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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

  • Twain Harte-Tuolumne City, California

    Mount Dana

    5.0
    4.89 mi / 3120 ft gain
    There's something special about the landscape that Yosemite National Park offers, and the scenery around Mount Dana is no different. The trail begins at the Tioga Gate entrance to Yosemite with the trailhead at the north end of the small parking lot south of the gate. It winds through the ponds,...
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  • Oakhurst, California

    Camp at Nelder Grove Campground in Sierra National Forest

    0 mi / 0 ft gain
    Sites are located along Willow Creek with plenty of shape. Right out of the campground you can hike nearby Bull Buck Trail and discover the giant sequoia trees. This is a first-come first-serve campground so arrive early.Directions: Take Hwy 41 north from Fresno; continue thru Oakhurst to Sky Ran...
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  • Oakhurst, California

    Hike the Shadow of the Giants Trail

    4.0
    1.1 mi / 85 ft gain
    The Shadow of the Giants National Recreation trail is an amazing 1.1 mile self-guided hike through the heart of Nelder Grove. Take Hwy 41 north from Fresno; continue thru Oakhurst to Sky Ranch Road (6S10 or Forest Road 10) travel approx. 5 miles to Nelder Grove, when you reach the camp area take ...
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  • Lee Vining, California

    Junction Campground, Mono County

    Junction campground is by far one of my favorite campsites when I am visiting the High Sierra and Tuolumne Meadows. The only downside is, you can only camp certain months; usually from June through October when highway 120 is open.  The Junction campground is far away from the crowds of Yosemite...
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  • Lee Vining, California

    20 Lakes Basin Loop

    5.0
    7.81 mi / 915 ft gain
    This trail is overall very easy to hike, but the 9.1mi distance at a 10,000ft altitude is what makes it a bit of a doozy for people who aren't frequent hikers.  That said, if you are a relatively in-shape individual, you should have no problem with this trail.  Remember to take frequent water bre...
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  • Lee Vining, California

    Climb North Peak via the NW Ridge

    DirectionsAlthough North Peak lies right on the border of Yosemite, the hike starts just outside the park at the Saddle Bag Lake trail-head. There are also some campsites here if you wish to spend the night, but I think they are usually in high demand and hard to come by. To get to Saddlebag Lak...
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  • Groveland, California

    Rainbow Pool

    4.5
    Finding Rainbow Pool is a little tricky, since it is off the side of a highway, but when you find it there is parking and bathrooms. There is a easy walkway to get down to the pool itself, and trails to climb to the top to slide or jump off the rocks. Many people tend to fish up top underneath th...
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  • Mono County, California

    Gem Lake via Rush Creek

    5.0
    6.91 mi / 2313 ft gain
    This hike starts next to Silver Lake in the June Lake Loop, located just north of Mammoth Lakes, CA off HWY 395. There is a parking lot near the RV park as well as street parking across the road from the trailhead.  Once you head out on the hike, you'll start gaining elevation as you hike up tow...
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  • June Lake, California

    Parker Lake Trail

    5.0
    3.55 mi / 584 ft gain
    Parker Lake is tucked beneath the giant mountains of Mount Wood, Mount Lewis, and Parker Peak. I hiked the Parker Lake trail during peak foliage season and I was blown away by the amazing fall colors. The trail starts off with a steady and rocky climb. After you pass the elevation gain, the trail...
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  • Lee Vining, California

    Hike to the Waterfalls of Lundy Canyon

    3 mi / 200 ft gain
    In order to get to the trail you first have to drive past the beautiful Lundy Lake nestled in deep canyon. When the pavement ends continue for a couple miles as the scenery gets more amazing passing two beaver ponds and an Indian head. The hike begins where the dirt road ends in a loop. The trail...
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  • Madera County, California

    Backpack the Shadows of the Minarets Loop

    5.0
    16 mi
    Ansel Adams Wilderness is located in Mammoth Lakes, California. The trail to Lake Ediza is frequently traveled and is usually completed as an out-and-back day hike. In the summer, from 7am-7pm the road to the trail head is inaccessible to cars. To reach the trailhead you must take the shuttle fro...
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  • Bass Lake, California

    Climb and Camp at Shuteye Ridge

    5.0
    The Journey to your final destination can get a little tricky once you get on the dirt roads. From the Bay Area it will take you about 3 hours to get into Oakhurst, then another hour to get to the Wilderness Area simply because of the windy and not maintained roads. On that note I would suggest t...
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  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Agnew Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows

    5.0
    30.27 mi / 4757 ft gain
    Unlike most through hikes that require two cars or hitchhiking, you can accomplish this with only one car by using a YART. Another benefit is that by entering in Mammoth, it is usually much easier to get permits as opposed to starting in Yosemite where permits can be harder to get. Then once yo...
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  • Madera County, California

    Thousand Island Lake via Agnew Meadows

    5.0
    19.6 mi / 3642 ft gain
    Start from Agnew Meadows about 7 miles away. You can take the High Trail out as part of the River Trail with a long detour passing by several other scenic lakes, including Shadow Lake, Garnet Lake, and Ruby Lake. You will arrive at Thousand Island Lake a few hours after lunch, just in time to set...
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  • Madera County, California

    Ansel Adams' Garnet Lake

    5.0
    14.46 mi / 2717 ft gain
    Garnet Lake is one of the premier stops along the Pacific Crest Trail. However, even if you don't have time for an entire thru-hike (like most of us), this beautiful lake is still easily accessible as an overnight trip! While there are many possible routes for reaching Garnet Lake, the Agnew Me...
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  • Madera County, California

    Ediza Lake via Agnew Meadows

    4.0
    13.54 mi / 1804 ft gain
    Start at the Agnew Meadows Trailhead. You will need to arrive before 7:30AM or take the Shuttle from Mammoth Mountain. Start out by heading north on the John Muir Trail. You will pass Shadow Lake; walk around the south side of the lake for mountain views. Then, follow the trail up Shadow Creek u...
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