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Seven "Don't Miss" Sights in Yosemite

Updated on February 27, 2009

 

Situated 195 miles from San Francisco and 313 miles from Los Angeles, Yosemite is one of the most visited national parks in the US.  One reason for this is the breathtakingly beautiful vistas one sees at nearly every turn of its 350 miles of road and 800 miles of hiking trails.

 

Yosemite Valley

 

One of the most popular scenes in Yosemite is the  traditional “tunnel view”  of the valley showing “El Capitan” on the left and Bridalveil Fall on the right.  It can be found just after exiting the tunnel coming from the Portal entrance to the park

Bridalveil Fall. –

The most photographed waterfall in Yosemite is Bridalveil Fall. It gets its name from the mists that waft off it when the breezes blow, making it resemble a bridal veil. Its height of 620 feet is much shorter than the Yosemite Falls but it is much in demand with hikers.

 

Wawona Covered Bridge

 

The Wawona Covered Bridge was originally built in 1868 as an open deck structure with the cover being added approximately 10 years later.  It spans the South Fork of the Merced River at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center.

 

The rocks below the bridge across the river provide a peaceful place to sit and contemplate the water flowing by.

 

 

Giant Sequoia Trees

 

Giant Sequoias are the largest of all living things and live for thousands of years. There are three groves of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite Park. The largest, and most accessible, is the Mariposa Grove. The Tuolumne and Merced Groves are both smaller and less visited giant sequoia groves near Crane Flat. A tree named The Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove is thought to be Yosemite's oldest living sequoia at 2,700 years old.

Mirror Lake -

In the upper end of  Yosemite Valley is Mirror Lake.  It can be reached via a paved trail from the shuttle stop.

 

The area around the lake can be a good place to spot wildlife.

 

In spring and early summer when the water level is higher you can see beautiful reflections of the surrounding cliffs.

 

 

Hiking Trails -

 

Throughout the park are many hiking trails ranging from easy to very difficult.  On many of them, you may come across a scene such as this, where a babbling brook cascades down through the trees.

 

Yosemite Falls as seen from the meadow  -

 

In reality, Yosemite Falls is three separate falls. The combination of Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 ft.), Middle Cascades (675 ft.) and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 ft.) makes Yosemite Falls the highest in North American and fifth tallest in the world with a total combined drop of 2,425 feet.

If You Go:

The Park is open 24 hrs per day, 365 days per year, and does not require reservations to enter.

Check for roads closed due to snow from November through May or even June.

The Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station is open ONLY during daylight hours.

Reservations are needed if you plan to spend the night in the park.

Visit http://www.nps.gov/yose for more information, including “Things to Know Before You Come” in the “Plan Your Visit” section.

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