According to a2zdirectory.org, Yosemite National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the United States located in the state of California. Known for its rocky cliffs, meter-high sequoia trees and enormous waterfalls, the park attracts about 4 million visitors every year. The park owes its peculiar name to an expelled tribe of native inhabitants: Yosemite means ‘murderer’ in Miwoks. Partly because of this, the park played a major role in the creation of the National Park Service. The park has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984. You want to see this up close during your holiday in West America!
5 Yosemite National Park Attractions
Yosemite is best known for the many so-called ‘trails’ that take you along the most breathtaking views of high waterfalls and granite peaks. After all, more than 95% of the park consists of untouched nature. Due to the enormous differences in landscape, there is also a great biodiversity: more than 400 different animal species live in the park. A camera is therefore indispensable during a walk to take pictures of the wonderful nature that the park has to offer.
Tunnel View is possibly one of Yosemite’s best-known scenic views. This viewpoint provides a beautiful panoramic view of Yosemite Valley. Seen to the left is Mount El Captain; on the right Bridalveil Fall, identified by the waterfall; and all the way across the valley you can just see the Half Dome. This place is one of the most popular places in the park, because you can hardly see that the park has been modernized over the years. This place is easy to reach by car, with its direct connection to Highway 41. You know you’ve arrived at your destination when you can see the view in the distance at the end of the tunnel. For the best photos, it is best to go either very early (because of the impressive shadows on the mountains), or just at the end of the afternoon (because of the sinking sun). Please note that it can get very busy here.
2. Fog trail
Mist Trail is one of Yosemite’s most famous hikes. Many walks are popular because they have one specific end point, but this is not the case with Mist Trail. Mist Trail has beautiful landscapes throughout the route, with several waterfalls where you have a view of Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, among others. Be sure to bring a raincoat as chances are you might get wet climbing up to the tops of these falls! Because Mist Trail is a relatively short hike (5 kilometers to Vernal Fall, 11 kilometers to Nevada Fall), it is also very popular. It is best to visit Mist Trail during the summer months, so between April and July. It is also a good idea to leave early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, to avoid the large crowds. However, because it is a busy route.
If you prefer to stay in the car, Tioga Road is definitely recommended. This 62 kilometer long road runs through the entire park and leads to a number of beautiful places. From the car you have a view of mountain lakes and quarries full of sequoias. Tioga Road is connected to the Tioga Pass, the mountain route through the Sierra Nevada. With this route you will pass Tenaya Lake, among other things. This is a perfect place for a picnic. Not far from here are the Tuolumne Meadows, a vast quarry of redwoods. You can park here at Tuolumne Grove, an hour away, for a short walk (2 miles). In addition, Olmsted Point is one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the Tioga Road, near Tenaya Lake. Here you have a beautiful view over the valley, with the famous Half Dome in the middle.
Please note that the Tioga Road can only be visited in the summer months, so from the end of May to the beginning of November. This has to do with heavy snowfall in the winter months. It therefore takes a month to clear the entire road from snow; something that usually starts in mid-April.
4. Glacier Point
Glacier Point is one of the park’s best-known cliffs. From Yosemite Valley, it’s about an hour’s drive to the end of Glacier Point Road. At an altitude of 2.1 kilometers you look out over the valley. You have a view of the Vernal and Nevada Falls, but also of the Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Because it is a relatively short walking route (1.6 kilometers) to the top, this walk is very popular. After all, it is a walk of ‘only’ twenty minutes. This route is also accessible for wheelchairs, because you hardly notice that the path goes up. If you want a place with less crowds, you can also walk to Sentinel Dome or Taft Point from here.
5. Yosemite National Park animals
More than 400 different animal species live in Yosemite. From pumas to mountain goats and from bears to foxes. The enormously varied landscape of the park means that so many different animal species can live there. However, most animals will live in the meadows and forests because of a rich supply of food. Above the tree line, so on the mountain tops, you are less likely to encounter animals.
In general, the animals are not dangerous. In recent years, for example, about twenty cases of accidents between humans and bears have been recorded each year. Although the NPS does its best to preserve all these animal species as much as possible, there are still forty animal species that have the status of ‘endangered’ in the park. This could be due to several factors, including climate change and air pollution. That is why the NPS urges visitors to leave the animals alone as much as possible and to respect nature.
Frequently Asked Questions about Yosemite National Park
When can you visit Yosemite National Park?
Yosemite National Park is open 365 days a year. The park is accessible 24 hours a day, although some access roads are closed at night. Although the park is beautiful all year round, it is best to go in the summer months (from the beginning of April to the end of November). After all, the park is not known for its beautiful autumn colors, but for the waterfalls and sequoias. The falls are most powerful in May and June (this has to do with the supply of meltwater from the mountains). Many of the main roads in the park are closed during the winter due to snowfall.
How long does it take you to see everything in Yosemite National Park?
Of course, this completely depends on your time and your budget, but keep in mind that the surface of the park is more than 3,000 m². There are a lot of viewpoints and hiking trails. So it’s best to base your plan on what you’d like to see!
What’s the best way to explore Yosemite National Park?
Although Yosemite Park is fine to visit by car, the most beautiful places are best reached on foot. There are ‘trails’ for every level of hiker: from beginner to advanced. Keep in mind that some trails will be busier than others; it’s best to set off early!
Is it dangerous in Yosemite National Park?
Although NPS does its best to make the park as safe as possible, you enter the trails at your own risk. Therefore, be careful and always stay on the beaten track! You don’t have to be afraid of bears and cougars either; no visitor has ever been attacked by a bear.
What is Yosemite National Park known for?
If you’re looking for beautiful panoramic views filled with granite rocks, powerful waterfalls and towering redwoods, Yosemite National Park is a must-visit! A camera is therefore indispensable when visiting Yosemite.