Yosemite National Park Travel GuideBrowse 40 travel reviews, 49 travel blogs and 4,333 travel photos from real travelers to Yosemite National Park. Also known as: Yosemite
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Yosemite National Park Overview
Known for everything from the waterfalls and the sheer cliff faces of El Capitan to its appearance in a certain cartoon, Yosemite is one of those incredible, expansive national parks that just beg to be explored. Accessible by road, but best discovered through the endless miles of hike-ready footpaths (if you do prefer to cruise through, it’s worth noting the total lack of refueling stops within Yosemite – don’t get caught short!), this UNESCO World Heritage sight is diverse and mountainous, and a rival to any major national park in the world.
Animal lovers will find themselves drifting amongst anything from bears to beavers, while artists and photographers flock to the area for the oversized granite cliffs and lush conifers that dominate the region. El Capitan is a climber’s Mecca, offering up a huge sheer face that’s a serious challenge to even the most experienced of scramblers, while sightseeing at spots like Yosemite Falls (a dripping wet experience that revolves around a drop of nearly 800 meters) might be tourist heavy, but is well worth the hassle.
You might prefer to swing off the beaten track, heading by foot to the fertile upper meadows, where alpine flora and fauna and a peaceful sense of the natural dominate. Views are invariably incredible, taking in mammoth, glacier-formed valleys and even giving visitors the chance to come face to face with the local bears (take advice from the rangers office on how to deal with encounters before heading to the park’s more remote corners). Other major draws include the cable-assisted climb to the peak of the stunning ‘half dome’, the waterfall-enveloped, challenging strut around the Mist Trail, and the selection of pure, still lakes that make for perfect swimming spots (providing, that is, that you don’t mind some serious chills).
Yosemite’s reputation proceeds it: few national parks around the world offer such incredible sightseeing and perfect hiking experiences, and for rock climbers, hikers and anybody with a love of a good physical challenge, there are few better places to go. Stick to the regulations to stay safe, and make the most of a genuinely enviable outdoor experience.