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10 Best and Beautiful Places to Visit in Yosemite National Park

Places to Visit in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite has long been an inspiration for artists, climbers, and nature lovers. Beginning in the 1920s, Ansel Adams’ stunning black and white photographs of Yosemite brought attention to the park’s breathtaking views and iconic attractions like never before.

After World War II, climbers came to the park and struggled with how to climb the gorgeous steep walls. With their attempts, failures, and eventual successes, they have created a cult in Yosemite unlike any other climbing area in history.

Meanwhile, campers and hikers come here to get lost in the park’s magnificent mountains and valleys. The most famous and beautiful part of the park is Yosemite Valley, which is home to well-known tourist attractions such as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls.

Beyond the valley, Glacier Road and Tioga Road provide seasonal access to the rest of the park. Glacier Road offers stunning views of Yosemite Valley. Tioga Trail runs east-west through the park through mountain scenery where you’ll find beautiful and often less busy hiking trails. Due to the elevation, Tioga Road opens later in the spring than Glacier Road.

You can find a variety of activities in the park, from hiking, biking and climbing to visiting museums and galleries. For more details, check out our list of the best places to visit in Yosemite National Park.

10 Best Places to Visit in Yosemite National Park

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Yosemite National Park:

1. Yosemite Falls

Rolling over granite walls and crashing into the rocks at the base of the cliffs, Yosemite Falls is one of Yosemite Valley’s most memorable and stunning features. As you pass through the valley, the repetitive views of treetops and corners, the waterfall looks different from every angle and you can’t take your eyes off it.

You don’t need to hike or even get out of your car to see this waterfall, but the most complete view of the waterfall and one of the best is from the Yosemite Falls Walk, which follows the unobstructed route on the left. Riverside. You can effortlessly walk directly to the bottom of the waterfall and feel the fog cover you.

2. Half Dome

Half Dome is one of Yosemite’s most famous attractions and is particularly known in the climbing world as one of the first “big climbs”. This granite icon looks very different depending on the angle you look at it from. When you look at the sheer rock face from the valley, the size of the wall becomes evident and you can understand why the mountaineers were drawn here.

You can also see Half Dome at the far end of the tunnel view, but the best place to see it is from the lookout at Glacier Point. From here you can see a real photo of the rock, how it looks in the valley and how high it is from the surrounding mountains. The shape of the dome is clear and you can easily understand why it is called a half dome.

For a close-up view, the Mirror Lake walk is the best option. From this trail, you can look almost directly at the rock face. The more adventurous can climb the Half Dome. The last part of this hike will take you to the bare backside of the rock formation. This isn’t your average walk, and it’s not for everyone. It’s considered one of the best hikes in Yosemite, but make sure you know the details before you try it.

3. El Capitan

Legendary among climbers, El Capitan is a steep 3,000-foot-high wall on the north side of Yosemite Valley. Although it may not look like it, El Capitan is actually 1000 feet taller than Half Dome.

El Capitan became interested in Alex Honnold’s free solo climbing and Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo in June 2017. He became the first person to climb El Capitan completely alone without a rope. The climb took 3 hours and 56 minutes.

Viewed from the tunnel viewing platform, El Capitan is a large cliff on the left side of the valley and is much higher than anything else when viewed from this vantage point.

You can see this wall as you drive through the valley, but many people stop to watch it or snap photos from El Capitan Meadow on North Road along Yosemite Valley. Since this is a one-way road, it is best to see it on the way out of the valley. At certain times of the day, rangers settle on the lawn and deliver talks about El Capitan.

If you want to approach or even touch the wall, you can park on the right side of the same road, pass the El Capitan picnic area and walk up to the wall. The short path is marked up to the open area not far from the fa├žade, from which the foundation path runs through the trees and rocks to the base of the wall. Climbers are almost always set up here. The park does not advertise this trail.

4. Tunnel View

The most classic view of Yosemite Valley is the tunnel view. With views of El Capitan to the left, Bridalveil Fall to the right, Half Dome in the distance, and the lush valley at the foot of the massive granite wall, the landscape will be very familiar to most visitors.

While it’s an incredible sight at any time of the day, in the morning the walls are mostly shaded. The best time to appreciate this view is in the afternoon when the walls are exposed to sunlight.

