Here giant sequoias grow, whose age exceeds several millennia, granite rocks rise above the valleys, from which waterfalls fall in huge streams of water, mountain peaks covered with snow can be seen, and carpets of beautiful flowers adorn the expanses of the landscape. Welcome to Yosemite National Park!

Yosemite National Park is a national park located in Madera, Mariposa, and Tuolumne Counties, California, USA. It covers an area of ​​3081 km² and is located on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

For many, sunny California is associated with sandy beaches and palm trees. But nowhere in the state will you find more beautiful scenery than Yosemite National Park. Few corners of our planet have so many famous and beautiful sights as Yosemite. Landscapes here change dramatically from one kilometer to the next.

Rivers flow in the middle of mountain meadows. Falling into deep gorges, they turn into high and noisy waterfalls. Reaching the valley, the waterfalls turn into wide and shallow rivers.

Granite rocks and giant sequoias Yosemite has gained worldwide fame. Here is the famous Yosemite Falls with a height of 739 meters, it ranks 20th in height among the highest waterfalls in the world. It also houses one of the largest monoliths in North America.

The diversity of the natural landscape and other attractions make Yosemite one of the most beautiful natural areas in America, thanks to which it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984. Along with the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, it is one of the three most famous national parks in the United States. With over 3,5 million visitors annually, it is the second most visited park in the US.

Related articles:

The Grand Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world

Yellowstone National Park – International Biosphere Reserve

Famous for its landscapes and nature: impressive granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear water rivers, sequoiadendron groves and rich biodiversity (about 89% of the park is considered a wilderness area)

It was conceived from the very beginning as a national park (although national parks existed before). Among its organizers is one of the first defenders of the idea of ​​reserves, John Muir.

More than 3,5 million tourists visit the park every year, most of whom concentrate on the 18 km² of Yosemite Valley.


General information about the park

Yosemite is one of the most impressive geological sights in the world. Although the national park covers an area of ​​3081 km², most tourists visit only 11 km² of the Valley. Few places on our planet can boast such famous and beautiful sights on a small patch of land as Yosemite.

Just by being in the Valley and looking around, you can see more natural wonders than in the rest of the national park. Only 11 km long and no more than 1,5 kilometers at its widest point. The valley is surrounded by vertical cliffs 1000 meters or more high, dotted with thundering waterfalls, and crowned with granite domes, you can even see bears here.

The park is one of the largest and undivided wildlife conservation areas in the Sierra Nevada region; the local fauna and flora is extremely diverse

Sheer cliffs are one of the main attractions of Yosemite, thanks to which the national park has become a place of pilgrimage for rock climbers from all over the world. It is home to Camp 4, which pioneered climbing in the United States in the mid-20th century and is today the largest climbing center in the world. The most famous climbers from all over the world gather here, learn from each other, and test new methods of climbing on the sheer cliffs of Yosemite Valley.

Located at an altitude of 600 to 400 meters above sea level, the park includes five main vegetation zones: dense thickets of shrubs and oaks, lower mountain forest, upper mountain forest, subalpine and alpine belts

Many roads in the park are closed during the winter, but Yosemite Valley itself is open to the public throughout the year. There are 1300 km of trails for hiking in the national park. Visitors can take the easy hike to the waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, or take the grueling hike and climb the high peaks.

560 roads make it possible to travel around the territory of the national park by car and observe its most remote sights. If desired, you can take a walk along the roads of Yosemite on a bicycle.

Rafting enthusiasts can raft down the Merced River.

Yosemite National Park is home to the Badger Pass Ski Area, the oldest ski resort in California and the first major ski center on the West Coast of the United States.

Of the 7000 species of plants growing in California, about half are found in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and a fifth in the park itself. Here, as a result of a rare geological formation and unique soils, it is a convenient place for the growth of more than 160 rare plant species.

Tourists visit the park at any time of the year, even in winter, when the waterfalls are covered with ice and the paths and roads are covered with snow. A visit in winter gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the national park. Winter is the best time of year to see Yosemite as it was hundreds of years ago before it became a popular tourist destination.

Yosemite National Park is located in the central part of the Sierra Nevada range in the US state of California. It is 3,5 hours from San Francisco and approximately 6 hours from Los Angeles.

It is surrounded by a series of protected wilderness areas: Ansel Adams to the southeast, Hoover to the northeast, and Emigrant to the north.

On the territory of 3081 km² there are thousands of lakes and ponds, 2600 rivers and streams, 1300 km of tourist routes and 560 km of roads


Attractions in Yosemite National Park



Yosemite National Park has a large number of beautiful and famous waterfalls. The most popular of them – Yosemite Falls – is the highest in North America and is one of the ten highest waterfalls on the planet. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a large number of high waterfalls in a relatively small area. On the 11-kilometer stretch of the valley there are eight waterfalls with a height of more than 100 meters each.

Multiple sheer cliffs, glacial ledges and hanging valleys (i.e. side valleys whose bottoms are higher than the bottom of the main valley) provide good ground for waterfalls, especially during snowmelt times in spring and summer

At 739 meters, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America and is the 20th tallest waterfall in the world.

Perhaps the most picturesque waterfall in the park is Bridalveil Falls (translated as bridal veil), clearly visible from a nearby road.


Lost Arrow Spire

The Lost Arrow Spire is a freestanding granite column in Yosemite Valley. Climbing to its summit is described in the book Fifty Classic Ascents of North America, well-known among climbers. Climbers often descend to its top on a rope, and return back, balancing on a rope.

The Lost Arrow Spire. The height of this granite pillar is 2110 meters


Half Dome

Half Dome is a granite rock (monolith), which is very popular with tourists and one of the symbols of Yosemite National Park. It is one of the largest monoliths in North America. The summit is located at an altitude of 2694 m above sea level and rises 1450 meters above the Yosemite Valley.

