Yosemite National Park California
Bridalveil Fall plunging 189 meters to feed the creek below
Awed by granite peaks and cascading waterfalls
The jewel in the crown of California’s national parks, Yosemite has been stunning visitors since the first two travelers laid eyes on it in 1855. Now, every year over 4 million people stand in awe of its unique natural treasures, which have been documented by everyone from early conservationist John Muir to legendary photographer Ansel Adams. Carved into the center of the Sierra Nevada Mountains by ancient geological forces, Yosemite’s splendor and biodiversity are so grand that it was even designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.
Established in 1864, Yosemite National Park in California wows with more than 3,000 square kilometers of thundering waterfalls, deep valleys, towering giant sequoias and incredible granite peaks.
The park — located about 260 kilometers east of San Francisco — is full of iconic landmarks. Marvel at the daring slopes of Half Dome, Yosemite’s nearly 2,700-meter trademark peak, and El Capitan, the largest single granite rock on Earth. Both sites lure rock climbers in droves (you’ll need to submit your name to a lottery if you’re hoping to climb Half Dome). If rock climbing isn’t on your to-do list, venture deeper into the park and visit the magnificent Yosemite Falls, the highest on the continent at nearly 740 meters. Or enjoy a relaxing stroll through Mariposa Grove, shaded by sequoia trees so tall that you can’t see the tops.