Although there’s certainly no shortage of accessible trails, boardwalks and bicycle paths in Yosemite Valley, there’s also a healthy share of wheelchair-accessible views to be had for folks who can’t manage long hikes.
Located along Wawona Road, Tunnel View offers an iconic — and very popular — view of Yosemite Valley. Although there are no visitor facilities at this stop, there’s plenty of accessible parking and a wide sidewalk over to the viewpoint. This is also one of the best places to get a view of Bridalveil Fall (in season), which is a definite plus, since the trail to this fall is not wheelchair-accessible. Be sure and park in the large lot on the left as you exit the tunnel though; as even though there’s a small parking lot on the right, motorists tend to pay attention to the view instead of the crosswalk as they exit the tunnel.
Most folks miss out on this view altogether — unless they take a Valley Floor Tour — as it’s located on the way out of the park. There’s paved parking, but no accessible spaces at this turnout; however there’s usually enough space to parallel park. Even if you can’t get out of the car, there’s still a good windshield view of El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Fall from the parking lot. This small turnout is located on Northside Drive right before Pohono Bridge. Be on the lookout for it on the left , when you start to see the directional signs for the highways the lead out of the park.
Washburn Point, which is located just below Glacier Point, is another overlooked stop. Accessible parking is available in the small lot, and there’s an accessible hard-packed dirt path over to the lower viewpoint. This stop offers a great view of Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall; and as an added bonus, it’s not as crowded as Glacier Point.
Sentinel Meadow is another popular pick for an iconic Yosemite view. Located near the Yosemite Chapel, a short accessible boardwalk loops through the meadow and offers a panoramic vista of the surrounding granite faces, as well as an excellent view of Yosemite Falls. There’s no accessible parking nearby, but parallel parking is available along the road. Additionally, the boardwalk is located near a shuttle bus stop, and all of the park shuttle buses are wheelchair-accessible.
Room 421 Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Although this is definitely a private view, room 421 at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel boasts one of the best views of Half Dome in the park. Even better — it’s a wheelchair-accessible guest room that’s outfitted with a king-sized bed and a roll-in shower. So treat yourself to an overnight stay in this upscale property that dates back to 1920, and sit back and enjoy the view.