Yosemite packs in so much jaw-dropping beauty that it makes even Switzerland look like God’s practice run. In America’s third largest park, the heights are dizzying, the mist from the falls drenching, and the majestic silhouettes of El Capitan and Half Dome striking against the crisp blue sky.
Temperature in August: max 32ºC (90ºF) – min 12ºC (53ºF)
Meadow-carpeted Yosemite Valley is 7 miles (11.2 km) long (…) hemmed in by some of the most spectacular chunks of granite Nature has wrought anywhere on earth. The most famous are the monumental El Capitán (7569 ft – 2,3 km) and Half Dome (8842 ft – 2,69 km). (…) You’ll have great views of both from Valley View on the valley floor, but for the classic foto head up Hwy 41 to Tunnel View.
Yosemite Falls is considered the tallest in North America, droppin 2425 ft – 739 m in three tiers.
Any aspiring Ansel Adams should lug their camera gear along the 1-mile paved trail to Mirror Lake early or late in the day to catch the ever-shifting reflection of Half Dome in the still waters. The lake all but dries up by late summer.
(In Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias) the star of the show is the Grizzly Giant, a behemoth that sprang some 2700 years ago. You should arrive early in the morning or after 6pm.
California, Lonely Planet.
Things to do in Yosemite
- Hike the Half Dome Trail (for example), one of the most spectacular trails in the world (27.4 km round-trip) and/or the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trail (6 mi / 9.6 km round-trip).
- Horseback riding. There are two-hour ($59), half-day ($79) and full-day ($119) trail rides. Custom guided trips are also available.
- Overnight backpacking trips to truly live nature.
- Be careful with bears.