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Yosemite Valley, California

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

  • 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 Old Big Oak Flat Road

    4.1 mi / 1070 ft gain
    Old Big Oak Flat Road used to be one of the main entries into Yosemite Valley, before HWY 120, 140 and 41. It was a dangerous road which had to be realigned, reconstructed and maintained continuously and was eventually closed in the 1940’s after a giant rockslide made it completely irreparable. T...
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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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  • 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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  • Mariposa County, California

    Camp at Crane Flat Campground

    Crane Flat Campground is located on the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) just west of Crane Flat, about 30 minutes northwest of Yosemite Valley. Sites are open July-October at $26/night. More info at https://www.nps.gov/yose/plany...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to Alder Creek Falls

    10 mi / 1000 ft gain
    The trail leads from the parking area across the Mosquito Creek road and heads uphill north through an open pine forest with manzanita growing on dry slopes. The trail provides access to Alder Creek Falls a hidden gem within Yosemite's Wawona wilderness. I did the trail towards the end of Februar...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias

    4.2
    2.67 mi / 653 ft gain
    The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias is one of three sequoia groves in Yosemite National Park. This particular grove has gorgeous forest scenery and provides great solitude compared to the crowded Yosemite Valley. The trail used to be an old road offering a wide path with a gradual descent, makin...
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  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Buena Vista Lake via Chilnualna Falls Trailhead

    24.64 mi / 5453 ft gain
    Hiking and camping at Buena Vista Lake is a beautiful way to see the south side of Yosemite… the name says it all. With beautiful 360 degree views from Buena Vista Peak you get to look at the backside of Half Dome, up to Clouds Rest and all the domes and peaks in-between. You can reach the trail...
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  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Chilnualna Falls

    4.3
    7.81 mi / 2277 ft gain
    Many visitors to Yosemite head straight to the valley and don't often explore the other areas of the park. So if you are interested in staying away from the massive crowds and getting to enjoy the beauty of the park a little more quietly, the Wawona is a great option for a getaway.  The Chilnual...
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  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Johnson Lake via Chilnualna Falls Trailhead

    20.88 mi / 4846 ft gain
    Your trek begins at the Chilnualna Falls trailhead in Wawona near the South Gate in Yosemite. The first suggestion I have is to check the weather in the area to make sure you won't be slowed down by rain or snow. It's about 12 miles from the trailhead to the lake and if you are a swift hiker and ...
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  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Crescent Lake via Chilnualna Falls Trailhead

    19.18 mi / 4678 ft gain
    Crescent Lake is another beautiful spot a long the Beuna Vista loop. Starting at the Chilnualna Falls Trailhead in Wawona, you start your journey climbing about 4.6 miles and 2,300 feet to the top of Chilnualna Falls (always a good place to rest). Beyond the falls, continue a long the trail and a...
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  • Wawona, California

    Pothole Dome

    5.0
    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

    4.8
    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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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Tulomne Meadows to Donohue Pass via JMT

    5.0
    27.56 mi / 2953 ft gain
    Donohue Pass lies on the border of Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Both the John Muir Trail (JMT) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) route through this pass at 11,056 ft. A challenging but beautiful hike that starts from Tuolumne Meadows and follows the JMT for 12.5 miles t...
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  • Tuolumne County, California

    Backpack to Boothe Lake

    5.0
    16.6 mi / 1400 ft gain
    Starting at the Tuolomne Meadows Visitor Center you will head south to jump on the John Muir Trail, move east for 2.8 miles on the JMT until the trail intersects with the Vogelsang High Sierra trailhead, you head south when you reach this trail. Once you hit the Vogelsang trail you are 5.5 miles ...
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