|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – August 2008
Climb classic Sierra passes, ogle granite monoliths, and camp above treeline in John Muir's second home.
No matter how many times you think you've seen it–on posters, in calendars, on your friends' refrigerators–real-time Yosemite is still utterly jaw-dropping: giant, russet-red sequoias, resounding 2,400-foot waterfalls, 3,300-foot granite walls, and more photo ops than you can get at the summer Olympics. Everything you've likely seen of Yosemite Valley–Half Dome, El Cap, Bridalveil Falls–is just a small part of this 1,200-square-mile park, where 13,000-foot peaks scratch the skyline, enormous glacial erratics litter the landscape, and ink-blue rivers roar through silvery canyons. Even John Muir, who explored the whole length of the Sierra, pressed Yosemite on his friends "like a missionary offering the gospel." He knew what he was talking about: Our third-oldest national park is, without doubt, the brightest star in the Range of Light.