Yosemite National Park

Yosemite's waterfalls are at their most spectacular in May and June. When the snow starts to melt (usually peaking in May), streaming snowmelt spills down to meet the Merced River. By summer's end, some falls, including the mighty Yosemite Falls, trickle or dry up. Their flow increases in late fall, and in winter they may be hun
Yosemite's waterfalls are at their most spectacular in May and June. When the snow starts to melt (usually peaking in May), streaming snowmelt spills down to meet the Merced River. By summer's end, some falls, including the mighty Yosemite Falls, trickle or dry up. Thei
Yosemite's waterfalls are at their most spectacular in May and June. When the snow starts to melt (usually peaking in Ma

Yosemite's waterfalls are at their most spectacular in May and June. When the snow starts to melt (usually peaking in May), streaming snowmelt spills down to meet the Merced River. By summer's end, some falls, including the mighty Yosemite Falls, trickle or dry up. Their flow increases in late fall, and in winter they may be hung dramatically with ice. Even in drier months, the waterfalls can be breathtaking. If you choose to hike any of the trails to or up the falls, be sure to wear shoes with no-slip soles; the rocks can be extremely slick. Stay on trails at all times.

Visit the park during a full moon and you can stroll without a flashlight and still make out the ribbons of falling water, as well as silhouettes of the giant granite monoliths.

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  • 1. Glacier Point

    Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    If you lack the time, desire, or stamina to hike more than 3,200 feet up to Glacier Point from the Yosemite Valley floor, you can drive here...Read More

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  • 2. Half Dome

    Geological Site

    Visitors' eyes are continually drawn to this remarkable granite formation that tops out at more than 4,700 feet above the valley floor. Despite...Read More

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  • 3. Yosemite Falls

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    Actually three falls, they together constitute the highest combined waterfall in North America and the fifth highest in the world. The water...Read More

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  • 4. A Taste of Yosemite

    Festival–Sight

    Celebrated chefs present cooking demonstrations and multicourse meals at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel in Yosemite Village from mid-January to...Read More

  • 5. Art Classes

    Arts/Performance Venue

    Professional artists conduct workshops in watercolor, etching, drawing, and other mediums. Bring your own materials or purchase the basics at...Read More

  • 6. Big Trees Lodge

    Hotel–Sight

    Imagine a white-bearded Mark Twain relaxing in a rocking chair on one of the broad verandas of one of the park's first lodges (formerly the...Read More

  • 7. Bluesapalooza

    Festival–Sight

    The first weekend of every August, Mammoth Lakes hosts a blues and beer festival—with an emphasis on the beer tasting. ...Read More

  • 8. Bridalveil Fall

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    This 620-foot waterfall is often diverted dozens of feet one way or the other by the breeze. It is the first marvelous site you will see up...Read More

  • 9. El Capitan

    Geological Site

    Rising 3,593 feet—more than 350 stories—above the valley, El Capitan is the largest exposed-granite monolith in the world. Since 1958, people...Read More

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  • 10. Fireman's Muster

    Festival–Sight

    North of Sonora in the old mining town of Columbia, history springs to life at this festival of antique fire engines, with hose-spraying contests...Read More

  • 11. Grand Tour

    Tour–Sight

    For a full-day tour of Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point, try the Grand Tour, which departs from the Yosemite...Read More

  • 12. Happy Isles Art and Nature Center

    Museum/Gallery

    This family-focused center has a rotating selection of hands-on, kid-friendly exhibits that teach tykes and their parents about the park's ecosystem...Read More

  • 13. Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    When Congress approved the O'Shaughnessy Dam in 1913, pragmatism triumphed over aestheticism. Some 2.5 million residents of the San Francisco...Read More

  • 14. High Country

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    The above-tree-line, high-alpine region east of the valley—a land of alpenglow and top-of-the-world vistas—is often missed by crowds who come...Read More

  • 15. Hot Creek Geologic Site

    Geological Site

    Forged by an ancient volcanic eruption, the Hot Creek Geologic Site is a landscape of boiling hot springs, fumaroles, and geysers about 10 miles...Read More

  • 16. Indian Village of Ahwahnee

    Museum Village

    This solemn smattering of structures, accessed by a short loop trail behind the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, is a look at what Native American...Read More

  • 17. Junior Ranger Program

    Tour–Sight

    Children ages seven and up can participate in the informal, self-guided Junior Ranger program. A park activity handbook is available at the...Read More

  • 18. Mammoth Jazzfest

    Festival–Sight

    This weekend festival funded by the town of Mammoth Lakes features free jazz performances at The Village at Mammoth. ...Read More

  • 19. Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

    Forest

    Of Yosemite's three sequoia groves—the others being Merced and Tuolumne, both near Crane Flat well to the north—Mariposa is by far the largest...Read More

  • 20. Moonlight Tour

    Tour–Sight

    This after-dark version of the Valley Floor Tour takes place on moonlit nights from June through September, depending on weather conditions. ...Read More

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