Yosemite National Park, California
  ...See why Ansel Adams was so mesmerized...
 

 

 

If beautiful landscapes are your gig, then Yosemite National Park (OFFICIAL WEBSITE) beckons. Among the most scenic spots in the continental US, the awe-inspiring Yosemite Valley is surrounded by mile-high sheer rock faces and majestic waterfalls so tall they seem to flow in slow-motion. Below the rock monoliths, the Merced river flows through Ponderosa pine forests and open grassy meadows teeming with wildflowers and wild creatures.

Although the canyon is the park's focal point, the entire park is breathtaking. Tioga Road (SR 120) traverses the park east and west. Along this road you'll see countless mountain scenes, lakes, creeks, trailheads and wildlife. Of course, Yosemite is a mecca for hikers and rock-climbers seeking the ultimate challenge.

Yosemite's biggest problem is that it's a secret to no one. Despite it's somewhat remote location across some very rugged terrain, Yosemite is the third most visited US national park behind Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Canyon. Each year, over 3 million visitors vie for parking space in a relatively small area in the valley. The crowds and congestion around the Valley Visitor Center (underneath Yosemite Falls) can be frustrating. A very efficient shuttle system has helped to alleviate the traffic congestion near the Valley Visitor Center, but the crowds remain. Unless you are camping or lodging in the valley, I suggest that you get up early, head straight to the valley and enjoy this most popular part of the park before noon... then check out some of the rest of the park later in the day.

Yosemite's popularity is definitely not without good reason. Few will argue that the park, and especially Yosemite Valley, are among the world's most beautiful places.

 
     
    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK PHOTOS - JULY, 2006  
    CLICK THUMBNAILS FOR LARGER IMAGE  
             
    YOSEMITE VALLEY   EL CAPITAN   YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK   YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK   YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK  
                       
             
    ELK   ROAD TO THE VALLEY   IN THE VALLEY   MERCED RIVER   EL CAPITAN  
             
    YOSEMITE FALLS   YOSEMITE FALLS   MERCED RIVER & BRIDALVEIL FALLS   SIGN AT SOUTH ENTRANCE   MERCED RIVER & YOSEMITE FALLS