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Inspiration Point, Yosemite

For a special experience, try the hike to Inspiration Point. The trailhead for this 1.3 mile (2.1 kilometers) hike is none other than the Wawona Tunnel Overlook also known as “Tunnel View”. You were going to stop here anyway because the view is magnificent, so why not do more than just taking a couple of pictures in a crowd? Park in the Tunnel View parking lot and head off on what is formally known as the Pohono Trail, which is on the uphill side of the parking lot. The hike takes 1-2 hours and is definitely an intermediate-level trek. The beginning is quite steep, but about a half mile in the ascent becomes more moderate so don’t give up before you get to that part. Cross over the Old Stagecoach Road and continue on until you reach a flat granite shelf. This is Inspiration Point! But you’re not done quite yet. Climb down about 15 feet (5 meters) to the granite shelf below for an unobstructed view of El Capitan, Half Dome, and the Yosemite valley. Now you can take out your camera and shoot those photos that will be the envy of friends and family alike…but without the crowds.