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Yosemite National Park--The Prettiest Place On The Earth

Updated on July 7, 2016

Yosemite National Park--A Natural Wonder

Visitors come from all over the world to see the majestic towering cliffs, magnificent waterfalls, and beautiful meadows of Yosemite National Park. One can enjoy the camping scene or resort atmosphere throughout the shuttle loop in the valley or the quiet seclusion and beauty of the high country.

Welcome to my Yosemite Lens. It has been a joy to me to create this lens. Yosemite has captured my heart and has been the setting for multitudes of camping trips for my family throughout my life. It gives me great pleasure to share my experiences and information about this splendid place.

Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Holds A Special Place In My Heart

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread." -- John Muir

I've been visiting Yosemite National Park almost every year since I was 7 months old and haven't missed too many years in my 69 years on the earth. Many of you, like me, grew up with yearly Yosemite vacations and now you continue the tradition with your extended families. To all of you Yosemite Lovers...take a moment to reminisce.

To those of you who have never been to the Park, please take a few minutes to peruse this lens and learn about one of America's beautiful national parks.

Remembering trips to Glacier Point

What a spectacular view

You can get to the top of Glacier Point by car or hiking. We would most often travel by car. There were some years some of our party would hike to the top. Wow, what a spectacular view at the top.

In years past, we were even privileged to witness the Firefall. The Firefall is long gone and if you were not in Yosemite in the 50's and 60's or earlier, then you probably do not know what I'm talking about. It looked like a waterfall--only it was a fire being pushed over the cliff from Glacier Point. People would gather at the point and there would be a ranger naturalist program. Then we would listen as a man from Glacier Point and a man from Camp Curry communicated calling out to each other using an amplifying cone. Then we'd watch as the man pushed the large fire and coals over the cliff.

We most often observed the Firefall from the valley. Camp Curry was a popular place to observe the Firefall. There would be a ranger program there also and then the Firefall ceremony.

Tunnel lookout point (road to Glacier Point)

Tunnel lookout point (road to Glacier Point)
Tunnel lookout point (road to Glacier Point)

Forgotten Tradition--Firefall from Glacier Point - See a photo of the one-time famous Firefall

Click on the History link below to see this awesome photo

Remembering Evening Get-Togethers

A favorite family tradition

Several evenings my parents, my brother and sisters and our extended families would meet at one of the campsites and bring our favorite dinner entries and share with the other families. We also enjoyed stories and singing around the campfire, card games and other games.

Camp get-together for dinner

Camp get-together for dinner
Camp get-together for dinner

Water balloon toss or splash

Water balloon toss or splash
Water balloon toss or splash

Evening of card games

Evening of card games
Evening of card games

Biking and Hiking the Valley Floor

A great stress reliever

I remember, as a child, lots of hikes. Once during each trip my Dad would take a day and go out of the valley to fish at El Portal. When Dad went fishing Mom would walk us all over the valley. We'd pack a lunch and stop somewhere near the river for a lunch break. When we got back to camp, we would get ready for a swim at the river near our camp.

In more recent years, I still enjoy the hikes but now we also take our bikes. There are paved bike paths throughout the main traffic areas of the valley.

Time out for great shot on bike ride

Time out for great shot on bike ride
Time out for great shot on bike ride

Favorite Campground ... Washed Out

Favorite Campground ... Washed Out
Favorite Campground ... Washed Out

All-Day Hike To Yosemite Falls--View From Top

All-Day Hike To Yosemite Falls--View From Top
All-Day Hike To Yosemite Falls--View From Top

Yosemite Valley Shuttle

Easy way to get around the valley

A free shuttle has been available for years--a necessary transportation system to keep automobile traffic to a minimum. We use the shuttle to get to the chapel on Sunday mornings, grocery store to pick up something for our evening dinner, visit the Yosemite Lodge for swimming at the pool or a visit to the gift shop, or just making a "round trip" excursion around the valley loop in the evening.

YosemiteValleyStable, stable, mules
YosemiteValleyStable, stable, mules

I Remember The Horseback Rides

As an adolescent, I went on a 2-hour horseback ride each year. I remember riding a horse that was in the movies (so the stable hand told me). The horse's name was Blaze and he was in a moving with Clark Gable.

The Yosemite Valley Stable offers guided trips in the valley. Two-hour horseback , half day mule rides and all day mule rides are available.

Half day mule rides and 2-hour horseback tours available at stables

Half day mule rides and 2-hour horseback tours available at stables
Half day mule rides and 2-hour horseback tours available at stables

Beaches Galore--Around Every Bend of the Merced River

Particles of granite compose the beautiful beaches

We looked forward to our daily invigorating dip in the river each afternoon. We frequently visited beaches along the Merced River near the campgrounds. Groups of us would raft down the river together and ride the shuttle back.

One of our favorite beaches was on the Merced River below El Capitan. It was a little bit of a distance so we would drive and take our lunch and spend most of the day there.

