Below you'll find information about just a few of the numerous viewpoints around Yosemite National Park. Don't limit yourself to these viewpoints; whenever you see a turnout with an interesting view, pull into the turnout and take a look around--you never know what you might discover.
El Portal View, two miles up the Glacier Point/Badger Pass Road from Chinquapin (intersection with the Wawona Road) provides a great view down the Merced River Canyon, below Yosemite Valley, and to the Coast Ranges (if visibility is good).
As it approaches Yosemite Valley, turnouts along the Big Oak Flat Road (continuation of Highway 120 to Yosemite Valley) near the tunnels provide a great view of El Capitan and Half Dome, along with a glimpse of the Merced River far below.
Did You Know?
At the east end of El Portal, just west of Yosemite National Park’s boundary, changing river gradients, glacial history, and powerful floods have created a boulder bar with boulders much larger than typically found in such deposits. This is no ordinary boulder bar, however, for it contains massive boulders over a meter in diameter and weighing many tons.