Distance: 2½ miles
Elevation gain: 1,000ft (from 4,400 - 5,400ft)
If the Tunnel View crowds are getting between you and one of Yosemite's most famous viewpoints, consider the short hike up to Inspiration Point where you can admire this signature Yosemite Valley scene on your lonesome.
Before the 1930s construction of the Wawona Tunnel and the adjacent parking area, the road from Wawona snaked precariously up and down the hillside. Now overgrown with manzanita and new pines, Inspiration Point is the former parking spot located on the old road.
This short narrow trail begins in the satellite parking lot and heads directly up to Inspiration Point, intersecting with the old road on the way. You’ll know you’re at your destination when you reach a large flat expanse. Head to the right and you’ll find splendid unobstructed views of the valley and Bridalveil Falls without a tour bus in sight (or ear-shot).
The shortest route back is the way you hiked up, though alternatively you can follow our route to the West, which returns along the grade of the old road and returns to the intersection with the hiking trail.
- Trailspotting Images: Inspiration Point on Flickr
- Official Site: Yosemite National Park
- Wikipedia: History of the Yosemite Area