Wow! What a place. Great tip to get away from the crowds below.
Mel Coker · Chapin, SC · April 1, 2019
Yosemite National Park - September 2017.
From Artist Point - a hike above Tunnel View. No one was here on September 14, 2017. Elevation 4701 feet above sea level. An Amazing place. A short, but steep hike, got us away from the frenzied crowds at Tunnel View. Thanks for the tip, yosemitehikes.com.
One of my favorite spots ever!
A little rough but doable for the casual hiker
Jeff L. · Sherman Oaks, CA · September 19, 2018
Did this a couple of weeks ago, following the described directions. The trailhead is marked , but itís an old sign thatís hard to make out. But as a guide, the trail begins uphill on stone steps. The first portion with the uphill switchbacks was very rocky, and a little hard to follow at certain points, so tread carefully and keep going back and forth with the parking lot straight below you. Eventually, you will reach the old stagecoach road. Make a left here and walk along the road. There were quite a few fallen trees to walk over or around, but thatís not too hard. The view you will get from Artistís Point is fabulous! Retrace your steps on the way down, being careful on the rocky parts. Hiking by myself, it took about 90 minutes round trip, which included about 20 minutes or so to enjoy the view. I encountered two other parties on the hike, and we actually helped each other keep to the right track on the way up. Definitely a nice experience.
Don't Overlook This Hike!
Jason S. · Grand Rapids, Michigan · March 31, 2018
We circled this as our first hike upon arriving in Yosemite. The Tunnel View lot and viewing area was so busy we did not even take pictures and proceeded to this trail. The start of the trail is easy to miss. After climbing the steps, stay to the left going uphill hiking through a rocky area. There was water running down it while we were there, so it looks more like a stream than a trail. Eventually it dries out and is easy to follow.
The hike is steep and rocky up to Stagecoach Road, but anyone of moderate health can do it. Our girls, ages 11 and 14 had no problem at all in basic tennis shoes. Bring water and some snacks and take your time and enjoy the route. Plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
As other reviewers have noted, when you get to Stagecoach Road there is not a sign for Artist Point. If I had one suggestion for the author's instructions it would be to make it clear that you must take Stagecoach Road itself down toward the valley floor. Do not take either of the marked trails.
The reward at Artist Point is well worth the effort. We had lunch there and spent a great bit of time taking pictures and just relaxing and enjoying the view and did not see any other hikers. The vista is as good or better than Tunnel View and you don't have to fuss with crowds to get that "perfect photo". If you don't have a tripod, you can perch your camera on some rocks and use the timer. That's what we did and the family photo turned out fantastic.
Thanks so much for this great guide!
First Trip to Yosemite - YosemiteHikes Tip Led us to Artist Point
Mel Coker · Chapin, SC · September 19, 2017
Thanks for the information on your website. After your review of Artist Point, it was on my 2 day itinerary for Yosemite. We ended up with 2 1/2 days in Yosemite to catch the re-opening of Glacier Point Road on 9/16/17.
We arrived in Yosemite on the afternoon of 9/14/17. After some pictures at Tunnel View, we went up the trail on the right side parking lot as described in the YosemiteHikes.com review. The first 6/10 mile was steep and strenuous (at least for us). Turn left (as described) on the old stagecoach road and walk somewhat downhill for the next 1/2 mile. There is a great flat rock to sit/stand for the views and pictures or to rest. You know you're there with the large rocks on the right side.
I think that the great majority of people hiking the first 6/10 mile from Tunnel View go on to Inspiration Point. We did not go there - I believed this is the better deal and with fewer or no other hikers. At the stagecoach road there is NO sign pointing left towards Artist Point - so, it's a great insider tip for visitors at YosemiteHikes.com. Thanks!
Worth Every Drop of Sweat!
