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Yosemite Trees Photo

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If you happen to travel to High Sierra, a spectacular Yosemite National Park is a must-see. Ranging in altitude from 2,000 feet to more than 13,000 feet above sea level, Yosemite National Park encompasses an incredible 1,170 square miles of breathtaking natural splendor. Nowhere else will you be able to see such a splendor of nature wonders, including the highest waterfall in North America, the tallest and the largest single granite monolith in the world (El Captain), the most recognizable mountain (Half Dome), one of the largest trees in the world (the Grizzly Giant in the Mariposa Grove) and thousands of rare plant and animal species. Its sky-scraping geological formations, lush meadows and blue rivers make it a destination for travelers from around the world.

Yosemite Mountain View

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But the cool thing about all this is that you don’t even have to be a mountaineer or a sportsman to enjoy the serene beauty of the park, as most of its popular attractions can be accessible to anyone. No matter what corner of the park you are going to explore, everywhere you will come across views worth remembering.

Yosemite Mountain

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The majestic sights of Yosemite delight and inspire visitors of all generations. Yosemite is home to a great number of falls, ranging from tiny ribbons that never reach the ground to the torrents of Nevada and Vernal Falls. Waterfalls are a Yosemite hallmark, attracting visitors from around the globe year after year. Any visit to Yosemite must include a hike to Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in the United States. Stream-fed from high in the desolation wilderness, Yosemite Falls is an awesome sight that will make you quiver at your core. Combined with the shadows and lighting of deep valley, the effect of all this falling water is mesmerizing.

Yosemite Trees

Many visitors come to Yosemite National Park solely to see Yosemite Valley. In spring, after winter snow starts melting in the high country, waterfalls encircle the country, shimmering like a diamond necklace. Here you can see wide, beautiful meadows and towering trees, accompanied by the ever-present sound of rushing water in the background. The valley is also home to beautiful meadows and the Merced River. Rafters and inner-tubers enjoy the slow-moving Merced during the summer heat.

Yosemite Trees Picture

Yosemite Valley consists of three developed areas: Yosemite Village, Yosemite Lodge and Curry Village, with most restaurants, hotels and shops clustered there. The largest developed area of the valley, Yosemite Village is home to the largest visitor center and a number of stores and restaurants. Here is an abundance of dining options that include a quick meal, a boxed lunch for a hike, casual fare or award-winning dining of the highest caliber. Many of the dining venues are open year-round for the convenience of the visitors and many offer outdoor seating during the summer months. The park has a wide range of lodging options as well. You can enjoy upscale accommodations with spectacular views at the Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls or Wawona Hotel. Enjoy camping? No problem. Yosemite accommodations range from unheated canvas tents to heated cabins, offering a unique option for every style of vacation.

Yosemite Mountain Photo

Yosemite Valley, approximately 3,000 feet deep and less than a mile wide, is known for its incredible rock formations, created from plutonic rock that cooled far below the earth surface. In the densely forested and very scenic Southwestern corner of the park is Tunnel View, the best scenic outlook of the valley accessible by car. Virtually the whole valley is laid down below: Half Dome (8,842 ft.), which western face is a sheer cliff of Plutonic granite, and Yosemite Falls straight ahead in the distance, Bridalveil Fall (620 ft.), named so because the wind often blows the falls sideways giving it the appearance of a "bride's veil", to the right, and El Captain to the left. El Capitan (7,569 ft.) towering 3,593 ft. from the valley floor, lures rock climbers from around the world to challenge their abilities on its granite face giving visitors an excellent opportunity to view this unique sport. At Glacier Point you can enjoy another fabulous view of the valley, this time 300 feet below.

Yosemite Old Trees

Another attraction of the park is the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Be sure not to miss the grove celebrity, the Grizzly Giant, which is the biggest tree in the grove, with single limbs being 10 feet thick. The tree itself is 209 feet tall, 32 feet in diameter, and more than 2,700 years old.

In addition to its breathtaking scenery, Yosemite is home to a great and diverse wildlife population. Some formerly endangered species like the peregrine falcon, golden eagle and bighorn sheep are once again flourishing in the park. With a keen eye, you may be lucky enough to spot some of these beautiful creatures. Deer and coyote frequent the valley, and bears are at home here as well. Grizzlies are gone from the park now, but black bears are plentiful.

Yosemite Road

Though the pristine environment of Yosemite, the park offers a host of year-round conveniences and guest services so that visitors can make the most of their experience. From exquisite dining to luxury lodging and numerous outdoor activities, Yosemite features everything for a fantastic vacation in a unique and breathtaking setting. Within the boundaries of the park, you will find adventures for all ages and all levels of skill, from tranquil evening strolls and programs for young kids to downhill skiing and extreme climbing, depending on the season. Yosemite activities and sightseeing are all about the great outdoors and include bicycling, fishing, horseback riding, golf, rafting, ice-skating, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing and camping.

Yosemite Mushroom

The park has one golf course and several others in the vicinity. Wawona sports a 9-hole, par-35 course that alternates between meadows and fairways. Just outside the park, there is a 9-hole River Golf Creek Course at Ahwahnee, and the 18-hole Sierra Meadows Ranch Course is in Oakhurst.

Yosemite is one of the most desirable climbing destinations in the world. The Yosemite Mountaineering School runs classes for beginning through advanced climbers. Considered one of the best climbing schools in the world, it offers private lessons that will teach you basic body moves and rappelling, and will take you on a single-pitch climb.

Visit Yosemite and come experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Yosemite National Park for yourself!