One of the most sought after places in the country to go camping and explore nature is Yosemite National Park in California. After reading this post and seeing all that Yosemite has to offer, you’ll definitely be adding it to your bucket list.
Yosemite National Park is well known for being a giant natural playground. Plunging waterfalls, sequoia trees, granite cliffs, and other natural wonders make this place unique and inspiring. Yosemite changes with every season making the views and activities different all year round. It’s one of those places where you’ll need to go back and appreciate its beauty from different angles. Yosemite is an undeniable gift from nature.
Releasing stress and pressing pause from your daily life from time to time is necessary. A great option for a weekend get away can be a road trip or going camping to coexist with nature at Yosemite. Here, you can spend time with your family, cook nice meals, go sightseeing, and enjoy the freshness of the air. For those more adventurous, there is a wide range of activities to do as well. You can wander in the trails, see the wildlife, climb, and even ice skate during the winter.
Let’s talk a little more about the things you must see at Yosemite and all the activities you can do in the park.
The 7 Iconic Places At Yosemite National Park
The most characteristic spot in this park is, without a doubt, Yosemite Valley. This is one of the places that you can’t miss. It’s the heart of the park. The Valley is home to many other top attractions and popular points of interest in the park. It has mountains, waterfalls, viewpoints, and it’s the perfect place to be if you’re visiting the park for the first time. Here you’ll have everything you need to get settled. It has campsites, visitor centers, dining options, and shops in case you forgot to bring something.
You can access Yosemite Valley by car from different highways – 120, 140, and 41 -. Once you get there, you can forget about your car and get around the park using its local transportation system. You can take advantage of this free shuttle stop and no longer worry about looking for parking spots. It makes it much easier to focus only on visiting the spots you’ve set out to see at Yosemite.
One thing you must see at Yosemite Valley is the famous Yosemite Falls. This is one of the most photographed landscapes in the park thanks to its height and jaw dropping features. Yosemite Falls are divided into three sections: upper, middle, and lower; altogether, they drop a total of 2,425 feet. This makes them one of the highest waterfalls in North America!
There are different viewpoints for these waterfalls. The best thing you can do here is to go to different spots and appreciate the waterfalls from different angles. The Lower Fall, which has the last 320 feet of the waterfall offers some of the best viewpoints of Yosemite. The middle section, better known as the Middle Cascades has over double the height as the lower fall. This section has no public access and several adventurers miss this part of the waterfalls. So, make sure that you pick a spot where you can see them and appreciate their elegant shape. Finally, the Upper Fall is one of the most impressive highlights of Yosemite National Park. You can’t miss the drop of this waterfall with a height of 1,430 feet. You can access the top through the Valley and even other park areas outside this section.
One of the coolest things is that you can hike and enjoy the landscape that the waterfalls have to offer and literally feel the mist sweeping over you. These trails are friendly for everyone and they can be traveled easily. But, if you’re feeling more adventurous, there’s a trail that leads to the top of the falls. Either way, you’ll find memorable landscapes and scenic views.
Another highlight that you must see at Yosemite Valley is the Half dome. This is one of the famous spots where adventurers take their most memorable photos of the park. The Half Dome is a granite rock formation that rises 4,737 feet above the Valley’s floor. It’s one of the most iconic points at Yosemite National Park.
This granite dome is known worldwide for being one of the best climbing spots. Hikers from all over the world visit California only to climb the famous Half Dome. To get to the top, people hike the Cable Route, which, as its name suggests, guides the hikers through cables. Although it is a challenging and long journey to the top, the cables help hikers reach their destination.
The view from the top of the Half Dome can be one of the most astonishing landscapes you’ll ever see. So, if you’re planning on climbing to the top, keep in mind that you’ll need to be well-equipped. Pack your climbing boots, gloves, and a big bottle of water to keep you hydrated at all times. This hike is considered to be one of the best in the USA, but also one of the most difficult. That’s why before you attempt it, you should look closely into all of its details.
Another legend among climbers all over the world is El Capitan. This granite monolith rises to 7,569, surpassing significantly the height of the Half Dome. It’s considered to be the world’s largest piece of granite. The park offers climbing classes and gear for those who want to take on a challenge. You can climb and do some rappelling up to 60 feet in your first class. Professional climbers come from all over the world to get to The Nose, the classic route of this monolith.
You can spend time near the towering walls of El Capitan in its picnic area. Here you can spend the day watching the climbers on their way up with a pair of binoculars. This Landmark is within walking distance of the picnic area, You can get closer view and even touch the walls. These are part of the things you must see at Yosemite National Park.
Glacier Point is a viewpoint that offers some of the best scenes of the park and all of its highlights. This is another one of the viewpoints that you must see at Yosemite National Park, you simply can’t miss it. This point is elevated over 7,200 feet from the ground. From its height, you’ll be able to see a whole new perspective of the park and the valley. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and see the valley covered in shades of orange and pink. From this point you’ll feel the freedom running through your body.
In Glacier Point, you’ll find an almost five-mile hike that goes by the name of Four Mile Trail. This starts in Glacier point and leads to another touristic spot known as Sentinel rock. Besides this hike, you’ll find numerous other trails in the area to explore and get lost in its wonders.
As you can see, this park is full of landmarks and scenic views. Another one of Yosemite must-see viewpoints is the Tunnel view. Tied with Glacier Point, this one is one of the favorite outlooks in Yosemite. When you get here, the view will probably seem familiar to you. That’s because the most famous photograph of the park is from this spot. It was taken by Ansel Adams in 1938 and it’s been iconic ever since.
From the Tunnel View Outlook, you’ll be able to appreciate most of the park icons. You can see the Half Dome from the distance, see El Capitan, the Pohono Trail Hike, and the Bridalveil Falls. To catch this point at its best, you should visit during the afternoon. This is the moment when the sunlight covers all the granite walls, offering an unmatchable show. When you get there, you’ll see why it’s one of the things you must see at Yosemite. So, don’t forget to take your camera and shoot some amazing pictures of your own.
One of Yosemite National Park main characteristics is the giant sequoia trees. This park houses Mariposa Grove, the largest grove with around 500 giant sequoia trees. All of these trees have been growing for over a thousand years. Today, they reach impressive heights and have extremely large diameters.
When in Mariposa Grove you should take the Bid Trees Loop Trail. This is a paved hike that everyone can travel easily and get lost between hundreds of sequoia trees. The best part about this trail is that you’ll get to see different iconic trees. In less than 45 minutes, you’ll pass through a fallen sequoia known as the Fallen Monarch. You’ll get to see the oldest tree called the Grizzly Giant that’s around 1,800 years old. Finally, you can walk through the California Tunnel Tree, a tree with a tunnel in the middle of its trunk. Wandering these trees is certainly one of the spots you most see at Yosemite National Park. Here you’ll definitely feel connected with nature.