Yosemite's New View

Park officials remove trees, add amenities to improve famous Tunnel View

Yosemite's Tunnel View is a favorite for visitors—especially those who plan to just tool around on asphalt and not actually get into all that wilderness/hiking business. But honchos at Yosemite saw room for improvement: They removed six view-blocking trees, built a viewing spot, and added other amenities to a scenic vista made famous by Ansel Adams and countless other photographers.

"The tunnel view is the iconic view of Yosemite Valley and has been since 1851, when Europeans first arrived in the valley," said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Mike Tollefson. "Thousands of people stop there every day, millions every year, and it is absolutely wonderful to see the stunned looks on their faces."

Secretary of the Interior Dick Kempthorne presided over the new-view dedication, which—at an estimated cost of about $3 million—didn't come cheap. The local Tuolumne Band of the Me-Wuk Indians also performed a dedication and traditional dances.

Views from the Tunnel View include landmarks like the southwest face of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls. To check it out, head up Highway 41 and stop at the overlook just east of the Wawona Tunnel.

Then, do yourself a favor and get off the road and onto some trails, eh?

—Ted Alvarez

Yosemite visitors treated to a new view (SF Gate)