9 votes

Gates of the Valley

Yosemite Valley, California USA

“Tthe best example of Yosemite's beauty”

The Gates of the Valley, also known as Valley View, is near the western end of Yosemite Valley, along Northside Drive as you're driving towards the valley exits (see the map below). There's a turnout with a dozen or so parking spaces here, and bathrooms (non-plumbing variety) across the road. No doubt you already knew this, but that's El Capitan on the left and Bridalveil Fall on the right, with just a corner of Sentinel Rock visible in the background.  Yosemite Valley is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The valley is about 8 miles long and up to a mile deep, surrounded by high granite summits such as Half Dome and El Capitan, and densely forested with pines. The valley is drained by the Merced River and a multitude of streams including Tenaya, Illilouette, Yosemite and Bridalveil Creeks, which form some of the highest waterfalls of California. The valley is renowned for its natural beauty, and is widely regarded as the centerpiece of Yosemite National Park, attracting visitors from around the world. The Valley is the main attraction in the park for the majority of visitors, and a bustling hub of activity during "tourist season", with an array of visitor facilities clustered in the middle. There are both hiking trail loops that stay within the valley and trailheads that lead to higher elevations, all of which afford glimpses of the park's many scenic wonders.

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Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 238 Reviews
  • 425 Helpful
July 05, 2014
Rated 5.0

Valley view is a great spot for a photographer to come and adventure for sunrise/sunset. Its in the middle of the park on the exit road so its generally rather empty in comparison to tunnel view and some of the more popular spots. The parking area is also very small. Its great for photography as there is a ton of foreground elements with the rocks and river and you can explore along the river for slightly more unique shots.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 217 Helpful
September 26, 2014
Rated 5.0

What a wonderful place to go and spend a few hours exploring! Amateur and professional photographers prepare your cameras and your minds for a visit that will surely excite you!

Great views of the Yosemite National Park's background, scenic sky, colorful sunset and grassy bits and bobs combined with the water element create a wonderful scenery expecting you to capture it.

Simply and naturally beautiful!

1 person found this review helpful

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Gates of the Valley

Yosemite Valley, California

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