Yosemite National Park is a vast wilderness of imposing mountains, giant forests, gushing waterfalls and daunting granite rocks. Established in 1890 to protect some of North America's most spectacular mountain terrain, Yosemite's beauty is unrivalled. Part of an region known as the High Sierras, its rugged landscapes make up one of California's most popular recreation areas.
Spectacular landscapes, mesmerising views
The Yosemite Valley is a good base to explore the park, where numerous roads, bus tours, bike paths and hiking trails lead visitors from one remarkable site to another. Standing nearly a mile above the valley floor, Half Dome cliff has become the symbol of Yosemite. The other major cliff is El Capitan, which attracts rock-climbers to its sheer face, the world's largest section of exposed granite.
Glacier Point is the best place to experience a Yosemite panorama, but can only be reached in summer as snow often blocks the road during winter. For further unmissable views, Yosemite Falls' plunging cascades are the highest in North America. Beyond the park's southern entrance, Mariposa Grove features over 500 giant Sequoia trees, but for the most astounding groves - and America's deepest canyon - visit the nearby Sequoia & Kings Canyon national parks.