Spanning valleys and cliffs, waterfalls and giant sequoia groves, Yosemite National Park is nothing less than an icon of the American West. The park occupies a sprawling expanse of land that leads up to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada range; in addition to being one of the country’s very first national parks, it also has UNESCO World Heritage Status. Long before naturalist John Muir lobbied for the land to be protected, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. It’s fair to say Yosemite has inspired wonder in visitors for thousands of years.
No matter where you venture within the park, prepare for otherworldly beauty. Some of the region’s most iconic vistas fall within Yosemite Valley, so it’s worth lingering in the heart of the park. Take in the sheer face of El Capitan and the granite Half Dome and Sentinel Dome, alongside the picturesque Horsetail Falls, which glow orange during winter sunsets.
And that’s just the beginning. From the centuries-old giant sequoia trees that inhabit Mariposa Grove to the tranquil stretch of Tuolomme Meadows to the lapping waters of the Merced River, Yosemite provides virtually endless possibilities for enchantment.