10 Awe-Inspiring Sights You Absolutely Must See at Yosemite National Park

If you're looking for an amazing adventure, and a chance to see some of the most beautiful sights that California has to offer, then you need to visit Yosemite National Park. With its iconic mountains and awe-inspiring natural sights, Yosemite is a must-see for any National Park enthusiast.

With breathtaking granite cliffs and ancient giant sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park is teeming with tourists all year round! 

Here are 10 awe-inspiring sights you must see at Yosemite National Park.

Glacier Point

Glacier Point

Glacier Point is a breathtaking viewpoint, overlooking Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. The view from a height of over 7,000 feet is simply ethereal. 

Sunrise and sunsets are some of the most stunning moments at Glacier Point. You will be awestruck by the colorful valley. Make an unforgettable trip to Glacier Point!

The viewpoint is accessible by car and bus, look over their schedules in advance. There is much to do at Glacier Point. You can enjoy birdwatching, hiking, and stargazing all year round. Enjoy skiing and snowshoeing in winter.

Half Dome

Half Dome

Half Dome is Yosemite’s most iconic and heavily visited formation. It’s aptly named after its “half dome” appearance. The granite formation is smooth on three sides while flat on the other.

Although the hike to Half Dome is arduous and takes over 12 hours, the views make it worth the journey. As you hike towards Half Dome, you'll encounter lovely vistas overlooking the Nevada and Vernal Falls, Liberty Cap, and Half Dome.

As you reach the dome-shaped base, you can then reach the peak with the help of cables attached. Be cautious when climbing up; an ill-placed step may jeopardize your safety.

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall

The Bridalveil Falls are a jaw-dropping waterfall at 80 feet of height. The hike to the falls is super easy and short( half a mile) and takes only an hour to reach and back. The hike is pet and wheelchair-friendly.

The Bridalveil Falls are stronger in spring after the snow has melted. It’s also the best time to visit the falls. The falls look misty and flow much lightly throughout the year. The misty flow looks like a bridal veil thus its name.

Tunnel View

View from Tunnel View

Tunnel View is an incredible viewpoint in Yosemite Park off State Route 41. A long dark tunnel leads you to face the phenomenal vista. 

Tunnel View opens into a pine carpeted valley, along with splendid views of the El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and the Half Dome.

The best time to visit Tunnel View is during spring when Bridalveil Falls are at their strongest. The location is very popular and easy to reach.

Just park your car at the side of the road and marvel at the sights. The El Capitan to your left, Bridalveil to the right, and beyond the mist you can peak at the Half Dome.

Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove is the largest grove in Yosemite Park. Home to the oldest giant sequoia trees. The grove is estimated to be almost 3,000 years old. There are over 500 giant mature sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove.

The most famous tree is the Grizzly Giant, which is almost 2,700 years old! The Grizzly Giant stands at 209 feet and is the second-largest tree in Yosemite.

The Mariposa Grove is easy to reach, although pets aren’t allowed on the trail. If you’re feeling up to it, hike the grove on horseback!

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake is a gorgeous alpine lake nestled between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. The lake along with Tenaya Canyon is named after Chief Tenaya of The Ahwahnechee people who inhabited the land before being relocated.

The lake is set against beautiful granite cliffs. The hike to the lake is 2.5 miles long but is considerably easy.

Tenaya Lake is a popular tourist destination. It’s suitable for kayaking, swimming, and sunbathing.

El Capitan

El Capitan

The El Capitan is one of the most popular attractions at Yosemite Park. It towers at a height of over 3,000 feet above the valley floor. This imposing granite rock formation is a challenge for rock climbers..

The best time to visit El Cap is in winter when the chilly mists give it a mystical appearance. Spring months are also ideal, as the lush green meadows below make a stark contrast with the bare El Capitan.

If you want an unforgettable experience at El Cap, make a trip in the last two weeks of February. The sun creates a molten glow on the nearby “Horsetail Fall”.

Olmsted Point

Olmsted Point

Olmsted Point is a must-see vista if you’re traveling along the Tioga Pass Road. The views from Olmsted Point are breathtaking. You can marvel at Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and Tenaya Lake. 

You will have to hike up giant erratic boulders for a full view of the vista. The boulders are said to be left by a glacier thousands of years ago.

Horsetail Fall

Horsetail Fall

Horsetail Fail is a seasonal fall on the eastern side of El Capitan. The fall makes a 2,030 feet drop, but this is not why it’s famous. The magical Horsetail Fall comes to life in the last couple of weeks of February. 

Take some time to see a natural "firefall" in Yosemite Valley. The setting sun’s position along with other variables perfectly lights up the fall. The fall glows like a celestial body as it flows down El Capitan it’s a breathtaking sight, mark your calendars! 

Firefall Yosemite - Horsetail Falls

Yosemite Valley View

Yosemite Valley View

Yosemite Valley View is the last vista people visit on their trip to the park. You have to save the best for last! Valley View is an incredible vista surrounded by lush meadows and a clear river. 

Make your last stop at Valley View and be amazed by the sights before you. The vista is ideal for viewing the Merced River, Bridalveil Falls, Spires, Cathedral Rocks, and El Capitan.

This view makes up for the lack of hiking and exploring.

It’s no wonder why Yosemite National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the world. The natural sights are something you have to behold in person. Pictures can’t do them justice. Plan your next trip to the great outdoors and don’t miss out on these fantastic sights!

Check each one of these amazing locations off of your bucket list, with our National Parks Adventure Book , Yosemite National Park Adventure Notes, or build your own adventure bundle with our Adventure Bundle Builder today. Your story starts now!