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Crystal-clear waters, jaw-dropping vistas and historic artifacts. It’s downright difficult to put away your camera in the High Sierra even for just a few minutes. Why? Because around every turn, there’s something to photograph! We thought we’d share four instagramable places in the High Sierra that you shouldn’t miss.

Bonsai Rock

Lake Tahoe

Bonsai Rock Instagramable Places In The High Sierra
Image appears courtesy: North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce

Nearly every bend and turn reveals yet another photo-worthy scene, but out of those shots, one stands alone… literally. Named after the artful bonsai it resembles, this unique stone formation is known as Bonsai Rock. The outcropping overlooks the massive expanse of North Lake Tahoe’s waterscape like no other place on the lake. Stand-up paddleboard or kayak your way from either Sand Harbor or Hidden Beach for the perfect shot. For other instagramable ideas around the shores of Tahoe, check out Go Tahoe North’s 5 most instagramable spots.

Crowley Columns

Bishop California

Crowley Columns Instagramable Places In The High Sierra
Photo by: Gigi DeJong – Image appears courtesy: Mono County Economic Development, Tourism and Film Commission

Sometimes a bit of work to get to the “perfect shot” makes the image that much sweeter. This is the case for the Crowley Columns and why it’s listed as one of the weird and wonderful things to see in the High Sierra. Located thirty miles outside of Bishop at Crowley Lake, you’ll be hiking, boating or driving a high clearance 4X4 to reach this natural oddity. When the Long Valley Dam was built in 1941, the fascinating and unique attraction that was obscured for thousands of years under the earth was exposed. It’s something to see in person! For more instagramable locations in and around Bishop, check out Visit Bishop’s article – Razzle dazzle instagrazzle.

Note: This is a warm weather attraction. You can only see it in the warmer months when the lake’s not frozen and the ground is snow-free.

Sierra No. 3™

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Sierra No 3 most instagramable locations in the high sierra
Image appears courtesy: Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau

Compared to the others on the list, the good ole Sierra No. 3™ is something Hollywood junkies will “hop” onto. While it played a significant role in logging, mining and dam building operations in the Sierra foothills, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it reached legendary status. Often called the “Movie Star Locomotive”, the 4-6-0 ten wheeler locomotive, built in 1891, was made famous by its use in Back to the Future Part III and other Hollywood films like Unforgiven. Considered by many as the most photographed steam engine locomotive in the world, you can see this beauty in the same original roundhouse at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park when it was doing “work.”

Tunnel View

Yosemite National Park

Tunnel View
Image appears courtesy: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau

You know this list wouldn’t be complete without including the most iconic “shot” location by legendary American landscape photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams. The Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park allows you to get El Capitan, Half Dome AND Bridalveil Fall all in one shot. Due to its popularity, we recommend visiting in the winter or signing up for the Valley Floor Tour. If you do make it to Yosemite National Park, be sure to check out the article – Top 10 places to get the shot by Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.

It’s no secret that nearly every square inch of the Sierra Nevada is photogenic. And these four instagramable places in the High Sierra definitely showcase that!

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at

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