Photograph one of the most iconic views in Yosemite National Park. Top notch spot for catching the sunset. Be sure to check the weather report to see when the sun sets and for clear skies.

Valley View is a must stop viewpoint in Yosemite National Park. Most people visit Valley View on their way out of the park as it is the last stop, located along the one-way Northside Drive. Look for a small parking area to your left just before Pohono Bridge. There are only about a dozen parking spots, but people come and go so often that finding a spot shouldn’t be a problem.

The second you step out of your car you will see why Valley View has the reputation for being one of the most jaw-dropping viewpoints in all of Yosemite. Although there’s not much ground to explore, walk around to find the best view of the Merced River in the foreground and, in the background, El Capitan to your left and the twin Cathedral Rocks and Spires and Bridalveil Falls to your right.

Be sure to bring bug spray as there are many mosquitoes by the river. Check when the sun sets to get that perfect shot over the valley. And for your night shot, check when the Milky Way will be best seen in the sky.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Bug spray
  • Flashlight
  • Warm clothes
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Activities Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Do it for the Instagram ;p

This is a beautiful spot for sunrise and I had it to myself in the winter. The rocks can get pretty slick with ice, so if you'll be photographing sunrise here in on a freezing morning I recommend some traction and extra care. Update: I went back this winter season with a lot more snow. Most of the rocks were underwater so comps were a little less interesting but the mist and snow covered trees more than made up for it. There were about 15 other photographers on a Thursday evening so it's definitely gotten a lot more popular since my visit in 2012.

Ansel Adams is a genius.

When you go to this viewpoint, it becomes clear why Ansel Adams photographed it. Another special place in the Valley.

The best view in Yosemite

Valley view in my opinion is the best viewpoint in the valley. You can photograph this at time of the year. The only problem is it easy to get to and it can get crowded so just keep that in mind when going.


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