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Yosemite National Park, CA

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About Yosemite National Park, CA

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 Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

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Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove

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Mountains in Yosemite National Park

Mountains in Yosemite Nat'l Park

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By merely standing in Yosemite Valley and turning in a circle, you can see more natural wonders in a minute than you could in a full day pretty much anywhere else. Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, Sentinel Dome, the Merced River, white-flowering dogwood trees, maybe even bears ripping into the bark of fallen trees or sticking their snouts into beehives—it's all in Yosemite Valley.In the mid-1800s, when tourists were arriving to the area, the valley's special geologic qualities and the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove 30 miles to the south so impressed a group of influential Californians that they persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to grant those two areas to the state for protection. On October 1, 1890—thanks largely to lobbying efforts by naturalist John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson, the editor of Century Magazine—Congress set aside 1,500 square miles for Yosemite National Park.

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Things You Can't Miss

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Take a Hike to the Falls
Take a Hike to the Falls

The one-mile hike to Lower Yosemite Falls is low-effort with major payoff, especially in the spring, when the falls are at their peak.

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Getty Images/Flickr Select

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See Things in Black and White
See Things in Black and White

It's hard to take a bad picture here, but you'll marvel at Ansel Adams' landscapes at his gallery in Yosemite Village. Browse or attend a workshop

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Ansel Adams/National Park Service/Getty Images

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Head for the High Country
Head for the High Country

At 8,600 feet in the Sierra Nevada High Country, Tuolumne Meadows, speckled with wildflowers in spring, is a respite from the bustle of the valley floor.

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John Henshall/Alamy

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America's Top 10 Natural Wonders

Enjoy breathtaking photos and descriptions of the most beautiful places in America, including Yellowstone Caldera and Death Valley.

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Adam Jones/Getty Images

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Cruise the Valley
Cruise the Valley

Trade your car for a rental bike and take to the valley's 12 miles of mostly flat paved paths. Mirror Lake is a great spot for a picnic.

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Alija/Getty Images

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10 Terrific National Park Hikes

These 10 hikes will take you to some of the most spectacular spots our parks have to offer.

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Istock

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Toast to a Happy Vacation
Toast to a Happy Vacation

The Ahwahnee Hotel welcomes everyone to enjoy its huge stone fireplaces and hand-stenciled beams. Have a drink in the lounge and write a postcard home.

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Alamy

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National Parks Guide

Get information on national parks throughout America.

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Getty Images/Flickr RM

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