Arch Rock Entrance Photos – Yosemite’s Scenic “Cave Entry”

If you’re coming into the park from Mariposa on Highway 140, you’re in a for a real treat. This is definitely the most scenic way to enter the park, in my humble opinion. Here are some Arch Rock entrance photos I took.

Highway 140 passing through Yosemite's iconic granite cave - Arch Rock Entrance photos
Highway 140 passing through Yosemite’s iconic granite Arch Rock Entrance

What makes this area truly unique are the large granite boulders that you drive through on the way. They create a sort of drive-thru “rock cave”, but of course the lush, shady forest that surrounds them adds to the whole experience.

One way road through shade boulder forest
Shady bend in the road

Perhaps to prevent having to dynamite the boulders to widen the route, the park service wisely chose to split the road into 2 one-way sections. This also has the added benefit of giving the road a more quaint, intimate feel.

Boulder rock overhang along the road
Rock overhang – make sure your vehicle isn’t too tall!

I can imagine how excited I would have been to see this as a kid entering the park for the first time…and to wonder about what else lay ahead! This is truly the Sierra at its most wondrous and magical.

Poison Oak

This is definitely worth mentioning. This beauty has its price. When I first came across the the arch rock entrance, I was shocked to find leafy, green poison oak plants growing all over the sides of the road. Up until then, I was under the impression that Yosemite didn’t have any poison oak!

Boulder stacks on side of El Portal road - Arch rock entrance photos
Boulder stacks on side of the road

For somebody quite sensitive to the plant like me, this was always one of my favorite things about Yosemite & the high Sierra. Anyhow, that’s life.

Read my poison oak in Yosemite article for more info, and at the very least, be sure to not touch any plants along the side of the road if you stop to take pictures here.

As you progress to the higher elevations up the road, the poison oak will gradually disappear. In fact, I’ve never seen any past the crossing at Pohono Bridge.

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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.