Yosemite is filled with some amazing views but rarely do you get to experience these views by yourself. This hidden treasure is located off of Tioga Pass, is near some of Yosemite’s most popular hikes, and offers an outstanding sunrise and sunset views without the crowds.

Yosemite is filled with some amazing views but rarely do you get to experience these views by yourself.  This hidden treasure is located off of Tioga Pass,  is near some of Yosemite’s most popular hikes, and offers an outstanding sunrise and sunset views without the crowds.

Located 2.5 miles South of the Yosemite National Park East Entrance and less than 6 miles East of Tuolumne Meadows, Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River allows photographers to photograph three different mountains Mount Dana, Mount Gibbs, and Mammoth Peak without all of the crowds normally found in Yosemite.  Dana Fork originates between Mount Dana and Mount Gibbs, and when it meets the Lyell Fork in Tuolumne Meadows they form the mighty Tuolumne River.  Dana Fork Overlook has a nice flat pull off along the side of Tioga Pass that could easily fit 6-8 vehicles.  If you are entering through Yosemite Eastern Entrance, Dana Fork Overlook will be on the left side of the road.   If you are coming from Tuolumne Meadows, it will be located on the right side of Tioga Pass. Once parked there is a lot of space to spread out and to  explore to find the perfect composition.   

The Dana Fork Overlook has an outstanding eastern facing view, making this an ideal location to photograph the sun rising behind this section of the Sierra Mountains or capture the beautiful alpenglow on the mountains as the sun sets (click here for photography tips).  With some of the best unobstructed views of Mount Dana and Mount Gibbs to the East and Mammoth Peak to the Southeast, Dana Fork Overlook offers photographers the chance to glimpse some of the stunning scenery of Yosemite.  The Dana Fork also meanders and snakes through a beautiful sub alpine meadow; it offers photographers a lot to work with in the foreground including some amazing “S” curves (click here for composition tips).  The sub alpine meadow also makes a great home for some of the park’s wildlife and offers the chance for photographers to capture these animals in their natural habitat.   As easy as this location is to get to plus the sheer beauty of the views, one would think this would be a very popular spot in Yosemite National Park, but every time I have been there, I have always had the view to myself.   

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Snack
  • Water
Show More
Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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