Vista Points

Vallyview
Vallyview

Yosemite National Park, 'Vista Points'

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Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point

Death Valley National Park, 'Vista Points'

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Devil's Golf Course
Devil's Golf Course

Death Valley National Park, 'Vista Points'

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     Vista points are scenic spots National Parks chose to create an outlook where people can stop and enjoy the view.  In many cases, people take pictures at these points that look like postcards they see at gift shops.  The National Parks mark these places on a map and put signs next to the roads that lead to these spots, letting people know a couple of miles before hand so tourists do not miss them.  Sufficient parking space is made available and oftentimes there is some sort of information board provided to travelers. Following suggestions given by National Parks, tourists pick out the spots from a map, slow down their cars when they see a sign, stop a car at a spot, read the information board, take pictures, leave, and move on to next point.

 

     At vista points, tourists mimic not only the ways of conventional commercial landscape photography, but they also follow the general tourist pattern.  Everyone spends a similar amount of time at a particular spot and then drive the same roads to the next spot following similar driving routes.  Tourists see the exact same scenes, and bring the exact same pictures home.  A big tour bus or a long tour shuttle just makes it possible for large group of people to be able to travel the same tourist pattern at once.  

 

     I have been always interested in how people understand and see landscapes.  Watching tourists at vista points around National Parks instantly and directly exposes the conventional characteristics of tourism, to some degree.