|Glacier Point, Yosemite|
Yosemite is a hard place to shoot anything original but the scenery is inspiring, nonetheless. The skies can yield crystal clear views of the Milky Way but there are several airplane routes overhead that will infiltrate your timelapse.
Book camping or cabin accommodations early, as the valley fills up very quickly. If you find yourself without a campsite, there are backpacker staging areas available for pitching a tent, though these are meant for single-night backpackers with permits (see Tuolumne Meadow, Hetch Hetchy and North Pines Campground location details). Electricity can be a challenge when camping but there is a lounge in Curry Village near the ampitheater with power for camera card copying and plenty of outlets for battery charging.
Starscape Vantage Points:
A couple of convenient valley-view options for starscape photography include Tunnel View and Glacier Point. Tunnel View has the classic perspective of El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks and Half Dome, but has a high amount of road and foot traffic as well as a good deal of light pollution. However, there is a trailhead by the trashcans of the south parking lot that will get you above the fray and you can walk up a few hundred yards or go all the way to the Artists Point for a higher but less-crowded location.
Glacier Point is a 30 minute drive out of the valley and gets you to the top of the valley, just across from Half Dome. Though there is an iconic rock platform and view of the valley that attracts a lot of park visitors, this is considerably less crowded at night, However, it IS a destination for stargazers and other photographers. In fact, the park conducts a really good stargazing lecture here and if you’ve got a timelapse going, you’ll need to be cognizant of their laser pointers. Otherwise, there are locations all around the point for both clear star views and foreground peaks and trees.