Top 10 Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

There’s no wrong way to visit Yosemite National Park. The revered park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is a symbol for America’s magnificent natural beauty. It’s filled with picturesque waterfalls, deep valleys, and wide-open grasslands just begging to be explored. At nearly 1,200 square miles, however, Yosemite has no shortage of famous landmarks. It takes a Herculean effort to conquer all of Yosemite’s terrain on a single trip. Instead, narrow down your itinerary by visiting some of Yosemite’s top attractions. Here are the top 10 things to do in Yosemite National Park.

1: Glacier Point

Glacier Point
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Bruce Tuten

If you’ve come to Yosemite looking for breathtaking views, look no further than Glacier Point. This viewpoint is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of over 7,000 feet. The lookout points will give you a birds-eye-view of some of Yosemite’s most acclaimed landmarks. You’ll have panoramic views of the famed Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and Yosemite Falls. The epic overlook can be enjoyed from an early morning sunrise through star-filled nights. Glacier Point is also a favorite among hikers and offers numerous trails for exploration.

Address: Glacier Point Rd, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389

2: Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Roshan Vyas

Yosemite is home to many legendary waterfalls. Yosemite Falls, however, stands above the rest. This towering waterfall is the highest in the park and drops a total of over 2,400 feet. Yosemite Falls is actually a series of waterfalls made up of three distinct falls including Upper Yosemite Fall, the middle cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall. The waterfalls can be enjoyed year-round but offer the best experience in the spring when the winter’s snowfall melts into the water stream. Serious adventurers can also reach the top of the falls through an exhaustive full-day hike.

Address: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA

3: Tunnel View

Tunnel View
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Matthias Mullie

Tunnel View provides one of the most iconic views in all of Yosemite Valley. The famous overlook has been a go to among tourists since opening in 1933. Tunnel View’s scenic overlook includes expansive views of landmarks including Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Half Dome. The surrounding granite monoliths also serve as a reminder of the magnitude of this epic park. Tunnel View offers a glimpse into the beauty of Yosemite and is a hot spot for tourists year-round.

Address: Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

4: Half Dome

Half Dome
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Airwolfhound

Don’t be fooled by Half Dome’s name. Yes, Half Dome is a famous rock formation known for its dome like shape. But it’s also one of the most challenging hikes in America. The roughly 14-mile round-trip hike features an elevation gain of nearly 5,000-feet. Once thought to be inaccessible, thousands now complete the hike each year. It also features some of the best views of Yosemite Valley. Non-hikers will also enjoy taking in the iconic granite formation, which is located at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley.

Address: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA

5: Sentinel Dome

Sentinel Dome
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia/Adavyd

Why is Sentinel Dome so famous? Thank esteemed photographer Ansel Adams. His celebrated 1940 photo captured the summit’s own Jeffery Pine tree. The tree fell over in 2003 but can still be spotted on a moderate two-mile hike. Sentinel Dome is a granite dome on the south wall of Yosemite Valley. It’s elevated at over 8,000-feet and is home to renowned panoramic views. You can witness some of the clearest views of Yosemite Valley, the Merced River, and Mt. Diablo at this renowned spot.

Address: Glacier Point Road, Yosemite National Park, CA

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