Devil’s Elbow, situated under the glorious El Capitan along the Merced River, is one of the most overlooked, accessible spots in Yosemite for picnicking, swimming or simply communing with nature.
When other more popular but less interesting areas along the Merced are thronged with screaming children, bikes, cars and oppressive crowds Devil’s Elbow will rarely have more than a handful of visitors.
Because Devil’s Elbow is on the exit side of Yosemite Valley most visitors are on their way home when they pass this tranquil spot.
If the crowds elsewhere in the park are getting to you make it a point to try this spot for a little peace and quiet.[sam id=1 codes=’false’]
Devil’s Elbow Hard to Spot
There is very little parking in the area and little signage so you just need to follow your map until you find the characteristic sharp bend in the river. Park your car and crawl down the rocks to the sandy beach.
Devil’s Elbow is less desirable in the Spring when the Merced is too high and fast for lounging on the beach or comfortable swimming. Try it in the late Summer and Autumn to experience the maximum magic.