Greetings from Yosemite National Park

When I went to Yosemite National Park for the first time in July 2014, I had no idea what to expect. I was going on a two-week backpacking trip in the backcountry with 12 other high school students, but I had never been to a national park before, let alone been backpacking in one. When I stepped out of the car and drew in my first breath of fresh mountain air, I was immediately dazed by the variety and intensity of fragrances that filled my nostrils. From the aroma of pine needles to the breathtaking views of sheer granite cliffs and beautiful valleys, from the low baritone rumbling of distant thunder to the feeling of weathered tree bark under my fingers, Yosemite overwhelmed my senses and continually amazed me. I finally understood what John Muir meant when he described Yosemite as being a “range of light”. Coming from a suburban community, I had absolutely no idea that such an incredible slice of nature existed. The tranquility found while sitting on a boulder overlooking a vast valley of lakes and pines awakened a sense of peace, and took me to a haven free from the clutter and business of the modern world. The two weeks I spent in Yosemite greatly fueled my appreciation for the National Parks.

Sincerely,
Jeff

Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, its towering ancient sequoia trees, and its spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world. Emerging from the park’s famous Tunnel View is a transformative experience, showcasing the jaw-dropping, iconic sight of El Capitan rising from the valley floor with Bridalveil Falls plummeting from the rock and Half Dome shining in the background. The park also features meadows and streams, historic buildings, and vast wilderness.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

“My experience has made me an activist in preserving the pristine beauty of the national parks. When I complete college and begin working, I will definitely make a contribution towards protecting them.”

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