Yosemite Travel Guide
Yosemite is a national treasure of monumental proportions. It is one of America’s most famous, most scenic, most popular national parks. It is a naturalist's dreamland, with towering mountains with landmark granite domes and pinnacles, sheer rock walls that beckon intrepid climbers, majestic waterfalls that tumble from immense heights, rushing rivers that set the whitewater lot afire, huge trees that rival those in the Sequoia National Park, evergreen forests stocked with California brown bears and other indigenous wildlife, and spectacular scenery all around. Only Yellowstone and possibly the Olympic National Park can offer such richness and diversity.
The 761,150-acre (or 1,189-square-mile) Yosemite National Park lies largely along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was designated a state preserve in 1864, and became the nation’s second national park in 1890.
Yosemite's classic view takes in El Capitan, which rises in a sheer granite wall, 3,600 feet vertically, from the valley floor; the Half Dome, which is the most recognizable landmark in the park and which you can hike up to; the jaw-dropping Yosemite Falls that tumble in a couple of successive cascades some 2,425 feet; and the thickly wooded valley itself. Other priorities include Glacier Point, with its dizzying drop of 3,200 feet to the valley floor, and from where you can see virtually all of Yosemite's landmarks; and the Ansel Adams Gallery in the Yosemite Village, where you can view America's most famous photographer's captures and composites. Tuolumne Meadows and the Mariposa Grove, farther out from the main valley, the latter with a fabulous stand of giant sequoias, are worth visiting too, as are the myriad waterfalls in the valley, each more memorable than the other.
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