Beach At Lower River Campground

Beach At Lower River Campground
Beach At Lower River Campground

Grab your raft and join the train

Grab your raft and join the train
Grab your raft and join the train

Raft rentals are available at Camp Curry

Raft rentals are available at Camp Curry
Raft rentals are available at Camp Curry

Water Play Near Shore

Water Play Near Shore
Water Play Near Shore

Scenes In Yosemite - Gallery Of My Favorite Captures From July 2011 Visit

Fallen trees along the Merced River
Fallen trees along the Merced River

Quote from John Muir

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

"But no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life...as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures..."

Experience The Waterfalls of Yosemite

Are you a Yosemite Enthusiast? - Poll closed

How often do you visit Yosemite?

  • 20% I grew up with it and go every year or almost every year.
  • 17% I have visited Yosemite at least 10 times.
  • 13% I have visited Yosemite once.
  • 50% I have never been to Yosemite but would like to visit.
  • 0% I have never been and don't think I ever will.
30 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Do you remember the Firefall? - Please share your feelings about Yosemite.

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    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      @TransplantedSoul: Yes, I hope you have the opportunity some day!

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 

      5 years ago

      This looks like a great place to vist. One day!

    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      @bjj james: I hope you can. It's worth it.

    • bjj james profile image

      bjj james 

      5 years ago

      I would love to visit Yosemite someday.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: These western states really do have a lot of beautiful mountains. I'd love to visit some of the sights in Colorado some day. Thanks for your visit and comment.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 

      6 years ago

      I've never been to Yosemite. When I lived in CA I never made it there. I now live in Colorado, which looks a lot like this. I can tell that you have enjoyed this National Park very much!

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 

      7 years ago

      Nice personal family touch in your presentation of Yosemite.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: That's something you won't want to miss. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      I have always wanted to visit Yosemite and your lens makes me want to pack up and head out right now. Lovely photos and memories. I look forward to creating some of my own special memories in this extraordinary national park. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      @rewards4life info: Hope you do have an opportunity to holiday in Yosemite. Thanks for the visit and comments.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: Thanks for the "heads up" of the glitch....and thanks for your visit.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      @LegoLegoLego: Maybe :) Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 

      7 years ago

      Yosemite is one Park I have never made it to - but it is on my list! Republish so all your photos load - it's a recent glitch. Great job here.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 

      7 years ago

      I have never been to Yosemite National Park I wish I had though, such a beautiful place. Maybe one day we will have to holiday there. Lovely lens I really liked your personal touches.

    • profile image

      LegoLegoLego 

      7 years ago

      Just wondering if Looney Tunes "Yoesemite Sam" lLives there? :) Nice lens

    • ltraider profile image

      ltraider 

      7 years ago

      We need to cherish these natural treasures. Great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      CONGRATS on reaching 100% status, well deserved, so happy to help!

    • Anahid LM profile image

      Anahid LM 

      7 years ago

      Hi Beautiful pictures yes I like Yosemite magical place. Thank you for visiting my lens. I wish you a happy Easter. Anna

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      7 years ago

      What a magical place this is.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 

      7 years ago

      Lensrolled to "Ansel Adams" as he is one of the main reasons that we have Yosemite and other parks!

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 

      7 years ago

      Until I read your lens, I did not even know about the Firefall....it sound fun, and dangerous. I enjoyed the visit to Yosemite, thanks, great info and wonderful photos.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      What an amazing place, I would love to visit! Looking through this wonderful Lens is the next best thing, great photographs!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      I hope one day I can visit Yosemite. It looks so beautiful and your family clearly loved it there. The firefall must have been quite a sight! You've presented this beautifully, great work.

    • profile image

      AdriennePetersen 

      7 years ago

      Great photos! They bring back memories when I visited Yosemite with my family when I was a little girl. I'll always remember the bear that raided the garbage can in the early dawn hours.

    • profile image

      GabrielaFargasch 

      7 years ago

      My sister is lucky enough to live less than one hour away from Yosemite.... I have never been there but am crazy to go! Beautiful lens!!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      Lovely personal lens! Amazing that Yosemite is just one place on this wonderful earth!

    • jmorgan17 lm profile image

      jmorgan17 lm 

      7 years ago

      Wow brings back so many memories. I never got to see the firefall but heard some great stories! I did make it to the top of half dome when I was 13 with my dad and brothers, my legs were rubber on the way down but a memory and view I will never forget. Geeeez woman such great memories thanks for a super lens!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 

      7 years ago

      Very nice pictures and family memories!

    • profile image

      Positivevibestechnician 

      7 years ago

      one of the most beautiful parks in the country

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Beautiful work, once again. I'd love to see this lens added to the National Parks Group! Stop by and submit it if you have a moment, it would be a great addition.

    • profile image

      Rgrewell99 

      9 years ago

      Brought back good memories of a vacation there with my two sisters and all our families. Very nice site!

      Thanks and God Bless!

      Ron Grewell

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      10 years ago

      Such a great Lens 5* and welcome to Travelmania Group.

      Tapir Travel

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nice work! I love Yosemite, one of my favorite National Parks. My favorite parts are the tunnel view and Tolumne Meadows, the views are outstanding. I've never been this late in the year though, I'd imagine the traffic is pretty bad. One time we went and the valley was flooded, it was a strange site to see the falls flowing out to the valley floor.

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