Tunnel View, Discovery View

One of the reconstruction projects for 2008 was the reconstruction of the parking area at Discovery View. As anywhere, construction makes a mess and traffic was worse, but the lot (and the lower part of the Inspiration Point Trail) needed work. The new viewing area has a wider sidewalk so it is easier to stand out of the traffic to see the view. Traffic is still a problem, but that is the price of the view.

This is the first view of the valley for many people (those arriving from Fresno via CA-41). Pull over when you get out of the tunnel. Parking is available on both sides of the road so take the lot on the right (from either direction). If a tour bus is there, wait until they leave to get a better photo opportunity. Entering the park via CA-120 or CA-140 takes you directly to the valley floor. You should make the short detour to this location. Due to the sun direction (you are looking east), afternoons can be better for photography than mornings, though clouds can make any time of day interesting.

The lower valley shuttle gets close to the Bridalveil Falls location (especially given its lack of parking), but it is a long uphill hike from Bridalveil to Tunnel View.

Another set of images that shows the seasonal variations is in the growning Tunnel View Through the Year page.

Sometimes this is called Inspriation Point, but that is located on the old road (which was used before the tunnel) accessible via a steep hike up from the parking lot on the South Side of the road. Old Inspiration Point is on the valley rim further up from there.
The view, while timeless, changes with the weather, changes with the seasons, and changes from year to year. No matter when you visit it is unmatched. The pictures on this page (randomly selected with each access) range from April to December, with most in April or June. April and June are ideal times to visit due to vacations and volume of water.

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