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.”

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

    Although the Great Smoky Mountains NP is our favorite, Yosemite is where it all began. Yosemite was included in a 1975 conference trip to San Francisco. We arrived, took a trolly ride, got off and stepped into the woods. It suddenly felt like I could breathe, deep fresh air breaths.…

  • Greetings from Yosemite National Park

    Every year either in May or November we have been going to Yosemite. When I was much younger I camped with my family and watched the fire fall. As I grew older I backpacked above Tuolumne Meadows with my girlfriend. After I met my husband, we went every year and…

  • Greetings from Yosemite National Park

    For my family, parks are not for people; they are home to animals and diverse plant life and humans are merely visitors who must take care to tread lightly and leave the park we’re visiting at least as tidy and clean as we found it.

Donate

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