The Wawona Tunnel View in Yosemite is a popular viewpoint on State Route 41at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel entering Yosemite Valley from the southwest. The view looks eastward into the Yosemite Valley offering a spectacular overview of some of the best know sights in the park.
Immortalized in artistic renderings from early visitor’s oil paintings and detailed photographs by Ansel Adams the view from Wawona Tunnel View Yosemite is justifiably regarded as one of the World’s most accessible and awesome views of nature’s grandeur. A brief stop to admire the view from Tunnel View is absolutely required for any visitor to the park.
Clearly visible from the parking lot are such famous landmarks as El Capitan towering over the valley on the left and Bridalveil Fall on the right. In the distance Half Dome clearly shows the shape that gave it its name. The parking lot is often full in the busy summer months with cars and buses but either wait a minute for someone to leave or go a few yards down highway 41 to the overflow parking lot. This view is worth a moment’s inconvenience.[sam id=1 codes=’false’]
The viewpoint received a much needed rehabilitation in 2008 which included improvements to the viewing area and trimming of trees that had grown to the point of blocking the view at points.
Getting to Wawona Tunnel View Yosemite
Visitors entering Yosemite from the southwest on California state highway 41, also known as Wawona Road, will naturally pass through Wawona Tunnel as they enter the valley. The Tunnel View parking lot will be on the left immediately as they exit the tunnel. Additional overflow parking is a few yards farther down on the right.
Visitors entering Yosemite from the west on California highway 140 or the northwest on California highway 120 will need to proceed into the valley but will soon come to the junction with highway 41 where they should turn right onto highway 41 and proceed uphill past Bridleveil Falls a couple of miles to the Wawona Tunnel viewpoint.
Photographing Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View Yosemite
Thousands of pictures are shot of the Valley from the Tunnel View Yosemite each day and every shot is different thanks to the ever changing angle of sunlight and shadows from passing clouds. The viewpoint is especially popular on stormy days when dark clouds hover over the far end of the valley and at sunset when the fading sunlight can flood the granite cliffs with striking splashes of orange and pink light.
About Wawona Tunnel and Wawona Road
Wawona Road is another name for California highway 41 which runs from Morro Bay on the California coast through Fresno and Oakhurst to Yosemite Valley. It is one of the three main roads providing access to Yosemite and the Yosemite Valley. In Yosemite it passes the Wawona Hotel and Chinqualpin Junction to Badger Pass and Glacier Point.
Wawona Tunnel, completed in 1933, is 4,233 feet (1,290 meters) long making it the longest highway tunnel in California until the completion of the Devil’s Slide tunnel in Pacifica. Since the completion of the Wawona Tunnel Tunnel View Yosemite has been one of the most popular spots in the park.
Continue on a virtual tour of Yosemite to Bridalveil Fall