Debra · Las Vegas, NV · August 30, 2017
Let me start by saying that I am directionally challenged. I often joke that I couldn't find my way out of a paper sack with a map and a compass. I first tried to find this trailhead on my first day, but I was looking for a well painted clearly marked sign. What I should have been looking for was a rusted out sign partially obscured by trees located mid-parking lot in the upper side of the road. It says nothing about the Pohono trail, but does indicate that this is the way to Inspiration Point.
I returned the next day with a backpack equipped for the zombie apocalypse and headed up the hill past the sign that said I was headed into a wilderness area. A few feet further I stepped across a log where the trail suddenly became very narrow. It did not take me long to figure out that I was far too out of shape to manage, so I was sure I must have made a wrong turn somewhere and headed back to the car.
Determined not to give up on this trail, on day 3 I returned with a much lighter load. I set out, passed the sign that said I was entering a wilderness area and reached the log that I had stepped over the previous day. I then looked over my left shoulder and discovered the nice, wide, much less steep trail that I should have been on the previous day (pretty sure I had been following a well used game trail). I continued to walk until I was pretty sure that I was going to end up at Inspiration Point. Then that magical intersection appeared and I turned left. In case you're not sure if you're on the right road, remnants of paving have not yet been worn away by time and erosion. The rest of the walk is easy. You absolutely cannot miss it when you get there.
My recommendation for do's & don'ts:
Don't : Pack for the zombie apocalypse
Do: pack bug spray and adequate water. Consider a picnic lunch.
You might want to spend time here enjoying the view. Consider bringing a tripod and high quality camera. It is worth the extra effort even if you're not a professional photographer. This hike is worth repeating!
Good Hike, Great View, No People
Tito · San Francisco · August 18, 2017
Did this hike yesterday in mid August and it was fantastic. First 1/2 mile is straight up, but then the trail flattens at the turn to Artist Point which has a spectacular view of the Valley. The left turn to Artist Point is well marked with several signs - you can't miss it. Best part was, we only saw one other group on the entire trail. Very serene hike.
Great hike to a great and uncrowded view
David_S · Toronto · August 5, 2017
Better view than from the "tunnel view" and no people! We did not see anyone after we hit the stagecoach road. It's not an easy hike but it is pretty short. Good with our kids 8 and 11. We went on to inspiration point on the return. Pretty much the same view but more "uphill" and more people. If you want the perfect uninterrupted family picture with the classic tunnel view this works great.
No longer an Artist Point
Jim · Dallas · June 14, 2017
There is no signage whatsoever for Artist Point. Nothing. Nada.
You can hike further uphill to reach Inspiration Point on the described path.
Editor's Note: I've hiked up to see if the trail has changed, and though I'm not entirely certain how you would overlook the turnoff, it sounds like the park service may have taken the signs down for some park-servicey reason and hadn't put them back up yet when Jim was there.
In any event, about half a mile up from the Tunnel View, you'll reach a trail intersection (actually an intersection with the old Yosemite stagecoach road). Normally there are three trail signs here. The one ahead of you reads "Inspiration Point 0.6", the one pointing back the way you came says "Wawona Tunnel Parking Area 0.6", and the one off to the left says "Bridalveil Fall Parking Area 2.0". Take the latter route. It proceeds downhill to the east, and in about half a mile you'll reach Artist Point. There's no sign at Artist Point, but it'll be obvious because a clearing opens up to reveal a Tunnel-Viewish vista. A culvert crosses the trail near the bottom of the clearing, and a creek crosses the trail around the corner just downhill from the point.
If the signs aren't there, the trail intersection should still be obvious. Just turn left here (east/downhill, towards Yosemite Valley). Sorry you weren't able to find the trail, Jim.
Artist Point. Definitely Worth It
Fred Schwartz · Chillicothe Ohio · September 26, 2016
Hiked up to Artist Point and was blown away by the view. No crowds around. I think it's a better view than Tunnel View. First .6 mile is strenuous then the last half is on an old road bed so it gets much easier. There are no signs for this view so make sure you turn left when the trail splits. I missed it and went up to Inspiration Point. Don't bother going there. A much harder hike and worse view. But yay for Artist Point !!!! 5 Stars all the way.
