Inspiration Point Hike Photos

Although this is not one of my top recommendations for people visiting the park, it can be a convenient excursion. After all, “Tunnel View” is one of the most popular roadside stops in the park. Here are some photos of my Inspiration Point hike, albeit on a cloudy day.

Inspiration point trail views.
Valley view from the trail

Essentially, you can leave your car parked in the lot below and start climbing to this viewpoint right away. It’s convenient for those who want to do a hike, but don’t want to battle summer traffic through the valley.

The interesting thing about this trail is that the best views are along the way, not at the destination. The terrain is heavily forested and shaded almost the entire way.

Trail photos – Inspiration Point Hike

Clearly marked dirt trail through forest - Inspiration Point hike photos
Dirt path is clearly marked

However, at a certain point there is a break in the trees, and you are treated to a beautiful, iconic view of Yosemite Valley in front of you.

Waterfall view in May - Inspiration Point hike photos

As you can see in the photo above, on this particular day in late May, storm clouds began to roll in. While it may not be ideal weather for taking pictures, it can be fun to capture some of Yosemite’s various moods.

After some time, thick clouds had completely blanketed the valley. To be honest, I’m not sure if I actually made it to Yosemite Point itself, because there didn’t seem to be a marker or clearly defined viewing area.

Ribbon Fall and El Capitan shrouded in clouds and fog, from Inspiration Point

As mentioned before, the consensus seems to be that the views are actually best on the way up here. One thing to note: You can start this hike from Tunnel View or from the old trail, which starts climbing near the road at Bridalveil Fall. The latter is what I chose to do. This route may even provide the best results.

Overall, if you’re not visiting in peak summer – and have more time, I recommend a more rewarding hike such as May Lake or North Dome. Definitely do pull the car over at Tunnel View, though. You’re basically getting the same view as you do up here.

Have a look at my Tunnel View photos, and also the main Inspiration Point album. If you’d like, check out the Yosemite trails index as well.

Looking for lodging? Check out my Yosemite Hotels page.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.