Located in California, Yosemite National Park is spread over an area of 1,169 square miles. Designated as a World Heritage site in 1984, the park receives about 4-4.5 million visitors every year. The park, home to stunning landscapes, lush forests, and numerous wild animals, is definitely a must-visit place if you ever take a trip to California. Here are 5 things you should do at the national park.
1. Yosemite Falls
Though there are numerous waterfalls in the park, Yosemite Falls is the most popular with visitors. The waterfall drops in three stages. “The first stage is the Upper Fall, which is said to plunge 1,430ft. The second stage is the Middle Cascades, which tumbles down a height of reportedly 675 ft. The final stage is the Lower Fall, which is said to drop 320 ft. Thus, Yosemite Falls is widely reported to have a cumulative drop of 2,425 ft, making it one of the highest waterfalls in the world,” according to World of Waterfalls.
The waterfall usually looks stunning no matter which angle you look at it from. However, to get the best view, you’ll want to take the Lower Yosemite Falls trail. This will allow you to walk right to the base of the waterfall, giving you the grand view of the water rushing from the top of the mountain and crashing into the surface. The best time to visit the waterfall is during the months of May and June.
2. El Capitan
This is basically a 3,000-foot rock face located north of the Yosemite Valley and is extremely popular with rock climbers. El Captain was featured in the 2017 documentary movie Free Solo that went on to win an Academy Award and also boosted its popularity among the masses. The central character of the documentary, Alex Honnold, became the first-ever man in history to climb El Capitan without any rope or human aid. Just hiking around the region can be a fun experience. However, actually climbing the rock is something best left for experts. But if you are enthusiastic, some classes will provide you the training needed to climb short heights, say 60 feet or so.
3. Half Dome
This is the most visible peak in the park, standing tall at 5,000 feet. A climb to the top will take about 10 to 12 hours and is pretty grueling. However, the reward is worth the effort since you will get an astounding view of the vast park from the summit. Those who are afraid of heights or have poor physical health should not take a hike to the top of Half Dome.
4. Tioga Road
People fond of hiking and camping should not miss out on taking a journey on Tioga Road. The alpine scenery along the road is beautiful to behold, with pristine lakes reflecting mountain peaks and wildflowers blooming in the vast open meadows. The road is only open for visitors during the summer. Be sure to check out the famous Tenaya Lake and Olmsted Point when exploring the area.
5. Tuolumne Meadows
If you are looking for a place to relax while being surrounded by the beauty of nature, Tuolumne Meadows is the place you should head out to in Yosemite National Park. This is a 2-mile stretch of blooming fields along the Tuolumne River and is located at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. The area is only open for visitors between June and September every year. Activities like canoeing and kayaking are popular.