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Yosemite National Park
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrYosemite National Park is the third oldest national park in the United States, and it is by far one of the grandest nature spectacles in the world. Some even consider it as the Taj Mahal of national parks. Its breathtaking waterfalls, granite cliffs, and giant sequoia groves make it an exceptional biologically diverse environment.
Yosemite National Park, which is composed of a 640-kilometer north-to-south stunning mountain range, is listed and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in East Central California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Preservation efforts for the valley began way back in June 30, 1864. Then President Abraham Lincoln reserved the Yosemite Valley, together with the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias found at the south entrance for people’s pleasure.
With such beauty and splendor, it does not come as a surprise that the Yosemite National Park receives millions of visitors every year. People from everywhere, from all walks of life, travel all the way to California to bask in its glory.
Breathtaking SightsWhether or not you are a nature lover, Yosemite National Park will take your breath away. You cannot help but be awestricken with its unrivaled magnificence. Here, you will find the refreshing splash of Yosemite Falls, the mighty presence of El Capitan, the proud profile of Half Dome, the sparkling gemstone lakes, the gigantic sequoias of Wawona, and the lovely pathways of Hetch Hetchy Valley.
The amazement begins at the panoramic views of glacier-carved canyons as you drive into Yosemite Valley down to the thickly forested and grassy meadows up to the bubbling rivers. You haven’t even entered the park and yet you are already breathless.
Popular AttractionsFirst thing every visitor has to do is to stop at the Tunnel View for a picture-perfect shot with the magnificent rock formations of granite Half Dome and El Capitan, and the cascading waterfalls as your background. You will regret it if you don’t.
After you have parked your car in the valley, free shuttle buses are at your disposal to conveniently take you around. The shuttle stops are strategically located so visitors can easily stroll right up to the base of Yosemite Falls and the Bridalveil Falls. Yosemite Falls is, by the way, the continent’s highest falls, measuring over 2,400 ft.
For people with the guts, strength, and stamina, a climb to the smooth granite-rock staircase of the Mist Trail is recommended. The trail is very close beside Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall so prepare to get wet. It will be worth it!
To maximize your trip at the Yosemite National Park, you should secure an all-day hike permit to Half Dome. Or if you are up for some lessons in the wild, you can also sign up for a rock climbing lesson with Yosemite Mountaineering School.
For the less physically active guests, they can just relax and curl up in a blanket at the El Capitan Meadow. They can sit and drink in nature’s beauty, or watch the other daring guests as they brave their way in the rocky granite face of El Capitan.
There are also activities for children. At the Valley Visitor Center, children can enjoy a free film showing of Yosemite’s wonders and natural history. There are also free ranger walks and talks, just check for the schedule. At Yosemite Museum, they see Native American tribal traditions and intricately woven baskets on display.
After you had your fill of Yosemite Valley, you are ready for the higher and cooler environment at the Glacier. It takes an hour's drive through pine forest and beautiful sights overlooking the rough and rocky tops of Sierra Nevada. Along the way are wildflower meadows, leading to Taft Point or to the Sentinel Dome. You may stop and take a leisurely walk. After all, old people always tell us to stop and smell the flowers, right? This is a great place to follow that advice.
A detour south to Wawona will take you to an open-air pioneer village. Here, you can catch a free shuttle to take you to the Mariposa Grove of colossal sequoia trees, which they say are the largest living things on Earth.
Other scenic views you will enjoy as you drive along are the historic Tioga Rd, Tuolumne Meadows; Olmsted Point, Tenaya Canyon; Tenaya Lake, and the Tuolumne Meadows Stable. You may also want to visit the Hetch Hetchy Valley and the Crane Flat.
Getting there and aroundThere are various ways to get to Yosemite National Park. You can go there by train at San Joaquin trains in Merced. An Amtrak’s motor coach bus can take you there.
If you prefer to drive, State Route 120 is considered the fastest route to Yosemite. Just be careful and be safe. Roads here are steeper than usual.
Once you arrive at Yosemite, getting around the park is easy. Do not be daunted by the vastness of the park, which is 1,200 square miles of land. There are free shuttle buses to take you around. You don’t have to worry about long walks back and forth.
Yosemite Valley National Park is one of the national parks in the United States that is now considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in East Central California’s famous Sierra Nevada Mountains, a 640-kilometer north-to-south mountain range. Famous for its cascading waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, and granite cliffs, Yosemite has been internationally regarded as a unique biological diversity.
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Author: epicandrea. Last updated: Feb 05, 2015