August 24, 2014 2 min read
Yosemite National Park is located in central California, about two hours east of Modesto. If you’re determined to visit some of the best national parks in the US, you can’t go wrong here. Before you go, you should get an idea of the top Yosemite destinations so you can avoid becoming overwhelmed by all the awe-inspiring sights on display.
This national park features six major waterfalls. The crown jewel is Yosemite Falls, which is actually made up of three different waterfalls. Just southeast of this attraction are Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall, which you can reach after a moderate hike. A little southwest is Illilouette Fall, which also requires a hike to reach.
If you go farther west, you will find one of the tallest waterfalls in this national park: Ribbon Fall. Nearby is Bridalveil Fall, which, as you might guess, looks a little like a bride’s veil floating in the wind from a distance. And finally, just north of this waterfall, you will find Horsetail Fall. Try to visit this attraction in February, because the winter sunset reflects in such a way that the waterfall looks like it’s on fire as the water rushes down the cliffs. It’s definitely worthy of some pictures!
Like so many national parks, Yosemite is filled with stunning trails. One of the most well-known here is the Mist Trail, which you will find near the Vernal and Nevada waterfalls. According to Yosemite Hikes, this is the hike to take because of the amazing views it offers while also taking you very close to two waterfalls. You may even catch some mist from the two waterfalls during the hike, hence the name: The Mist Trail. The hike can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on how far you go and is considered a moderate hike, but well worth the effort when you are rewarded with spectacular views.
The Half Dome is a rock formation made of granite. If you want to get to Half Dome, you will need to go on a pretty advanced hike which can last for up to 14 hours. However, it remains a popular attraction, so much so that Yosemite Park officials have to host lotteries to disperse permits for the hike. The cables required for climbing are only up from May to October, so plan your trip accordingly if you want to climb Half Dome.
Of course, there are other cliffs to check out in Yosemite National Park as well. They include El Capitan, Matterhorn Peak, Sentinel Rock, and Glacier Point, to name a few. Whether you’re ready to explore the cliffs and trails or you simply want a glimpse of a few scenic waterfalls or to marvel at the ancient giant sequoias, the National Park Service and similar resources for US parks can help you plan your trip to one of the best national parks around.
For those of you who plan to visit every national park someday, our National Parks Push Pin Travel Map will help you reach your goal by highlighting which parks you have visited and which ones are still on the list!
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