The historic Tunnel View overlook has captured the awe of visitors for nearly 75 years and has been an iconic part of Yosemite National Park’s viewshed, with an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people visiting the site per day during the height of the tourist season.
The Wawona Tunnel was completed in 1933 during an era that heralded a boom in design and development throughout the National Park Service, helping to initiate the National Park Service’s “rustic design style.” The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the northern terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley. A large percentage of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road. While the Wawona Road is generally considered a somewhat tame road and among the easiest to take in Yosemite Valley, that wasn’t always the case.
Tunnel View provides one of the most famous views of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background. Located at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley, the best times to visit Tunnel View are early spring (when Bridalveil Fall is at peak flow) and winter, when the beautiful granite domes are draped in snow and mist.