Yosemite National Park is the natural creation of glaciers grinding over and through granite creating spectacular mountains and valleys in the Sierra Nevada. Scattered throughout the rock are waterfalls, and beautiful meadows amidst the forests. These ancient giant sequoias stand in striking contrast to the vibrantly blue lakes and grey-white rock. The most well known feature of Yosemite is Half Dome, a massive granite rock face that is sheet on one site and sloped enough for hiking on the other.
Yosemite National Park Highlights
The hiking trails, waterfalls and mountains full of diverse wildlife make this national park one of the USA’s most picturesque.
Yosemite National Park is an area of extraordinary natural beauty. It has abundant flora and fauna in addition to majestic mountains, giant trees, vast valleys and peaceful lakes. Every year, millions of travellers visit the park, which stretches across 747,956 acres (302,687 hectares). Glaciers formed the fascinating landscape about 1 million years ago.
See Yosemite Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the United States. The 2,425-foot (739.1-meter) attraction is one of the park’s most visited sites. Enjoy a picnic on a grassy area nearby while listening to the flowing water.
Get a permit in advance to make the arduous 8.5-mile (13.7-kilometer) hike up Half Dome. Steel cables help hikers climb the steep final section. Some attempt this trek overnight to watch the sunrise from the summit and avoid the afternoon heat. Plan for more than 10 hours for the round trip.
While views from Yosemite Falls and Half Dome are impressive, Glacier Point may be the park’s most spectacular spot. Access the area by car or on foot or skis in winter. Capture photos of the panoramic vista incorporating sparkling granite mountains and tree-covered valleys.
Descend into Yosemite Valley to explore lakes and vegetation. Paddle in the chilly waters of the Merced River.
Investigate some of the world’s largest trees in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Grizzly Giant has a 27 foot (8.2 meter) diameter. Walk through carefully carved gaps for the bizarre experience of standing inside a tree.
Video Credit: Visit California
Best time to visit Yosemite National Park
During May and early June, the snowmelt means all areas are accessible. The park’s waterfalls, lakes and streams are in full flow, as well as the Merced River, which winds through the valley. May is cooler and slightly less busy than June, when lots of wildlife species are at their most active after emerging from hibernation.
In September there are far fewer people, the weather is pleasant and Glacier Point is still accessible. Visiting in October, allows you to see the landscape changing from green to golden brown.
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