Tunnel View from 500 Feet Above the Crowds
Kay · New Jersey · August 7, 2016
Thank you very much for your accurate and comprehensive information on Yosemite hikes! This trail was perfect for my group of four hikers with varying abilities. Because we arrived at the parking lot at around 5 in the afternoon coming from Yosemite West, parking was easy. Initially due to Dan's review I was a bit nervous about this trail. However, by following the directions in the Trail Notes, "... you want to turn left half a mile along, where the trail intersects the old stagecoach road" we easily found the trail. (When you see the first metal sign post since the trailhead of Pohono you are at the intersection.) As described in the Trail Notes at this website this trail has not been maintained by the Park Service. However, it was doable enough for my most out-of-shape member to enjoy the fantastic view away from the crowds.
I'm sure Artist Point is great... Good luck finding it.
Dan · San Francisco, CA · July 25, 2016
My Dad and I are experienced hikers, and have no idea how this qualifies as a "trail". Aside from the sign at the staircase showing the distance to Glacier Point, nothing we saw over 90 minutes indicated any sign of a trail, let alone a stagecoach road. We ran into two other experienced hikers, and they agreed they had never experienced anything so poorly marked. We eventually gave up looking for the stagecoach road and went back to Tunnel View. We were extremely disappointed, with this being our introduction to Yosemite.
Either the trail has significantly changed in the last year, or the previous reviews are inaccurate.
A quiet hike
Allison · Massachusetts · July 22, 2015
We started our hike around 8:30am on a weekday in July. There were a few people on the Pohono trail. Once we turned onto the old stagecoach road towards bridalveil, we were alone. This part of the trail is shaded but not as well maintained as we had to hop over several downed trees across the trail. The view is nice, but at that time of morning the lighting was a little washed out. Probably would be nicer near sunset (but more crowded). We turned around and went back the way we came but that was a little hard on the knees on the descent. I think in the future I'd continue to bridalveil falls and take the shuttle back.
Alina · Berkeley, CA · February 16, 2015
I am hesitant to post this review... I come to Yosemite every year (lucky, I know) but since this place is not on any official park map, I didn't know about it. So I just wanted to say thank you for writing about it here! The sunset view on a quiet February evening was amazing. Thank you! The view is much much better than Inspiration Point and the hike is nicer, too. Thanks again.
Good beginner trail
Conor · Clovis, CA, USA · February 16, 2015
Took my girlfriend on this trail on February 15, 2015. She is not an outdoorsy girl. She might go car camping but never backpacking. I took her on this trail after I saw that the reviews were so much better than Mirror Lake. This website said that the crowds would be less, the views would be better, and the difficulty was marginally higher. They were 100% right.
Pros: Good view of Yosemite Valley. You can see El Cap, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, and whatever big ass mountain is past Half Dome. The first half mile is part of the Pohono Trail and is visible from the parking lot so you run across trail runners, teenagers, and unprepared tourists. But as you reach Wawona Road (barely a road) the crowds disappear. You're in the shade in the afternoon which is nice.
Cons: Switchbacks for the first half mile suck. Parking at the trailhead sucks because it's the tunnel view parking lot. I suggest parking just a bit down the road into the valley on the north side of 41. Unprepared and ignorant tourists at the beginning are annoying and ruin the vibe.
This trail does NOT loop back. The map makes this clear but next time I do it, here's how I'll do it. Go up the switchbacks and turn at wawona road. When you get to artist point you'll know. (*hint* you can see El Cap meadow and there's no trees blocking your view). After you take in the sights, maybe a picnic, hike back towards the switchbacks. That will drop you off right at the trailhead. If you go past Artist Point you'll be heading constantly downhill towards Bridalveil. The trail ends at Highway 41 in a nondescript spot. My girlfriend and I made that mistake and since it was late we hiked back to the trailhead on the side of the road rather than risk getting caught on the trail in the dark. It was shorter but it sucked. NEXT TIME I WILL TURN AROUND AFTER ARTIST POINT AND JUST GO BACK.
