Yosemite National Park
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Yosemite National Park is a protected area in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, covering an area of over 1,200 square miles. The scenery in Yosemite National Park is truly breathtaking. From its iconic granite cliffs, including El Capitan and Half Dome, to its ancient sequoia trees and thundering waterfalls, every turn offers a new vista to admire. You will also find clear streams, meadows dotted with wildflowers, and high country that rises above the tree line. To fully appreciate the park's diverse landscapes, take a drive through the park or go for a hike. Also, consider visiting in different seasons to see how the scenery changes with the weather and the light.


Wildlife Watching:

Wildlife watching in Yosemite National Park is a truly memorable experience. You will have the chance to see various animals in their natural habitats, including black bears, mule deer, and coyotes. The park is also home to an array of bird species, such as the Yosemite Valley monarch butterfly, the Stellar's Jay, and the Clark's Nutcracker. To increase your chances of seeing wildlife, consider visiting the park in the early morning or late evening when animals are more active.

Scenic Lookouts:

  • Glacier Point: From Glacier Point, you can take in a panoramic view of Yosemite Valley and its surrounding mountains, including Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.
  • Tunnel View: Enter the park from the west side, and you'll be greeted with this stunning vista into the valley. The mountains on both sides create a tunnel-like focus, which gives the lookout spot its name.

Hiking Trails:

  • Mariposa Grove: Hike one of several loop trails in the grove and get up close with the giant sequoia! The trails vary in length but are all very beginner-friendly.
  • Panorama Trail: This long hike is very much worth the effort. It is much less crowded than its famous neighbor Glacier Point but offers just as spectacular views!

More: Check out our Olympic Peninsula Round Trip and Grand Teton National Park inspirations for similar destinations!