Summary: Inspiration Point in Yosemite is a popular trail (in summer), providing great views over the Yosemite Valley, El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall.

Having done some of the more popular hiking trails in Yosemite, including up to Half Dome on the previous day, my last hike is up to Inspiration Point. A granite slab located high above Tunnel View, Inspiration Point should provide some great views – and avoids the crowds of the much more popular Tunnel View lookout.

There’s still a fair bit of now on the ground in April, although I managed to get to the base of Half Dome on the previous day, so I’m not expecting this hike to pose a problem… although even near the start of the trail I’m finding myself “potholing” in the deep snow.

I continue up the Inspiration Point Trail (its correct name being the Pohono Trail) with some sections having relatively compacted snow, but at times ending up almost knee-deep in snow.

Eventually I start getting some views through the trees of the distinctive El Capitan (The Captain or The Chief), a vertical rock formation on the north side of Yosemite Valley, which rises about 914m (3,000 feet) from it’s base to the summit.

El Capital from Inspiration Point Trail

I persevere a bit further, reaching a vantage point that provides a classic view of both El Capitan on one side of the Yosemite Valley, and Bridalveil Fall on the other.

IMG 0032 Inspiration Point (Yosemite)

With the snow getting deeper, I turn around before reaching Inspiration Point. I’ve managed to avoid the crowds – I haven’t seen a single other hiker – and enjoyed some great views, which I what I’d set out to achieve. The trail is accessible year round, but in winter and early Spring you really need snowshoes for this one.

Getting to Inspiration Point Trail

The trailhead is at the Wawona Tunnel, where there are two parking areas (the southern parking lot is best). The parking lots are on both sides of the road, and the trailhead is on the uphill (southern) side of the road.

More information

There are a variety of different routes yo ucan take, including following the Old Wawona Road to create a loop, or continuing along the Pohona Trail which goes past Old Inspiration Point (where an Army party in pursuit of Indians first sighted Yosemite Valley in 1851), Glacier Point, Dewey Point, Taft Point, and Sentinel Dome.

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1 Comment

carolinehelbig · October 5, 2021 at 9:01 am

Awesome that you didn’t see another hiker in this busy park. I guess April is the time to visit (with snowshoes). Looks gorgeous!

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