Must-see attractions in Yosemite National Park

By Stef Zisovska
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Must-see attractions in Yosemite National Park

Stef Zisovska
 
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
 
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Yosemite National Park covers 747,956 acres of the Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera counties in northern California. The most visited part of the park is the Yosemite Valley where people prefer to park their RVs and enjoy a weekend in the stunning natural surroundings. Yosemite has anything from high mountain peaks to meadows and stunning waterfalls. Everything that an outdoorsy person is looking for is hiding in the nation’s favorite park. If you have never been here, here’s a list of the most beautiful attractions that you should visit. Enjoy!

Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Fall as viewed from the trail leading to the top – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0
Upper Yosemite Fall as viewed from the trail leading to the top – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0

The major attraction in the park and a real treat after a nice hike is America’s tallest waterfall, the Yosemite Fall. It is in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, and it’s 2,424 feet tall. The best time to admire this giant is late spring when it reaches its full potential.

Half Dome

Half Dome from Glacier Point – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0
Half Dome from Glacier Point – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0

A paradise for experienced hikers who like to use cables while conquering difficult trails. The Half Dome is a granite rock formation rising 4,737 feet above the Yosemite valley floor. It’s a popular feature of the park, especially for ambitious climbing individuals.

Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne meadows at sunset – Author: Steve Dunleavy – CC BY 2.0
Tuolumne meadows at sunset – Author: Steve Dunleavy – CC BY 2.0

Along the Tuolumne River, you can explore the wild meadows full of beautiful plants and tree species such as lodgepole pine and the dwarf bilberry. Day-hikes are available throughout the whole year, but campground services are offered only from July to late September.

El Capitan

El Capitan – Author: Mike Murphy – CC BY-SA 3.0
El Capitan – Author: Mike Murphy – CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are a rock climbing fan or at least like to watch others climbing, then you must visit El Capitan. The rock is considered to be the hardest vertical climbing problem, especially when it comes to its projecting front, called the Nose. However, if you don’t have the slightest wish to climb, then you can just hike around El Capitan and admire its surroundings.

Lembert Dome

A view of Lembert Dome and Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA – Author: Inklein – CC-BY 3.0
A view of Lembert Dome and Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA – Author: Inklein – CC-BY 3.0

If you want to spend some time hiking in Yosemite but are not too fit, then Lembert Dome trail is the perfect hike for you. It only climbs 800 ft. above the Tuolumne Meadows, and it’s a hike of moderate difficulty. If you manage to get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Tuolumne River.

Tunnel View

Tunnel View, Yosemite Valley – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0
Tunnel View, Yosemite Valley – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0

Tunnel View is the best viewpoint in the park from where you can see the greatest of the park’s features including El Capitan, Half Dome and the Bridalveil Fall waterfall.

Cathedral Peak

Cathedral Peak – Author: Frank Kovalchek – CC-BY 2.0
Cathedral Peak – Author: Frank Kovalchek – CC-BY 2.0

If you want to follow in the footsteps of the pioneer John Muir and climb the star peak of the Cathedral Range, then visit Cathedral Peak. It reaches a height of 10,911 ft. and it was first scaled in 1869.

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall and valley – Author: Amadscientist – CC BY-SA 3.0
Bridalveil Fall and valley – Author: Amadscientist – CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you looking to meet someone special in your life? Then go to the Bridalveil Fall and inhale the mist of the 617-foot tall waterfall. According to the Ahwahneechee Native American tribal legend, this helps attract your soulmate.

Glacier Point

The view from Glacier Point, left to right: Tenaya Canyon, Half Dome, Liberty Cap, Little Yosemite Valley, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0
The view from Glacier Point, left to right: Tenaya Canyon, Half Dome, Liberty Cap, Little Yosemite Valley, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall – Author: Diliff – CC BY-SA 3.0

Glacier Point is a viewpoint on the south side of the Yosemite Valley. Here you’ll get to see all the major attractions of the park. Glacier Point can be approached from the Valley through Glacier Point Road.

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall – Author: Walter Siegmund – CC-BY 2.5
Vernal Fall – Author: Walter Siegmund – CC-BY 2.5

A hike to Vernal Fall will take 3 to 5 hours from the Happy Isles trailhead to the base of the waterfall. After the walk, you will be happy to refresh yourself in the mist from the waterfall.

Yosemite National Park is one of America’s most popular and most beautiful nature reserves. It has abundant wildlife, hiking trails, climbing opportunities, campgrounds, and stunning waterfalls. A park that everyone should visit and enjoy. Good luck!

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