When you enter Yosemite Valley from Wawona Road, the parking lot is just outside the tunnel. If you are going from the valley to Glacier Point, you will pass through the Tunnel View before entering the tunnel.

5. Glacier Point

Driving through Yosemite Valley often requires looking at these sights. Glacier Point rises over 7,200 feet above sea level, giving you a new perspective and stunning views of the entire valley and many other points of interest. This is one of the most incredible sights in Yosemite National Park and a must-see. The journey from Yosemite Village to Glacier Point takes about an hour, but you can also find hikes and other sights in the area that are worth exploring.

The Four Mile Trail hike exits near Sentinel Rock, descending 3200 meters from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley. Despite its name, the trail is almost five miles long. It is also a steep slope with relatively poor conditions. Not far from Glacier Point, Washburn Point is an equally spectacular lookout with stunning views of Spring Falls.

6. Hiking

It’s hard to imagine visiting Yosemite without hitting some of the best hiking trails. The park offers a wide variety of hikes, from quick and easy (including some wheelchair-accessible trails) to full-day or multi-day hikes. The most popular trails include hikes to waterfalls or high scenery, but you can also hike to mountain lakes and meadows.

The shorter and easier trails in the valley are always the busiest, but if you’re hiking longer or hiking at higher altitudes, it’s possible to escape the crowds. Walks along the Tioga Trail are also less intense, but only accessible during the summer months.

One of the park’s most famous hikes is the Half Dome Hike. A great day hike at 4,800 feet above sea level with cables in the open section. Easier, more family-friendly hikes include the walk to Mirror Lakes, the Vernal Fall footbridge, and the walk from the footbridge to the Mist Trail.

In summer, when the Tioga Trail is open, you can take a walk through the beautiful mountain scenery. Also seasonal, but often with longer seasons, the Sentinel Dome and Taft Point hikes on the Glacier Trail are popular sunset trails. If you don’t want to hike alone or prefer to go with a guide, you can sign up for a Yosemite walking tour tailored to your abilities.

7. Climbing

Yosemite is America’s most famous rock climbing destination, and for many climbers, it’s the pinnacle of their climbing careers. Half Dome and El Capitan have been attracting climbers for decades. Rock climbing legends and leaders like Royal Robbins, Warren Harding, Jim Bridwell and Alex Honnold have made a name for themselves within the walls of Yosemite.

Camp 4, where mountaineers have tented since the 1950s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its importance in the sport of rock climbing. It’s hard to imagine another place closely related to the sport of rock climbing. Rock climbing remains as popular as ever in Yosemite, especially since “Free Solo”, Alex Honnold’s historic El Capitan free-climbing documentary, was released in June 2017.

8. Camping

Tourists, families, and climbers have been camping in Yosemite for decades. A great way to experience the park and wake you up on the spot, ready for a day of exploration or hiking. The park has some great campsites to choose from. The most popular campgrounds for tourists are the Northern Pines, Upper Pines and Lower Pines. Climbers head to the infamous Camp 4. Tents and huts can also be rented at Curry Village.

If you’re keen on camping but can’t find campsites inside the park, you can find good campgrounds or RV parks right outside the door. For full details on campgrounds in and near the park, see our guide to the best campgrounds in Yosemite National Park.

9. Yosemite Museum and Indian Village

While most people only think of Yosemite’s natural wonders, Yosemite and the surrounding Sierra Nevada region have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years. You can learn all about the first people of the Vale at the Yosemite Museum and Indian Village. Museums display cultural relics and are there to show documents and answer questions.

Behind the building are some shell dwellings built in the traditional style of the Miwok people who once lived in the area, as well as later European and American architecture. The museum is free and conveniently located in Yosemite Village.

10. Cycling

Families looking for an activity in Yosemite might consider some easy bike trips. In addition to cycling on the trail, the park offers 12 miles of paved trails.

One of the most popular areas for recreational bikes is the paved service road to Mirror Lake on the north side of the river. Many people choose this route, but you can easily cycle up to the beginning of the lake and walk up to the last short section that leads to the upper part of the lake.

Another loop east of Curry Village (formerly Half Dome Village) bypasses the Upper Pines Campground and passes the Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and John Muir Trail entrances. The road is only open to bicycles, pedestrians, shuttle buses and wheelchairs. Curry Village offers bike rentals.


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Yosemite National Park. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Yosemite National Park, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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