In case you were still debating whether or not to begin your day trip to Yosemite so early, hopefully this picture will settle it. Tunnel View is a Yosemite must-see!
The first waterfall you will see upon entering Yosemite National Park is Bridalveil Fall. In fact, assuming you started your day trip at Tunnel View as recommended, you’ve already been seeing it!
Your next stop will be at the Cathedral Beach picnic area for views of the famous “El Capitan” rock formation. This is also a great place to have breakfast if you have not yet eaten as picnic tables are available.
Do not be scared by the name! While the four mile trail is a rough climb, I do not recommend doing more than a mile or so on a one day trip to Yosemite.
Your first opportunity of the day to use a restroom will be in the Swinging Bridge parking area. This also tends to fill up quickly, so I may suggest simply walking there from wherever you parked to begin the Four Mile Hike.
If you couldn’t find parking at the Swinging Bridge, you will find a long stretch of parking on the left-hand side just as you pass it.
You have completed the South River Road section of our Yosemite day trip itinerary! As you near the end of the road, you will cross over the Sentinel Bridge and be greeted with a postcard-worthy view of Half Dome!
Depending on your pace, length of daylight, and your desire, you may have time to hike to the beautiful Vernal Falls. While I don’t recommend this for most people with only one day in Yosemite, those with the time should certainly consider it.
You will inevitably have been staring at Yosemite Falls for much of your drive already. At certain moments, you may have noticed there is actually a lower tier as well.