a wilderness pass by entering the lottery for Half Dome access. If you don't get a pass via lottery just go to the Yosemite Valley visitor center, tell the clerk you are backpacking to Little Yosemite Valley and that you would like to hike up Half Dome. Th...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Thru-Hike the John Muir Trail

    5.0
    211 mi / 45000 ft gain
    To thru hike the JMT is probably one of the sickest trips to do! It's not a heavy commitment like the PCT or AT but it's also no week long vacation from work, backpacking the woods of your local forests either. There's a sweet spot in thru hiking and I believe this trail gives the full taste. You...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Half Dome via the Mist Trail

    4.8
    15.94 mi / 4800 ft gain
    Be sure to arrive early early in the morning to beat the crowds or if you want to break up the hike, first-come, first served campsites are available at Little Yosemite Valley Campground - make sure to check out the details in that adventure and obtain a wilderness permit. Even if you are just da...
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  • 37.739698,-119.564018

    Snow Creek Trail

    5.0
    20.43 mi / 2700 ft gain
    This is truly a beautiful hike. Although it’s not the easiest, you are rewarded by the views. From the Mirror Lake trailhead (shuttle stop #17), it is 0.9 miles to the Snow Creek trailhead and 1.7 miles to the Snow Creek overlook where you can camp in close proximity. Once you reach the top, you...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Vernal & Nevada Falls via Happy Isles

    4.6
    7.23 mi / 2815 ft gain
    This popular hike starts near Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. The first mile of the trail is paved and almost entirely uphill. You will come to the footbridge which tends to be very crowded. About 0.2 miles beyond the footbridge, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge. Follow the Mist Tra...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Photograph Yosemite's Half Dome at Glacier Point

    4.8
    Glacier Point gives you a classic view of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley.  You can get a different perspective of Half Dome if you jump on any of the trails heading out of Glacier Point. Illilouette Falls trail gives you a different view of Half Dome.  This trail is around 4-5 miles round trip fro...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Stargaze and Photograph the Night Sky at Glacier Point

    5.0
    The summer months of June, July, and August tend to provide the best views of the stars, and particularly in August during the meteor showers. Amateur astronomers often gather on Saturdays during the summer, and provide first hand knowledge and guidance. Glacier Point can accommodate hundreds of ...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Backpack to Clouds Rest from Glacier Point

    4.0
    24 mi / 6000 ft gain
    Start from Glacier Point around 7,200 feet leaving on the Panoramic Trail. Head down 2 miles to Illilouette Falls (5,800 feet). Once you cross the bridge at Illilouette Falls you go up Panorama Point and head back down to Nevada Falls (5,971 feet). Once you reach Nevada Falls fill up on as much w...
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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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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Hike to Hidden Falls (aka Tenaya Creek Falls)

    4.0
    Also known as Tenaya Creek Falls or Three Chutes Falls, this spot is loved by locals and is definitely worth the hidden trail and scramble over rocks. The hike takes you along Tenaya Creek, Mirror Lake, and a boulder-filled canyon. Great for photos or for relaxing by some secluded falls. To get t...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Photograph Moonbows at Yosemite Falls

    1 mi
    In spring at Yosemite National Park, a unique phenomenon occurs, called “moonbows.” Seen during the full moon, moonbows are rainbows produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon, and are relatively faint and difficult to detect with the naked eye, but they do appear in long exposure ph...
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