Yosemite National Park Highlights

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When you visit Yosemite Park, it’s important to be familiar with all the highlights of the park, so you can plan your trip to take in as many as possible.

These are Yosemite National Park highlights you should include on your itinerary.

Yosemite Valley

Of all Yosemite highlights, perhaps Yosemite Valley is at the top of the list. It’s extremely popular with visitors due to its stunning views of towering cliffs, magical waterfalls and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.

Park Lodges

You have a number of great options for lodging within Yosemite National Park. From luxurious hotel accommodations to comfortable tent cabins, you’ll find the perfect place to stay when coming to visit.

Mountain Features

Yosemite Park is all about unprecedented landscapes, from lush valleys to towering peaks. Enjoy the incredible and unique rock formations within the park, providing spectacular vistas.

Falls, Lakes & Rivers

Cascading waterfalls, sub-alpine lakes and rushing rivers lie within Yosemite, and you’ll want to take in the beauty of as many as possible. Hike to Tenaya Lake or beautiful Mirror Lake. Drive right up to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The possibilities are endless.

Curry Village

In the heart of Yosemite Valley, you’ll discover a unique and inexpensive place to stay at Curry Village. It’s close to a number of great activities within the park, too.

Hetch Hetchy

This spot is the great launching point for hiking or backpacking. A number of trails lead into the backcountry. Of course, you can simply relax and enjoy the scenery. The reservoir offers some good fishing.

Tuolumne Meadows

For views, camping and hiking, Tuolumne Meadows is the perfect destination. At an elevation of 8,600 feet, this sub-alpine meadow comes alive with wildflowers in the spring and early summer.

Glacier Point

Drive to the end of Glacier Point Road to this lookout where you’ll get spectacular views of Yosemite Valley.

Wawona

Within Yosemite at the southern entrance, you’ll discover a town of unique proportions. Wawona is a gateway to many natural wonders of the park, including Mariposa Grove and Chilnualna Falls.

Badger Pass

Badger Pass Ski Area, open from mid-December to late March, offers superb cross-country and downhill skiing. It’s geared mainly towards beginner and intermediate skiers, but everyone can have fun here on the slopes.

Tioga Pass

Tioga Road leads over the pass, and you must stop to see the wildlife in their natural high country environment or take a hiking trip into the backcountry.

Sequoia Groves

A number of Giant Sequoia groves lay within the boundaries of Yosemite, but Mariposa is the largest, with over 500 trees of immense size.

Chapel

For the ideal wedding, surrounded by spectacular Yosemite views, the Yosemite Chapel provides it all. You can also stop by for Sunday services and other times for community events.

Valley Visitor Center

At Yosemite’s visitor center you’ll discover facts about the park you didn’t know before. Browse the natural history displays and listen to fascinating audio presentations. Get all your questions answered by the helpful and knowledgeable staff.

Nature Center

Admission is free to the Happy Isles Nature Center, so bring the whole family to enjoy the wildlife dioramas, history of Glacier Point and El Capitan, and much more.

Wawona Tunnel

The Tunnel View is one of the most popular spots in Yosemite, providing inspiring views of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall. It’s the perfect place to take some memorable photos.

Tuolumne Canyon

When visiting Yosemite, take some time to come to Tuolumne Canyon. The natural features in this area are spectacular, with plenty of hiking and fishing nearby.

Adams Gallery

The Ansel Adams Gallery is inspiring to any visitor coming to Yosemite, whether a photographer or not. See Adams’ landscape photography, that of other photographers, and buy some prints to hang in your home.

Dana Meadows

From early June to the start of November, you can come to Dana Meadows, located just off of Tioga Road near the eastern entrance to Yosemite. Hike to Gaylor Lakes and enjoy some wonderful scenery.

Leconte Lodge

The Leconte Memorial Lodge is a national historic landmark, a unique structure named after a famous geologist, Joseph LeConte. You won’t find accommodations here, but you will discover some unique public programs and educational displays.

Lyell Canyon

You can get to Lyell Canyon from Tuolumne Meadows and you’ll be glad you came. Find views of rivers, waterfalls and sub-alpine meadows on a great hiking adventure.

O'Shaughnessy Dam

This 364-foot dam is worth a visit, with lovely vistas and nearby hiking and fishing. You can access the area from June to September each year.

Bridges

The Sentinel and Stoneman Bridges are unique structures and easy to access within Yosemite Valley. Discover some of the same views that inspired Ansel Adams.

Sentinel Beach

This sandy beach is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. You can also find other activities nearby, such as rafting down the Merced River.

Sentinel Meadow

A popular spot for some beautiful views, Sentinel Meadow provides level paths where you can wander, catching glimpses of some of the wildlife that make this area their home.

Summit Meadow

Stop at Summit Meadow when driving to Glacier Point, have a picnic and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Cemetery

The Yosemite Cemetery is a special location within Yosemite where you can learn about the people who made this park great and who contributed to the creation of this area of natural wonders.

Indian Village

The Yosemite Museum and Indian Village offers displays about the Miwok and Paiute Native Americans, giving you a fascinating education in the history of this part of Yosemite.

Pioneer History Center

Here is where the people are honored who made Yosemite what it is today. Tour the historic structures so important in the park’s past.

Yosemite Park Info

Find all the Yosemite Park information you could possibly need for the best visit ever. You can check lodging, camping, hiking trails, wildlife and even cell phone coverage right here.