4 Reasons to Visit Yosemite National Park in 2011

The long list of things to see and do in Yosemite can make planning your perfect vacation somewhat daunting. For those who find themselves overwhelmed by the planning process, booking a guided tour of Yosemite is the perfect solution. Not only do guided tours take the stress out of planning of your vacation, they allow you the opportunity to go with the flow of the Merced River. Expert guides are familiar with paths less traveled and focus on taking you away from the crowds and into nature, so that you can experience Yosemite the way it was meant to be experienced. Also, they provide you with added history about the area, people who came before, and the vast array of animals that call Yosemite home.

Most importantly, when looking for guided tours make sure that activities provided by the tour operator suit your activity level. This will help to ensure that you enjoy yourself and get the most out of your Yosemite experience.

Whether planning your vacation alone or hiring a guide, here are main attractions you should consider adding to your itinerary:

1. Rock Formations

Of all the unparalleled rock formations, Half Dome is arguably the most recognized landmark in Yosemite. This 8,842-foot granite dome, which soars an amazing 4,000 feet about the valley floor, is hard to miss. It was created nearly 90 million years ago and has inspirited artists for more than 150 years. Although not quite as noticeable as the Half Dome, several collections of beautiful and rugged rock formations are scattered throughout Yosemite.

2. Waterfalls

Waterfalls are a must-see in Yosemite and none are more worthy of your time than Yosemite Falls. Three separate waterfalls combined to create this 2,425-foot waterfall. Yosemite Falls is the longest waterfall in all of North America and the fifth longest waterfall in the world. Summer is a wonderful time to see this waterfall because of the rushing runoff water from the melt of mountain snow.

3. Yosemite Valley

Even though Yosemite Valley is accessible by car all year, the best ways to experience this stunning valley is to hike a trail along Mirror Lake, which reflects Half Dome. Yosemite Valley is exceptional because of is extreme depth and short width. The valley its self is only one to two miles long, but the mountains, which create it, are about 3,000 feet high. This combination of rugged cliffs, unusual rock formations, waterfalls, lakes, and lush foliage are truly worth the hike!

4. Giant Sequoia

Created over 3,000 years ago, Giant Sequoias are the largest trees in the world. Imagine a tree so large that it takes 15 people with their arms extended and hands connected to reach around its 300-foot base. These wondrous trees can be found in three separate groves throughout Yosemite, but the largest and most awe-inspiring display of Sequoias is in Mariposa Grove.

This summer see for yourself why people have been drawn to this National Park for over 120 years. In fact, more than 3.5 million people visited Yosemite just last year. As you look forward to this great adventure, remember that proper planning and possibly the help of a tour guide can help you experience Yosemite off the beaten path.

Austin-Lehman Adventures offers guided
Yosemite vacation packages for families and adults. Their
Yosemite family vacation features hiking, rock climbing and river floating in all of the main attractions of the park

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