Yosemite’s Tunnel View

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Tunnel ViewVisitors entering Yosemite from the west will experience Tunnel View at its finest. Surely, there is no better way to begin a journey through America’s most famous national park. The reason why Tunnel View is held in such high esteem is because of the vista’s stunning buildup. What starts as a drive through a long and dark tunnel, concludes with a storybook setting which photographers, artists, and tourists journey across the world for.

Three of Yosemite’s most famous sights can be seen from Tunnel View. The most prevalent is El Capitan, a giant granite monolith which stands over 3,000ft tall. Opposing El Capitan is Bridalveil Falls, a 600ft plunge whose water flow drastically changes depending on the season. Legend tells that people who breathe in the mist of Bridalveil Falls will increase their chances of marriage. Last but not least, Half Dome rests in the center of Tunnel View far off in the distance. With such a balanced composition, it’s no wonder why photographers love this vista so much!

Tunnel View is no different than Glacier Point in terms of photography. The morning will yield shadowy pictures that are devoid of the small details which make these vistas awe-inspiring. For the best results, don’t visit until the sun is high. In terms of lenses, you’ll want to have a prime wide angle and something with a bit of zoom to isolate Bridalveil Falls or El Capitan.

The vista has a nice sized parking lot which is located directly outside the tunnel. I have heard many horror stories about people trying to find park spacing during the busy summer months. To the contrary, my experience during peak season was nowhere near the retellings of the many people on TripAdvisor. Unless you’re visiting on a weekend or following tour buses, there should be no major problems.

Bridalveil Closeup from Tunnel View

Tunnel View In Summary

  • A storybook setting that looks like it belongs in a movie
  • The ability to see three of Yosemite’s most iconic sights: El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome
  • Better parking than a majority of Yosemite’s main attractions
Thank you for reading my article “Yosemite’s Tunnel View”. For more information, visit my Yosemite Travel Guide!

Yosemite's Tunnel View: The Gateway to Yosemite Valley




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