Yosemite is one of the most infamous national parks in the United States. It also has one of the most infamous mispronunciations of all time. Contrary to popular belief (and my personal long-held one) the word does not rhyme with “hose-might”, and rather is pronounced “yo-sim-it-tea”.
But let’s not limit this magnificent piece of nature to its name. Yosemite is a buffet of the various spectacles of nature: waterfalls, mountains, rivers, you name it.
A classic visitor stop is the Merced River. A beautifully blue, bright body of water, it is an aquatic resource important to Yosemite and the ecosystem it supports within. Certain points along the river offer clear views to the mountains that rise in the distance, a feature that satisfies the most avid photographers. But the river is not limited to sightseeing: it is also a popular spot for rafting, especially in the summer. Swimming through the clean, clear water is enjoyable as well. But be careful, the water is often cold and the currents can be fast and dangerous.
The river and various lakes aren’t the only aquatic beauties of Yosemite. The waterfalls located in Yosemite are stunning, and some of the lesser known ones serve as a real treat for those looking to wander in solitude. A few to put on your list of potential destinations include Illilouette and Chilnualna Falls.
A visit to Yosemite would not be complete without a visit to one of the stony marvels along the Sierra Nevada. The most popular include El Capitan and the Half Dome, both situated in the Yosemite Valley. But there are other worthwhile peaks, such as the Sentinel Rock and the Cathedral Rocks and Spires.
One of history’s legendary photographers, Ansel Adams photographed Yosemite often. His photographs capture Yosemite’s sites at their most beautiful, and if you visit the gift shop, be sure to pick up a few copies of his pictures!
My own personal favorites:
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“Yosemite’s Less Visited Waterfalls.” My Yosemite Park. N.p., 26 Mar. 2010. Web. 27 Aug. 2016. <http://www.myyosemitepark.com/waterfalls-beyond/>.
“High-Elevation Aquatic Resources.” National Parks Service Centennial. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016. <https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aquatic-resources-man-plan.htm>.
“Mountains & Landscapes in the Yosemite Park Region.” My Yosemite Park. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016. <http://www.myyosemitepark.com/explore/mountains-landscapes/>.