Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Artist Point [Suggest Edits]

15 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

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Oct 18, 2020
Jud Yaski
Oct 16, 2020
Nadya Krasikova
Jun 22, 2020
Catherine Kimbril
Mar 6, 2020
G Duff
Feb 17, 2020
Brian Lee
Jan 1, 2020
Garreck Gabbard
Nov 9, 2019
John K
Sep 24, 2019
Raphael Aiello
3

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite The views are breathtaking.

Glacier Point

(91) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Vernal Fall mistin' the rainbow

Vernal Falls

(98) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Yosemite Valley

Tunnel View

(76) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite The Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

(73) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Coming down the cables from the Half Dome summit.

Half Dome

(66) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Such an incredible spot in Yosemite. Clouds Rest is appropriately named with 360 views of the park including Half Dome.

Clouds Rest

(44) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Sentinel Dome Summit

Sentinel Dome

(29) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite On top of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park.

El Capitan

(19) Yosemit…, CA

Nearby Trails

14.5 mi 23.4 km Half Dome
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry
14 days ago
202 
6.2 mi 10.0 km Vernal and Nevada Falls Loop
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry
7 days ago
268 
3.0 mi 4.9 km Upper Yosemite Falls
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Bad / Closed
Update
Way too much smoke for the hike. Better wait until clears
47 days ago
120 
4.2 mi 6.8 km Four Mile Trail
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry
6 days ago
91 
1.0 mi 1.6 km Lower Yosemite Fall Trail
Easy
Yosemite Valley, CA
Easy
Yosemite Valley, CA
Bad / Closed
Update
Way too much smoke for the hike. Better wait until clears
47 days ago
120 
12.4 mi 20.0 km Clouds Rest Viewpoint Trail
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry, Snowy
2 days ago
61 
1.6 mi 2.6 km Mist Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
56 days ago
67 
2.1 mi 3.4 km Sentinel Dome
Intermediate
Yosemite Valley, CA
Intermediate
Yosemite Valley, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry
85 days ago
61 
4.7 mi 7.6 km Mirror Lake Loop
Easy/Intermediate
Yosemite Valley, CA
Easy/Intermediate
Yosemite Valley, CA
Unknown
Update
76 
8.0 mi 12.8 km Upper Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point Hike
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Minor Issues
Update
Trail condition is great, monitor air quality
47 days ago
54 
Shared by Megan W on May 15, 2016. All Page Views: 2,191. Last Month: 13.