From the highest waterfall in North America to the largest trees in the world, Yosemite National Park in California does everything on an epic scale. With such a sprawling preserve of majestic mountains, lush valleys, and breathtaking views, it’s impossible to see everything in a single day. But if you can’t spend an entire week camping and hiking, take our advice and plan a trip that lets you see all the highlights in one day.
• Stay In or Near the Park
All around the park are beautiful little bed and breakfast hideaways. From romantic retreats to family friendly cabins, there are a number of highly rated places to stay that will allow you to start out early in the morning, well rested and well fed.
• Take a Hike
There simply isn’t a better way to see all the majesty that Yosemite has to offer than on your own two feet. Walking at your own pace, you can take in the scale of the peaks high above, the spray of the falls on your face, and the beauty of nature everywhere you turn. Yosemite Valley is really the heart of it all. From there, you have your choice of hikes, like the picturesque twenty-minute path to Bridalveil Falls or an information-packed ranger walk. Most visitors aren’t up to reaching the top of Half Dome, which requires a permit and the assistance of steel cables bolted to the rock to climb, but if you want a destination worth the hike, the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall is an excellent choice.
• Go Through the Trees
Mariposa Grove is a must see in Yosemite. A shuttle ride from the valley to the grove is free, and from there you can walk the paths around, and even through, the giant Sierra Redwoods. If you’ve had your fill of walking, buy a pass for the tram ride. There are a number of stops to get you up close and personal, as well as a fascinating audio tour to help you learn the history of these unique trees.
• Get to the Point
After you’ve seen the falls and the trees, take a drive up to Glacier Point. Pick up a snack on the way and after you’ve taken a panoramic picture of the entire valley, including Yosemite Falls in the distance, sit back and watch the sun set over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The commanding view from this vantage point is arguably the best in the entire park, and its appeal carries on even after dark. Far from the lights of the big cities and high above the surrounding vegetation, Glacier Point is a favorite destination for stargazers and amateur astronomers.
Yosemite might be intimidating in its grandeur, but no matter how short your stay, it is worth every minute. Bring your camera, bring your hiking boots and make the most of your time in this amazing national park.
Heather Johnson writes for HoneymoonDestinations.org, the best honeymoon research and planning website. Discover some great honeymoon ideas today!