Even before the 1870s, Half Dome was considered unclimbable. In October 1875, George Anderson conquered the summit of the mountain. Today, there are several routes for climbing. In the summer, during the peak season of tourists, about 1000 tourists conquer the top of Half Dome every day.

Half Dome is obviously the most famous rock in Yosemite National Park. The image of Half Dome is depicted on the US 25-cent commemorative coin series (the US Mint's commemorative coin series began in 1999 to showcase the identity of each of the country's 50 states)

Half Dome is an integral part of the logos of many companies and organizations, including the Sierra Club, which we already know. Since October 2010, Half Dome has been featured on a new driver's license issued by the State of California.


El Capitan

El Capitan is a granite formation in Yosemite National Park 910 meters high from the lower level of the valley. The granite monolith is one of the popular destinations for rock climbers around the world. Previously, it was considered impossible to climb to the top of the mountain. El Capitan is now considered an example of climbing the so-called Great Walls – climbing ascents of great difficulty, passing along a vertical wall of great height.

From this peak, the first jumps (together with like-minded people) were made by the founder of base jumping Karl Benish (base jumping is an extremely dangerous sport that uses a special parachute for jumping from high fixed objects.

The first ascent of the wall was made in 1958 by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, George Whitmore. The ascent lasted 47 days. January 14, 2015 Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell, after 7 years of work, laid the world's first large rock route of difficulty 9a on El Capitan


Casedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks in Yosemite National Park is another popular rock climbing site, and the climb is considered to be of high difficulty.

Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks


Glacier Point

The Glacier Point observation deck offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Yosemite, including Yosemite Falls, a number of other Yosemite waterfalls, and Half Dome. Glacier Point can be reached by car. The road is usually open from June to October, closed in winter due to the large amount of snow. When the road is closed, Glacier Point can be reached on foot via a 7,4 km path, but it is usually closed from December to May. During the summer, Glacier Point is often crowded with tourists.

Glacier Point is located at an altitude of 980 meters, offering magnificent views of Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point is located at an altitude of 980 meters, offering magnificent views of Yosemite National Park


Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove is located in the southern part of Yosemite National Park. The grove takes its name from Mariposa County, California, where it is located. This is the largest sequoia grove in the national park, consisting of about five hundred giant sequoias. These huge trees with reddish knobby bark are the largest long-lived creatures on the planet, dating back many hundreds of years.

In 1930, the Mariposa Grove Museum was opened. In 1978, the museum building was listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. In 2014, the reconstruction of the grove began. The souvenir shop and tram tours will be removed from it, conditions will appear for the disabled to visit the grove, and new flush toilets will be equipped. The work is planned to be completed by 2016

Two trees from this grove are on the list of "The 30 Largest Giant Sequoias in the World." The Giant Sequoia named the Grizzly Giant is between 1900 and 2400 years old and is the oldest tree in the grove.

The height of this Giant Grizzly tree is 63,7 meters, the circumference of the trunk at the base is 29,5 meters, the diameter of the trunk at a height of 1,5 meters is 7,8 meters, the volume is 963 m³, which makes it the second tree in terms of volume in the grove

In 1932, Grizzly ranked 5th in the list of the largest trees in the world by volume, now it ranks 25th in this list. The barrel at the bottom is badly damaged.

The Wawona Tree was 69 meters high and 27 meters in circumference. In 1881, a tunnel was cut through its trunk, allowing horse-drawn carriages and then cars to pass through. The tree was tilted slightly, the slope increased when a tunnel was cut into the tree. The tree eventually became a popular Yosemite tourist attraction.

Travelers came here just to take pictures against its background, stand or ride through a tunnel in a tree trunk. Throughout its history, tourists have taken countless photographs of the famous sequoia.

The tree fell in 1969 under the weight of a large amount of snow on its crown. The height of the sequoia was 71,3 meters, the diameter of the trunk at the base was 7,9 meters, the age was estimated at about 2100 years.

The driveway in the sequoia was cut down in 1881, for which they widened an old lightning burn on the tree. The tunnel quickly became a tourist attraction, and with the development of road transport, pictures of people driving through a tree in their cars became especially popular. The tunnel was 2,1 meters wide, 2,7 meters high and 7,9 meters long.


Mirror Lake

Located in Yosemite, Mirror Lake is named for its near-perfect reflection of the surrounding landscape (Mirror Lake means Mirror Lake). It is the last remnant of a large glacial lake that once covered much of Yosemite Valley at the end of the Ice Age. In its water surface, the lake displays the towering beautiful cliffs of Half Dome and North Dome. The lake is surrounded by forest, along its shores there are many routes for hiking.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake


North Dome

North Dome is another granite dome in Yosemite National Park. A paved route for hiking leads to its top.

The height of this "Northern Dome" is 2300 meters


Three brothers

The Three Brothers rock formation is located to the east of El Capitan and consists of three peaks: Eagle Peak (the uppermost "brother"), middle and lower "brother". John Muir (an environmentalist in the United States) believed that the top of Eagle Peak offered the most beautiful view of Yosemite Valley.

Three brothers (Three Brothers)

Luxurious view of Spruce Captain and Three Brothers


Taft Point

Located in Yosemite National Park, Taft Point is very similar to Glacier Point, with the only difference being that it offers wider views of the valley and other attractions such as Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. But the main attraction of Taft Point is a sheer high granite rock. Taft Point is largely unguarded and therefore much more dangerous than Glacier Point. Not everyone dares to approach the edge of the abyss.

The point is named after the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft, in October 1909.

The main attraction of Taft Point are giant cracks and gaps in the granite rock, which at some points reach right down to the ground.


We offer you to watch a video about this unique island of virgin nature: