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.

On the first day, we visited Lower Yosemite Falls. This was the closest I had ever gotten to a waterfall and it was absolutely mesmerizing to watch the water tumble down over the side of the mountain. Later that night, we drove to Glacier Point to stargaze.

The next day, we hiked the Mist Trail. Although the steep uphill climb was very tiring, the scenery made the journey worth it. I would often look over the edge of the path and see the turquoise river leaping over the rocks and crashing in bursts of white foam. Once we reached Vernal Falls, I stared in awe at the wide column of water gliding off the cliff and cascading gracefully into the abyss below. There was even a rainbow at the bottom, and the mist was refreshing to feel after the tough hike. At that moment, I felt that I was Lewis and Clark on an expedition.

On the third day, we tackled our most challenging hike yet: Upper Yosemite Falls. The mountainside towering over us as we hiked and the switchbacks seemed endless – however, after many hours of climbing, we finally made it. Peeking over the railing, I was able to catch a glimpse of the waterfall from above.

As I stood there, I thought of all the pioneers before me like John Muir and George Grinnell, and felt how lucky I was to have experienced the park myself, even during a pandemic. I hope that we will continue to take good care of Yosemite and other national parks, so future generations will have ample opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the views.

(By the way, my illustration is of the staircase leading to the top of Vernal Falls.)

Sincerely,
Claire

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

“They allow us to experience breathtaking views while teaching us about America's history and heritage. We must continue to protect our parks so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

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