Top wow spots of Yosemite

From Cathedral Rocks to El Capitan, these are the views you'll always remember

Tuolumne Meadows

Keeny Karst / DNC Parks & Resort at Yosemite, Inc.

Tuolumne Meadows

Spend the afternoon at a cool 8,600 feet in Tuolumne Meadows, an hour and a half north of Yosemite Valley. The short climb to the top of Pothole Dome provides an ideal vantage point.

El Capitan

Thomas J. Story

El Capitan

El Capitan, a favorite with climbers, is one of Yosemite Valley's many awe-inspiring granite sentinels. More than 3,000 feet above the valley floor, El Capitan is here seen mirrored in snow-lined Merced River.

Merced River from Sentinel Bridge

Courtesy of Will Voelker / Flickr Creative Commons

Merced River from Sentinel Bridge

Catch some cool views on Sentinel Bridge looking over Merced River and taking in majestic Half Dome. Autumn colors frame the river in this scene. If you're planning a visit in summer, lazily catch the views from a rafting trip.

Cathedral Rocks and Three Brothers from Cook's Meadow

Keeny Karst / DNC Parks & Resort at Yosemite, Inc.

Cathedral Rocks and Three Brothers from Cook's Meadow

Stroll the Cook's Meadow boardwalk, just west of Yosemite Village, for a view especially spectacular in winter. Looking southwest you'll see Cathedral Rocks (center, wrapped in clouds) and, to the right, Three Brothers.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Jim Lopes / iStockPhoto

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Hike among more than 500 massive sequoias at Mariposa Grove in Wawana, near Yosemite's South Entrance.

Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point

Keeny Karst / DNC Parks & Resort at Yosemite, Inc.

Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point

Gaze at the two-tier, 2,425-foot falls from Glacier Point for a serenely magnificent scene.

Half Dome

Courtesy of Heather N. Thompson

Half Dome from Glacier Point

One of the most recognized views of Yosemite, Half Dome can be seen throughout much of eastern Yosemite Valley. Here, viewed from Glacier Point, Half Dome is surrounded by blue sky.

Ahwahnee Hotel

Thomas J. Story

Ahwahnee Hotel

Built in 1927 in a pristine meadow with panoramic views of Glacier Point, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, this national historic landmark does justice to its setting. Stop by the concierge desk to inquire about free history tours of the hotel, usually offered at least once a day on weekends.

Yosemite Valley

David Zaitz

Yosemite Valley

Quiet hikes and lazy picnics are yours for the taking in Yosemite Valley. Soak in the peaceful splendor that invites you to relax under expansive granite views.

Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View

Keeny Karst / DNC Parks & Resort at Yosemite, Inc.

Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View

One of the West's most memorable cascades, Bridalveil Fall can be seen throughout Yosemite Valley. Take in sweeping views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

Yosemite Tenaya Lake

Ian Shive

Tenaya Lake

The lake has swimming, picnicking, and a stunning setting.

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