Yosemite National Park
Best time to go: Summer can get dusty and hot – autumn is a good time to visit.
Yosemite National Park is more than 1000 square miles of stunning natural beauty. Yosemite Valley is to many the highlight of the Park, and must certainly be one of the most extraordinary pieces of geology you could ever hope to lay eyes on.
About seven miles long, it is walled by dramatic three-thousand foot cliffs. Although many have tried to describe the sheer rugged splendour of the valley, nothing can really prepare you for the reality.The Park is also home to the peaceful and tranquil alpine area of Toulumne Meadows which has a very different feel to the rest of the Park, it’s substantially higher, and you feel level with the tips of the mountains. The temperature is significantly lower, and you will notice that the plant life changes with altitude.
The north of the Park is home to glaciated canyons, and in the south, a visit to Mariposa Grove will lead you to the most spectacular forests of giant sequoias you are ever likely to encounter.
Yosemite National Park is home to 500 bears, 240 species of birds, the endangered mountain beaver, white-tailed jackrabbit and the Yosemite toad. And they must have been very hospitable indeed because they have four million visitors a year drop in on them.
Did you know?
- Giant Sequoias (Sierra redwood trees) found in Yosemite can weigh up to a thousand tons
- over the past 150 years, over 400 rockfalls have been recorded in Yosemite and it has been recorded that 10 people have lost their lives as a result of falling rock
- apparently bears in Yosemite can recognise grocery bags and sweet wrappers