- Sentinel Bridge and Stoneman Bridge are elegant structures providing some unique views of Yosemite National Park
- You can visit the Sentinel and Stoneman Bridges any time of year
- Take photos of the same views taken by Ansel Adams
- Raft the Merced River for an exciting addition to your vacation activities
A trip to Yosemite National Park in California is filled with the natural beauty of the surroundings, as well as unique and beautiful structures built inside park boundaries. Two of these structures are the Sentinel Bridge and the Stoneman Bridge, in Yosemite Valley. Both are worth a visit to see their classic beauty.
Location & Information
You can reach both Sentinel Bridge and Stoneman Bridge by driving into Yosemite Valley on Southside Drive. Sentinel Bridge is just after the Yosemite Chapel, and you cross the bridge to find parking on your left. You can either hike to Stoneman Bridge from here or access it from further along Southside Drive.
You can visit the Sentinel and Stoneman Bridges any time of year, but beware of icy trails in the winter.
Yosemite National Park
Public Information Office
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Some wonderful views await you from these bridges, particularly from Sentinel Bridge where you can catch some amazing scenes of Half Dome and Upper Yosemite Fall. You’ll be standing in the same spots where Ansel Adams and many other photographers shot views of Yosemite’s wonders.
Besides hiking along the river from Sentinel Bridge to the Stoneman Bridge, there are other hikes in the area you can take advantage of, in order to see more of the park. The Sentinel Meadow and Cook’s Meadow Loop is a 2.25-mile roundtrip hike that is easy for the whole family. Enjoy multiple views of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. In the spring, you’ll love seeing the wildflowers blooming along the way.
Taking a rafting trip along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley is a real treat and adds quite a bit of fun to your trip. You can start at Pines Bridge and float to El Capitan Bridge for a wonderful one-day float. A shorter float will have you put in at the Stoneman Bridge. You can also begin at the Stoneman Bridge and take a trip down the river to Sentinel Beach Picnic Area.
On the Fourth of July in 1970 at the Stoneman Bridge, the holiday weekend saw an event of some import. Rangers confronted a mob of people protesting the Vietnam War. This group of young people was also damaging one of the nearby park meadows. When told to cease, a riot ensued where crowds threw rocks, fought with rangers and purportedly overturned a car in the middle of the bridge. Arrests were made and the incident was brought under control.