Mountains & Landscapes

Prehistoric glaciers that once washed down over the mountains and cliffs have formed unusual U-shaped valleys and left behind granite rock formations for you to marvel at, such as Half Dome and El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley.

Above: Project Yosemite is a timelapse video project set in Yosemite National Park and shot by Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill.

Isosceles Peak reigns over Dusy Basin in Kings Canyon National Park

Canyons and Valleys in Yosemite Park

During the earth’s last ice age, massive glaciers moved down from the Sierra Nevada’s high country, polishing not just the mountain peaks and iconic granite domes, but also softening and widening Yosemite’s ancient valleys and canyons. Read More...

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Famous Mountains in Yosemite

Apart from its grand waterfalls, Yosemite National Park is best known for its towering granite rock formations and epic Sierra Nevada mountain peaks, a couple of which rise above a breathtaking 14,000 feet. But to enjoy these natural wonders, you don’t have to be an accomplished alpinist or an expert rock climber. Read More...

Yosemite Tunnel View with Bridal Falls and El Capitan

Famous Viewpoints

Yosemite’s Tunnel View with Half Dome, Valley View with Merced River, Glacier Point, and Olmsted Point are the most famous views in the National Park. Read More...

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Forming Yosemite’s Granite Domes

Pasture and Mountains in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Get off the Beaten Path – Recommendations by Locals

On Main Street or in the backcountry, it is easy to meet the people of the Sierra, whether they play piano at a historic hotel or lead tours through limestone caverns or hold pow-wows. Read More...

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Keeping Yosemite Park’s Air Clean

Although the park is federally protected by the Clean Air Act, air pollution can sometimes be a problem. Nothing can be as much of a letdown for visitors as stopping at one of Yosemite’s famous viewpoints or hiking all day to reach a mountain summit, only to have the Sierra Nevada vistas obscured by haze and air pollution. Read More...

Kings Canyon: USA’s Deepest Canyon

This canyon carved by glaciers and cut by the Kings River can claim to be the deepest in the USA. It reaches a maximum depth of 8200 feet– that’s even deeper than Arizona’s Grand Canyon! Read More...

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Mountains Beyond Yosemite Park

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Must-See Sights in Yosemite National Park

There’s a lifetime’s worth of wonders waiting inside Yosemite, but don’t worry– you’ve got time to see all the highlights, even on a short vacation. Read More...

Preserving Yosemite’s Natural Soundscapes

Wind, waves, and bird song – all the sounds that we associate with a peaceful, relaxing outdoor experience – have to compete with human voices, passing traffic, and the noise of civilian and military planes flying overhead. Currently, the park is working on a project to measure the quality of Yosemite’s soundscape. Read More...

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Reading the Rocks

Signs of Yosemite’s glacial past are everywhere. Follow these tips on what to look for and where to find them. Read More...

Mammoth Mountain

Renaming Mammoth Peak after Jessie Benton Fremont

Yosemite National Park’s Mammoth Peak may be renamed in honor of 19th century female preservationist Jessie Benton Fremont. The measure would be a tribute to a woman who worked doggedly to preserve the land that would become Yosemite in 1890. Read More...

Rockfall at Yosemite Falls Lower Falls. Photo by James Sumner [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Rockfalls in Yosemite Valley

To get a good look at evidence of rockfall in any season, just follow the easy walking trails that lead right up to base of the valley’s famous waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall. Read More...

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Scenic Byway Open

The 100-mile Sierra Vista Byway that twists and turns through remote areas of the Sierra National Forest is now open for 2012. Read More...

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Scenic Spots Around Yosemite National Park

There’s plenty more places to visit around the Sierra Nevada, including at nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area, stretching from the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to the redwood forests and beaches of Marin County. Read More...

Sierra Nevada Geotourism

Sierra Nevada Geotourism

Explore 25 million acres of timeless traditions, local culture, events, and world-class adventures from Lava Beds National Monument to south of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, recommended by local residents and National Geographic. Read More...

Snow Plants. Photo by Bill Bouton from San Luis Obispo, CA

Snow Plants and Other Wildflowers in Yosemite

Yosemite is most famous for its waterfalls, but the park’s wildflowers are an equally huge draw for visitors. Those in the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada foothills start blossoming as early as March. Especially keep an eye out for native California poppies, which may cover the hillsides in orange and gold blossoms, as well as purple lupines, yellow fiddlenecks and redbuds. Read More...

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The Night Skies of Yosemite

The national parks in general and Yosemite in particular are known as some of the last great spaces without significant light pollution. That translates into an incredible opportunity to do some stargazing, get a glimpse of the Milky Way and maybe even look for a foreign galaxy or two. Read More...

Lembert Dome and Mt Dana from Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne River Meadows in Yosemite National Park

At 8,600 feet they are one of the highest elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A single road, Tioga Pass Road makes them accessible by car. Read More...

Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite

Views from Olmsted Point in Yosemite

Olmsted Point is a viewing area on Tioga Road with views of Tenaya Canyon. Southwest you see into the valley with a view of the northern side of Half Dome. To the east, you see a view of Tenaya Lake. Read More...

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When Glaciers Ruled in Yosemite

Yosemite’s cliffs, domes, and valleys are products of powerful forces. Watch a video about the past and 2 remaining Sierra glaciers, Maclure and Lyell. Read More...

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Yosemite Dome Scrambles

Head to these granite gems for big vistas and easy treks across rock that is full of geology lessons. Read More...

Yosemite Geology 101

Yosemite National Park sits on the rooftop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which stretch for over 400 miles from sparkling blue Lake Tahoe down into the Mojave Desert. The park’s epic landscapes, from its gorgeous valleys and dramatic waterfalls to the iconic granite domes and the mountain peaks of the high country, were all shaped by the same powerful geologic forces. Read More...

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Yosemite HD Video

Beauty of Yosemite you could never even begin to imagine. By Project Yosemite Read More...

Yosemite Half Dome on an autumn morning

Yosemite in Autumn – Photos & Video

Autumn in Yosemite is a quite time with colorful leaves and meandering brooks. Take a moment and soak in the serene views in this video. Read More...

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Yosemite Wildflowers

Yosemite’s wildflowers may be small in scale but they are just as showy as the park’s dramatic domes, waterfalls and giant trees. See poppies, shooting stars, lupine, lilies, monkey flower, paintbrush, and columbine Read More...

Yosemite's Half Dome reflected in the river on an autumn day

Yosemite’s Half Dome

Half Dome is 8,800 feet of towering granite and a world-renowned destination for hikers. It is a 14-16-mile roundtrip hike and takes about 10-12 hours Read More...

Yosemite’s Landscapes and Life Zones

This enormous diversity is what makes Yosemite’s landscapes so memorable: rushing rivers, deep canyons, wildflower meadows, giant sequoia groves, alpine lakes, glacier-cut valleys, and polished domes are just a few of park’s awesome natural features. Read More...

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