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Inspiration Point Trail

MODERATE 147 reviews
#42 of 248 trails in

Inspiration Point Trail is a 2.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,043 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Be inspired to swap the Tunnel View crowds for a serene way to experience Yosemite's signature vista. If the Tunnel View crowds are getting between you and one of Yosemite's most famous viewpoints, consider the short hike up to Inspiration Point where you can admire this signature Yosemite Valley scene on your lonesome. Before the 1930s construction of the Wawona Tunnel and the adjacent parking area, this road heading out of Yosemite Valley snaked precariously up and down the hillside. Now overgrown with manzanita and new pines, Inspiration Point is the former parking spot located on the old road.

hiking
10 days ago

Moderately challenging hike.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Straight up hill but so worth the hike. Spectacular views.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Short hike that took us about 2hrs to hike this trail. The beginning of the trail starts in the south lot with stairs leading up. It's a very rocky trail that has a lot of elevation gains with one section that you almost have to climb up. Great view on top, we brought a hammock and chairs and had a lazy afternoon of hanging out. We picked up a lot of trash from other people, rude! Pick up your trash people, doesn't help that it's a very touristy spot so maybe some people don't care if they're just stopping by. Trail was moderately busy, we ran into more people than I expected but it's not too trafficked with long stretches to ourselves. Worth the hike for the view!

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

A good trail that provides all the solitude one couldn't possibly experience at Tunnel View. We only met 4 people on the entire trail while Tunnel View was packed with cars and buses. That alone make that trail worth it all.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail, amazing view. No crowds. Go there at sunset.

hiking
2 months ago

This was surprisingly one of my favorite hikes on my recent CA trip. I'm not sure why some other reviewers found it difficult to navigate, I thought the trail was really well maintained. It basically goes up around 1k feet within <1.5 miles, which is steep, but doable when taking breaks. The reason I loved this trail, however, was Inspiration Point itself: the view itself is not that different to the Tunnel View at parking. But I was up there for about half an hour all alone (!) - on a Saturday at 10.30am. So if you want to enjoy the view to Yosemite Valley in a quiet environment rather than around hundreds of people, this is the way to go.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this at the end of the day with 2 kids. They had a rough time going up from just being tired, but we made much better time going down and they were cheerier. They would have preferred more scrambling sections, but it is what it is. I think if we did this earlier in the day it would have gone much better, but the sun wasn’t a problem for us at this time of day. We only passed one couple as we went up, and one small group as we went down (A Wednesday late afternoon in late August).

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Tried this after a long day in Yosemite with 2 kids. Was in a bit of a rush to try and beat sunset over the valley, and a hiker on the way back down said he saw a small bear 15 minutes up the trail and turned around. Because of tired kids and apprehension about the bear, we only went .3 miles or so up the trail - enough for some elevated views over the parking lot. Would have loved to do the whole trail, but it wasn’t meant to be.

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

Don't do it! Rock climbing and trail not well marked. I'm shocked Yosemite NP doesn't have this trail cleaned up more. It does however have an amazing tunnel view. This had to be the most disappointing trail at YNP. I'm shocked people are saying easy hike. Did they really hike this? I hiked Half Dome and 75% was easier than this.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this one last summer with my arm in sling after rotator cuff surgery. Easy, would be good with an adventorous family. Stop and have lunch at resort afterwards.

hiking
3 months ago

Make sure you go down to the rocky outcrop just below the top of the trail to get the best views of the valley. It’s marked on the map.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Very muddy, running water down a good part of the trail, maybe partially due to lots of rain and snow this week. A couple fallen trees to navigate, where being short finally came in handy. Too foggy to see any great views, but we completed it just to say we did :D

hiking
snow
6 months ago

Great moderate trail for new hikers seeking to up their game with constant incline. We went up on a foggy, snowy day so we weren’t able to see much of the valley, but it was still worth it to see the tree at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this trail today and loved it. Beautiful views of El Cap, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome. Easy route to follow, very mild switchbacks with such beautiful views. We added on Artist Point for another ~.5 mile or so and it was well worth it. The trail was empty and had both viewpoints to ourselves.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

Easy hike with great view!

hiking
7 months ago

A lot of deep snow at the higher elevations so we ended up turning back, but was beautiful and only saw one other group past inspiration point.

hiking
7 months ago

We hiked this on March 18, the trail was covered in snow so it was easy to get lost, but as another reviewer said, it didn’t matter! The views were stupendous! Really a good workout in the snow. You can actually do a loop, and eat lunch at the top.

hiking
9 months ago

Best time to hit this would be mid day to get the best lighting for photos. It is 1k of elevation per mile basically so it's not exactly easy but the trail quality is good for the most part. Trail was busy on our way down at about 1130AM so it's up to you if you can handle the crowds. We chose to hit the trail early to have the spot to ourselves.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail was amazing and a good workout. We accidentally ventured off the trial and the view just kept getting better. Can’t go wrong!

10 months ago

This trail during late December is a bit snowy and slippery near the top. The view is beautiful at about the halfway point and in my opinion there is no need to do the whole thing thing if you don’t feel like it since the view is practically the same. If you go during snow bring good footwear and at least a hiking stick to avoid slipping. I would do this again in spring.

hiking
10 months ago

epic view

hiking
11 months ago

A short; worthwhile hike to escape the crowds of tunnel view. Can find a few spots where the trees are not obstructing a full view of The Valley. Arrive early for parking.

hiking
Thu Aug 30 2018

We set off on this trail with the intention to finish it but got kind of lazy about a mile in (it is steep!) and opted to hang a hammock with a beautiful view down the Yosemite valley instead and enjoy our lunch before continuing on with touring the park. It was nice to hike even a little ways away from the road/bus tour stop and enjoy the view in peace.

Sun Jul 15 2018

Not too crowded when my sister and I went in May. It was quite an incline but very beautiful and peaceful at the top.

hiking
Wed May 16 2018

the views on the way up are amazing. Also- read about the history of inspiration point, it's pretty impressive.

Fri May 11 2018

Not too difficult a climb. There are some places on the trail where footing is a bit sketchy (near trail head at parking lot). Apart from this area the trail is a moderate climb over the 1.2 miles ascending. Weather dependent (bring water), that should go without say. Beautiful rock work above the half way point. When you get to the top if you can’t see the valley for the trees move around for a clear panorama. They are easy to find if you move a little.

Tue Sep 05 2017

Hiked this trail up past Inspiration Point up to Dewey Point since Glacier Point Rd was closed. Hard hike but so worth it! The lower parts of the trail are slightly washed out. Also, be careful if windy as there are a lot of dead trees. We had one come down near us!

Tue Aug 08 2017

Good short hike to get a better view of the tunnel view. Even more beautiful at sunset!

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