If you have never been to Yosemite National Park, in California’s Sierra Madres you are missing the experience of a lifetime. There are 1,169 square miles of parkland to explore. President Abraham Lincoln, signed the Yosemite Grant, giving Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove to the state of California in August 1864. It became Yosemite National Park in 1890. Here are 11 great reasons why you should visit Yosemite National Park.
1. Waterfalls Galore
The park has five waterfalls of 1,000 feet or more. They are at their best in late spring when the waterfalls are carrying snow melt from the mountains. Some are an easy walk to visit and some are a more challenging hike. Yosemite Falls is a good choice to see, and there are different trails to different views of the falls.
2. Natural Wildlife
According to the park’s website, there are over 400 species of vertebrates including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals that live in the park. You might spot woodpeckers, owls, lizards, mule deer, fox, bighorn sheep, and bear.
3. Big Skies and Starry Nights
Yosemite is famous for starry skies. During the summer months, there are guided astronomy walks, and even night time bike tours.
4. Don’t feel like hiking, Yosemite has you covered.
The Yosemite Valley Floor Tour is a two-hour open-air tram tour is a great introduction to Yosemite.
5. The fascinating history and preservation of Yosemite National Park
The Happy Isles Nature Center introduces you to the wildlife in the park through exhibits and interactive displays. There are also bonfires at night.
If you plan to camp, there are 13 campgrounds inside Yosemite National Park, and more just outside the park.
7. Fun Workshops for all ages
The Yosemite Art Center offers art workshops. There are workshops for kids as young as six.
8. Great Skiing and Snowboarding during the winter season
During the winter months, Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area offers downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Equipment rentals are available.
9. Some of the best views in the country
Glacier Point Tour is a four-hour round-trip tour to Glacier Point and back. It is available late spring until mid-fall as road conditions allow. Glacier Point is a viewpoint that offers amazing views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Clouds Rest.
10. Get your raft on!
In the summer, rafts are available for rent to raft down the Merced river.
11. Fishing in Yosemite National Park
You can fish in Yosemite in season with a license. Learn more here.
Pick a season and go to Yosemite, then go back again in a different season. There is always something new to discover all year round.