Fabulous hike, especially to start your Yosemite experience!
Robert Doane-Solomom · London, UK · August 20, 2014
It's a great way to stretch your legs after you complete your drive to Yosemite Valley. It's steep for the first 1/4 mile, then somewhat steep until 6/10 of a mile in. There, you turn left down the old stagecoach road. The fallen trees do not pose a problem at all. You know when you reach the point, a) because it's obvious and you'd stop to take a photo anyway, and b) because of the little stacks of rocks on the edge of the trail facing the valley. The viewpoint is amazing, superior to Tunnel View in pretty much every way. Going back, it's the same trail. Don't miss the turn back down towards Tunnel View, look out for the brown signs on both sides. The hike took us (a senior in good shape and a 14yr old) about 90 minutes. Such an amazing hike - especially the views of El Capitan!
great view of the valley
joe · san diego, CA · July 7, 2013
I did this hike after two other short hikes on a hot, humid day in the valley. So, the first part of the hike up to the stagecoach road was a bit strenuous. Still, the effort was worth the view at Artist Point. Beautiful day with large thundercloud formations over the valley. Very worthwhile hike that should be done at least once during your visit(s) to Yosemite.
Wonderful view and accurate description
John Boyle · North Carolina · June 10, 2013
The description of the trail to Artist's Point is spot on. It very obvious when you get to the old stagecoach road. There is a sign that says Bridalveil Falls when you reach it. The old road actually retains some asphalt. And while there's no sign at the Point, the view makes the location obvious.
Alone with "The View"
Deborah · Agoura Hills, CA · April 5, 2013
This was our very first hike on our very first visit to Yosemite and what a way to start out! We took the obligatory photo near the parking lot with scores of people, then headed uphill on the trail. Lots of people were continuing on to Inspiration Point but we veered off left on the stagecoach road and -- suddenly we were all alone. Bliss. Artist's Point is not marked but it hits you like a ton of bricks when you get there. The view is perfect and there is not a soul in sight. My daughter took our favorite picture of the trip from that spot. It's a great location.
Serenity among Chaos
David Fair · Oakland, CA · March 24, 2013
After reading your article about Artist Point, I traveled from Oakland to Yosemite and hiked the trail as a day trip. The trail isn't hard but gives you a good workout the first 15 mins of the hike. The views along the trail are beautiful, there is solitude along the hike, you can hear the wind blowing and experience nature without the crowds. I arrived at Artist Point within a 40 minute hike. The view overlooking Yosemite Valley is breathtaking. I spent about 1 hour eating lunch, taking pictures, and enjoying the scenery. I will definitely hike this trail again, it was awesome.
Best kept secret hike in the park.
Bret · Central Florida · July 14, 2012
I talked to a couple of rangers who did not know where Artist Point was. There is no sign. But, the hike is easy. Follow the directions on this site and you can't miss it. When you get to there, you will know it. The view is far superior to Tunnel View or Inspiration point in that you can see much further back into the valley, all the way to the arches beyond Awahnee Hotel. You are also high enough to see a meadow west of El Capitan (not sure the name of it).
Hiked it on Father's Day afternoon. Saw two people returning from Inspiration Point about 100 yards into hike. Saw no one else the entire trip. First half mile is steep, but not bad and has some very nicew views of the valley. Stagecoach road is almost flat and very easy.
Reward for the effort: 5 out of 5.
Barry · San Antonio, Texas · July 1, 2012
A great hike that we performed on 1 July 2012. The turn at the old Stagecoach road is not marked but it's obviously a road. Distance to Artist's Point is further than expected. I performed a pace count that puts the distance as approximately 1100 meters from the point where the trail intersects the old road until one reaches Artist's Point.
