Greetings from Yosemite National Park

My heart thudded wildly as I stepped off the trail and hovered near the edge of the drop-off.

2,000 feet below, Yosemite Valley separated the monolith I stood atop and the one adjacent from me. Usually when my heart raced it was because I was frightened, or anxious, or nervous–but that morning the complete awe that I felt for my surroundings set my blood pumping through my veins and my cheeks flushing bright pink.

In May I had had the fortunate opportunity to spend my summer in Yosemite, and on that late July morning, as I gazed at the wide expanse of beauty vibrating with color around me, I knew that the summer would soon come to a close. Within two weeks I would be returning to civilization; to Verizon’s LTE cellphone reception, to classes and fast food and exams and bills and nice haircuts and all-nighters and stress and daydreaming-in-class and Netflix and–

But right then I was not thinking about any of that. I was simply smiling and feeling the soft breeze brush my bare arms, inhaling the scent of pine, and gazing at the awesome shadow of Half Dome in the distance.

I was simply being. Because that is what wilderness does to me; it allows me to escape my daily routine and live presently, effortlessly. And that is something I think all people should have the opportunity to experience, wherever their outdoor adventure may be.

Until next time, Yosemite.


Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, towering ancient sequoia trees and spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Yosemite National Park

    There are pictures of me sitting by Vernal Falls when I was eight. The funny thing is, I don't have a single memory of that hike. So, when my parents told me we were going to Yosemite National Park over the summer, I was excited to experience its magnificence again.…

  • Greetings from Yosemite National Park

    My parents divorced when I was a toddler but I still got to benefit from their shared love for the outdoors. My mom moved us to Northern California when I was 8 and I'll never forget my first visit to Yosemite where we camped for several days. I vividly remember…

  • Greetings from Yosemite National Park

    I don't have a photo so you will have to use your imagination. Our oldest son was 3 and it was his second camping trip. This was in late September. We had never been to Yosemite so we were very excited. It was dusk when we pulled into the Valley…


Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now