Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Artist Point [Suggest Edits]

13 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

Artist Point is a great viewpoint from which to capture that iconic "down-the-Yosemite-Valley" picture. Most people take that famous picture from the crowded Tunnel View pullout area, but those in the know prefer the vista from Artist Point. It is better because you see more of Cloud's Rest and other things not visible at all from Tunnel View: Royal Arch, Bridalveil Meadow, North Dome, Ribbon Falls, and the Merced River. From Artist Point you won't catch quite as much of Half Dome and Sentinel Rock, but this is outweighed by the other benefits. Another plus is that you can set up a tripod here and hang out, waiting for the sunset to hit El Cap or for the fog and light to be just right. You'd be elbowed out of the way or trampled if you tried this at Tunnel View!

The most mellow way to reach Artist Point is to start near the Bridalveil Fall parking lot and head west on Old Wawona Road towards Artist Point. An alternate way to skin this cat is to park at the hectic Tunnel View area and climb the first half mile of switchbacks on the steep and rocky Pohono Trail before turning east on the Old Wawona Road to get to Artist Point. The former is an uncrowded but more rustic path, the latter is a shorter distance but considerably less pleasant.

It is said that Artist Point was where Thomas Ayers stood in 1855 to draw the first picture of Yosemite Valley by a professional artist. It helped popularize Yosemite with the public and lead to its preservation as a national park. People now think that the picture was created closer to Inspiration Point instead of Artist Point (based on what is and isn't visible in his drawing). Ayers' drawing quality was not judged to be stellar but because the pictures are important historically and there are so few of them, the drawings are now thought to be very significant.

Short Hike: Can be accessed via a short hike from either the Bridalveil Fall parking lot or the Tunnel View area.

Gem Type: Viewpoint

Shared by:
Megan W

0 Comments

You & This Gem


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In

Check-Ins

May 19, 2019
Clare Carr
May 15, 2019
Ch S
May 2, 2019
Isaak Thai
Dec 9, 2018
Kelly Smith
Oct 12, 2018
Susan B
Oct 10, 2018
Lila Bellucci
Sep 29, 2018
N C
Sep 11, 2018
Jeff Stroud

Nearby Trails

14.5 mi 23.4 km Half Dome
Yosemite Valley, CA
14.5 mi 23.4 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Minor Issues
Update
Snowy, Mostly Dry - A few areas with running water on trail, but nothing too daunting. Still some snow on the sub-dome, which made footing a bit sketchy in areas. Cables are still down, so be prepared. Fantastic hike!
36 days ago
167 
6.2 mi 10.0 km Vernal and Nevada Falls Loop
Yosemite Valley, CA
6.2 mi 10.0 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Minor Issues
Update
Snowy, Mostly Dry - A few areas with running water on trail, but nothing too daunting. Still some snow on the sub-dome, which made footing a bit sketchy in areas. Cables are still down, so be prepared. Fantastic hike!
36 days ago
207 
3.0 mi 4.9 km Upper Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Valley, CA
3.0 mi 4.9 km Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
1 day ago
102 
4.2 mi 6.8 km Four Mile Trail
Yosemite Valley, CA
4.2 mi 6.8 km Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry, Some Mud - Trails in good condition. Patches of snow off trail. Hit it early and avoid the afternoon sun.
6 days ago
74 
1.0 mi 1.6 km Lower Yosemite Fall Trail
Yosemite Valley, CA
1.0 mi 1.6 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Unknown
Update
95 
1.6 mi 2.6 km Mist Trail
Yosemite Valley, CA
1.6 mi 2.6 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Minor Issues
Update
Make sure to bring warm rain gear for little ones. We were up there yesterday, and it was too cold for them.
8 days ago
52 
12.4 mi 20.0 km Clouds Rest Viewpoint Trail
Yosemite Valley, CA
12.4 mi 20.0 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Unknown
Update
41 
2.1 mi 3.4 km Sentinel Dome
Yosemite Valley, CA
2.1 mi 3.4 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Unknown
Update
45 
4.7 mi 7.6 km Mirror Lake Loop
Yosemite Valley, CA
4.7 mi 7.6 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Minor Issues
Update
Muddy
8 days ago
59 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Upper Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point Hike
Yosemite Valley, CA
8.0 mi 12.8 km Yosemite Valley, CA
Minor Issues
Update
Muddy, Snowy
38 days ago
36 
Shared by Megan W on May 15, 2016. All Page Views: 1,671. Last Month: 44.