Yosemite National Park Things to Do Tips by zrim
Yosemite National Park Things to Do: 741 reviews and 1,348 photos
Hike in paradise
Looking at the Merced wind its way upstream, past El Capitan and past the Cathedral Rocks, it is not hard to understand why Yosemite is the beloved park of the people. You hear the phrase: loved to death. Yes the countless visitors the park receives each year take their toll, but a century ago it faced a far bigger threat.
It is hard to imagine that at one time this beautiful valley was threatened by a very serious proposal to dam the Merced and make a large reservoir for the use of the San Francisco Bay area.
It was only through the heroic actions of people like John Muir and the infant Sierra Club that Yosemite Valley was spared. Yet, we saw a bumper sticker while driving in the mountains which said: "Sierra Club go hike in hell."
Sad. Very sad. And very ignorant.
Half Dome and the Merced
Half Dome is such a stunning formation that you cannot help but photograph it from every possible elevation, angle and vantage point. There is nothing wrong with this approach--we purchased a Yosemite coffee table book by famed photographer Galen Rowell and fully one third of the pictures therein are of the Half Dome. It always draws your attention when it is within view.
the domes of the north rim
Looking north across Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point you can see North Dome and Basket Dome. They are absolutely beautiful symetrical domes--but they get only a nod as supporting cast when viewed alongside Half Dome or El Capitan.
The summit of North Dome is a strenuous overnight hike from the Yosemite Valley (a 3600 foot climb) or a moderate dayhike from the Porcupine Creek Trailhead off the Tioga Road (an 8.8 mile roundtrip with an 800 foot descent).
the rugged Sierra
This photo is taken from Glacier Point and zoomed to 300 mm or so. Tenaya Mountain and Cathedral Peak are in the high Sierra in Yosemite's less visited backcountry. It is possible to drive the Tioga Road to get much closer to these peaks, but if you wish to climb to their summit expect long hikes and overnight camping.
Libert Cap and Emerald Pool
At the top of Vernal Falls there is a pool of snow melt called Emerald Pool. There are plenty of warning signs telling hikers to keep out. Apparently some people have taken a dip in the Emerald Pool and been sucked into the drainage and over the cliff down Vernal Falls. Liberty Cap makes its first appearance behind the Emerald Pool. The Nevada Falls cannot be seen in this photo, blocked by trees, but the falls are just off the right flank of Liberty Cap.
The water collected in the pools behind the falls is calm, silent, almost still--but in just another few feet or even inches the water will plummet 317 feet to the rocks below and eventually form the Merced River that meanders through Yosemite Valley.
The Mist Trail
When you reach the top of Vernal Falls you can look over the edge and see the snaking trail that you just climbed for the past hour or so. The elevation gain from the trailhead at Happy Isles to the top of Vernal Falls is about 1200 feet. A moderately strenous exercise.
(If you enlarge the photo you should be able to see people on the trail.)
One of the most popular trails in Yosemite is the Mist Trail which takes the hiker to the top of Vernal Falls. In the springtime the falls is a torrent and the spray of the falls easily reaches the trail making it moist and slippery--hence the name Mist Trail. By October, however, the falls has slowed to a trickle and the Mist Trail is dry as a bone. Vernal Falls itself is 317 feet tall--a respectable waterfall and the star attraction of any park other than Yosemite.
Lembert Dome is a neat rock formation and stands out up in the Tuolumne Meadow. But it turns into something extra special when the photographer (me) risks life and lim to climb down to the banks of a pool of water to get that great reflection shot. I'll do anything to please my audience.
Millions of years ago this alpine meadow was covered by a sheet of ice 2000 feet thick. That is the same depth of some of the deepest icefields on earth in places such as Greenland. To this day the Tuolumne Meadow is covered by ice and snow six months of the year. In the summer when the snow has melted (around the end of June beginning of July) this meadow is covered with wildflowers--a sight that I do intend to see one day. But for now, I will take solace in the muted russet colored views of autumn. Very beautiful in its own right.
More Reviews (12)
zrim's Related Pages
Yosemite National Park Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "The Incomparable Valley (and Park)"
- "Yosemite in a day"
- "On Becoming Part of the Food Chain: Yosemite"
- "Yosemite National Park"
- "The Glacial Beauty of Yosemite National Park"
- "Yosemite is Perhaps the Prettiest Park in the USA"
- "As Good As It Gets"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Yosemite National Park
- Hotels in Yosemite National Park
- Transportation in Yosemite National Park
- Nightlife in Yosemite National Park
- Restaurants in Yosemite National Park
- Shopping in Yosemite National Park
- Warnings and Dangers in Yosemite National Park
- See All...
Explore the World
- Canary Islands
- Swallow Falls State Park Hotels
- Barbados Hotels
- Surat Hotels
- Palau Hotels
- St. Croix
Badges & Stats in Yosemite National Park
- 32 Reviews
- 33 Photos
- 1 Forum posts
- 33 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (51)
Have you been to Yosemite National Park?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Yosemite National Park
- Posted in Miscellaneous Forum "Re: Heckling Tiger Woods"
- Commented on one of acemj's Yosemite National Park travel pages
- Wrote a Review Tunnel View in black and white about Park Views in Yosemite National Park Favorites
- Uploaded a Photo to "North Dome and Basket Dome"
- created a Yosemite National Park Travel Page "As Good As It Gets"
Photos in Yosemite National ParkSee All Photos (33)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Banff National Park Intro, 90 reviews, 108 photos, 3 travelogues
- Kootenay National Park Intro, 46 reviews, 47 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Jasper National Park Intro, 44 reviews, 45 photos
- Northfield Intro, 28 reviews, 58 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Minnesota Intro, 31 reviews, 45 photos, 3 travelogues
- Venice Intro, 37 reviews, 38 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Gent Intro, 37 reviews, 38 photos
- Costa Rica Intro, 33 reviews, 38 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Tortuguero Intro, 33 reviews, 35 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination North Dakota Intro, 33 reviews, 34 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (47)
Latest Yosemite National Park hotel reviews
- Yosemite Lodge At The Falls
- 1108 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 23, 2013
- Wawona Hotel
- 547 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 21, 2013
- Housekeeping Camp
- 136 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 17, 2013
- Curry Village
- 748 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 21, 2013
- Yosemite West Condominiums
- 126 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 3, 2013
- Upper Pines Campground
- 34 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 20, 2013
- Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort
- 207 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 7, 2013
- Hodgdon Meadow Campground
- 24 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 8, 2012
- Crane Flat Campground
- 24 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 27, 2013
- Tuolumne Meadows Campground
- 49 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 22, 2013
- North Pines Campground
- 13 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 19, 2013
- Lower Pines Campground
- 7 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 19, 2013
- White Wolf Campground
- 4 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 4, 2012
- White Wolf Lodge
- 27 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 12, 2013
- Yosemite High Sierra Camps
- 11 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 12, 2013
- Glacier Point- 45 Reviews, 88 Photos
- Mariposa Grove- 49 Reviews, 93 Photos
- Yosemite Falls- 55 Reviews, 117 Photos
- Bridal Veil Falls- 36 Reviews, 74 Photos
- El Capitan- 42 Reviews, 68 Photos
- Yosemite Valley- 54 Reviews, 105 Photos
- Tioga Road- 27 Reviews, 38 Photos
- Half Dome- 45 Reviews, 73 Photos
- Vernal Falls- 35 Reviews, 59 Photos
- Wildlife- 21 Reviews, 48 Photos