Nestled among the western Sierra Nevada Mountains and sitting on 748,436 acres, Yosemite National Park is truly California's crown jewel. With over 4.5 million visitors annually, it is one of the most famous national parks in the United States, and a place where everyone will find something for themselves, whichever type of nature lover they are.
Yosemite Valley is calling you if you have a craving to see it all in one place. Occupying just about one percent of the area, Yosemite Valley attracts most of the park's visitors with its turquoise lakes, hanging valleys, and gurgling waterfalls. Tunnel View and Glacier Point are stunning overlooks that highlight the park's iconic views and attractions, including Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in the US, Half Dome, and Clouds Rest — geological formations that need little introduction. The valley is also home to El Capitan - standing at 3,000 feet above the valley floor, it is the largest granite monolith in the world and a premier destination for climbers. Crowded as Yosemite Valley may be, it will be hard not to be impressed by its scenic charms galore.
Those seeking more solitude, though, might prefer other equally dazzling and much less visited areas in the park, including Hetch Hetchy Valley, full of towering peaks, gorgeous wildflowers, and hidden canyons, and Tuolumne Meadows, one of the most extensive high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada range.
Avid backpackers will be tempted by over 750 miles of trails meandering through the Yosemite Wilderness. The renowned Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail also ramble through the park.
Yosemite National Park also suits the needs of those who love the comfort of their cars and boasts outstanding scenic drive opportunities with Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road; allowing you to enjoy numerous natural wonders and giant sequoias in the Tuolumne and Merced Groves.
Vistas will hog your attention, whatever part of the park you're in, so make sure you take your time and soak in the views the way they deserve it.