Visit Yosemite National Park
Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.
First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.
Tucked into the mountains of California, Yosemite National Park is renowned for its granite cliffs and waterfalls. Half Dome and El Capitan are two of the formations made famous by photographer Ansel Adams. A year-round destination, Yosemite allows access to high-elevation hiking in the summer due to melted snow. But summertime is also the most congested season, and park rangers encourage visitors to use the free shuttle system to minimize traffic. Plan ahead, as many iconic hikes require permits.
The jaw-dropping head-turner of America’s national parks, and a Unesco World Heritage site, Yosemite (yo-sem-it-ee) garners the devotion of all who enter. From the waterfall-striped granite walls buttressing emerald-green Yosemite Valley to the skyscraping giant sequoias catapulting into the air at Mariposa Grove, the place inspires a sense of awe and reverence – four million visitors wend their way to the country’s third-oldest national park annually. But lift your eyes above the crowds and you’ll feel your heart instantly moved by unrivaled splendors: the haughty profile of Half Dome, the hulking presence of El Capitan, the drenching mists of Yosemite Falls, the gemstone lakes of the high country’s subalpine wilderness and Hetch Hetchy’s pristine pathways.
There are more than two dozen waterfalls in Yosemite National Park. For completists attempting to see them all, however, counting them is more complicated than one might expect. Some waterfalls in Yosemite are well-established and officially named, but there are a number of spots where snowmelt can create temporary or ephemeral falls. Additionally, there are some named waterfalls that are technically several falls in one. So Yosemite visitors may forever have to quibble over whether seeing 24, 25, 26 or more waterfalls gets the job done. Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Yosemite Falls, Horsetail Fall, and Sentinel Falls are our top 6 must see waterfalls in Yosemite Park.
One of the USA’s most gorgeous natural wonders, Yosemite National Park has something to offer every traveler from vacationing families to hardcore outdoors enthusiasts. From rocky ascents up Half Dome to wildflower walks through Tuolumne Meadows, from the soaring vistas atop Sentinel Dome to the gentle slopes of Badger Pass.