Photographing Valley View

Yosemite Valley View Parking Lot

Added by Tiffany Nguyen

  • 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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Skill Level:



Year Round



Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

7 days ago


Perhaps the most iconic valley ever photographed, it's hard to put into words the feeling you get in Yosemite Valley. Try to go before Summer to attempt to beat the crowds! And also try to work in the huge fallen tree into your foreground 👍

7 days ago

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

about 1 year ago

Worth the stop for sure! Beautiful views -- a great place to photograph.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Amazing view that you should definitely stop and check out before leaving the park. There's a small parking lot on the left side of Northside Dr. just before you exit the park or loop back onto Southside Dr.

over 1 year ago

Added by Tiffany Nguyen


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