We spent over four hours there and only saw four other people the entire time. The view is great and late afternoon is recommended for photos. Hiking the abandoned road is somewhat eerie with the trees and debris across the road. We'll do it again and emphatically recommend this hike.
Rafiel Verfieta · Atlanta · March 21, 2012
But I hike up many trails with my wife. She's very athletic and sets a good pace. Try to set a good pace to go up fast. Did this right after Half Dome.
Much Better than Tunnel View
Anne · Rochester, NY · November 13, 2011
I hiked to Artist Point last year after reading about it on this website. All I can say is, it's well worth the 2-mile hike. Going up the trail towards Inspiration Point is dusty and steep, but the old stagecoach road is in good repair (as trails go) and isn't as difficult a walk. The view from the point is superior to Tunnel View in that it's slightly higher up on the side of the valley, and the crowds don't get in the way of pictures. Be aware, though, that if there hasn't been any rain recently Bridal Veil Falls may be blowing around in the wind instead of falling straight down. You can read about my hike at http://www.annestravels.net/artists-point/. I also liked the trail descriptions so much I put the link to Yosemite Hikes elsewhere on the blog. At any rate, the trail to Artist Point is a must-do for anyone who wants to see the best of Yosemite Valley.
Artist Point - The Old Stagecoach Trail
Hank Ware · Michigan · October 26, 2011
Artist Point hike is a combination of view, history, solitude, and joy. The old stagecoach trail is the route taken before the tunnel on hwy 41 was cut. Check out this link to the Mariposa County Library site showing the view in the late 1800's - http://22.214.171.124/photoheritage/mariposa/mpd0009a.jpg
Views Worth the Hike
Melinda · Fairfield, CA · July 28, 2011
I led my family on this hike based on the information on your site. Unfortunately, I overlooked the part about turning left at the stagecoach road. We realized we had gone too far, but decided to continue climbing till we got to Inspiration Point. That was a mistake - my 71 year old mother really struggled on that steep climb, and Inspiration Point is hardly inspirational. However, we finally climbed back down and reached Artist Point, which was well worth the hike. The view is exceptional, and it was a relief to leave the crowds behind. This is now one of my favorite hikes; accessible, short and rewarding.
Artist Point: A worthy little hike
KC Irwin & Family · Hermosa Beach, CA · May 25, 2011
Your description of the Artist Point hike was spot on. Decided to take your advice when we were entering the Valley last weekend, May 21, 2011. Once we turned off the Pohono Trail onto the stagecoach road we didn't see a single soul until returning back down the Pohono Trail to the Tunnel View. View was as described especially after getting the family (wife & daughters 17 & 14) to walk around the corner to the unobstructed view. Great short hike to start our weekend in the Valley. Don't recall hearing any traffic noise and the mosquitos weren't a problem yet.
Waterfalls were going off all around the Valley including the 2 short-lived falls above Artist Point, Silver Strand & Widow's Tears I believe. Great weekend for viewing all the lesser known falls at their apparent peak flows including Ribbon, Horsetail, "El Cap" above Camp 4, Lehamite, Royal Arches, unnamed "Mirror Lake Falls", Snow Creek, the unnamed Tenya cascade upstream of the Mirror Lake Loop footbridge (great "secret" spot off the beaten path), Illilouette, Staircase and Sentinal. Of course the well known big guys were also showing off at full force. I always enjoy the cascade above the end of the Happy Isles "trail" as well. The Merced run from the footbridge above Vernal across the apron leading into Emerald Pool (itself a turbulent mass) was even more impressive than usual as was the flow below Vernal to the footbridge. Looks like there is plenty of snow in the high country to fuel the falls for a while longer.
Anyway thanks for the description of the Artist Point Trail. We really enjoyed the solitude of the awesome Valley view from there. Great Sat/Sun/Mon to have visited the Valley. Unfortunately Glacial Point & the Tioga Road were not quite open yet but we managed to easily fill our time in the Valley. Enjoyed your website & commentary and will keep it in my "favorites" for future use.