Covering a vast 750,000 acres of land and swathed in all shades of blue, the Yosemite National Park is habitat to an unimaginable variety of wildlife and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most coveted national parks and tourist attraction of USA, Yosemite is truly a one-of-a-kind and once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, take your tent, pack your hiking shoes and get your explorer hat on for you are about to witness the wonders of nature up close. By Shubhanjana Das
Best time to go
Yosemite is open all year round but when you want to visit depends on what you expect from the place. Do you want a summer getaway and enjoy the cool streams of the park during the summer month of May-June or do you want go hiking during July-September? The winters are for the brave-hearted who are willing to brave the cold. If you ask us, we’d say Spring (March to May) is your best bet. You can go for a dip and a hike, and see the flora and fauna in its absolute glory.
Some of the unmissable attractions
1. El Capitan
A 3,000 vertical feet of steep granite formation, El Capitan is a monolith located in the northern part of the park and is one of the biggest reasons why as many as 4 million people throng to Yosemite every year. It is one of the greatest challenges to climbers and is one of the park’s most poster landmarks.
2. Half Dome
Another granite formation in the eastern end of the park, the Half Dome is known for its distinct shape, which is a sheer face on one side and the other three, smooth and round which gives it the appearance of a dome. If you plan to hike the Half Dome, remember that you’ll need a permit, which is available by lottery in March. The dome rises nearly 5,000 feet from the valley and is a challenge many hikers take up every year. And yes, unlike the El capitan, reaching the summit of Half Dome isn’t a life-threatening venture.
3. Glacier Point
This viewpoint is located on the southern wall of Yosemite Valley and is situated at an altitude of 3,200 feet above the Half Dome village. Standing atop the Glacier Point, you’ll be looking down at the whole valley with Tenaya Canyon, Half Dome, Liberty Cap, Little Yosemite Valley, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall from left to right. It is accessible by car from May through October or November.
4. Mariposa Grove
This awe-inspiring sequoia grove located near the southernmost part of the the park is the largest of its kind in the park with two of them among the 30 largest sequoias around the world. The grove is home to over 500 mature sequoia trees. A picnic here after a swim at one of the park’s streams or after a tiring hike is the dream!