Yosemite National Park
Here is a picture of Half Dome from the West viewing the North face.
 
General Information:
    Yosemite National Park  is enclosed in an area 1,200 square miles of nature's beauty at its finest.  The park was established in 1890 by President Theodore Roosevelt to preserve the Sierra Nevada area and other attractions in the parks borders.  The park ranges from a multitude of natural wonders because of the valley was carved out by glacier centuries ago.  The glaciers left Yosemite a paradise for outdoor enthusiast with alpine wilderness, Giant Sequoias, waterfalls, cliffs and some of the rarest and most unique rock formations in North America.

Visiting:
    When visiting Yosemite National Park a traveler can come in by four routes.  However, due to the improvements that are being made on the park, Highway 120 is going to be closed from November 1998 to late 1999.  This means the only entrances to the park, for the summer 99, are through either the Highway 41 from Fresno to the North or by Highway 140 from the West by way of Merced.  A single traveler maybe able to travel on Highway 120, east west through the park, but this is not advised because of road construction.  The roadway conditions are constantly changing so be up to date on your information.  Tioga Pass is closed from November til June because of snowfall blocking the road over the Sierra Nevadas, officals hope no late season snow storms will keep the road closed longer than will be needed.  Fees for entrance to the park is $20 by automobile or $10 for cyclists or hikers.  Also, a warning to park visitors is that bear activity is extremely high please do not feed the animals.

Attractions:
    Yosemite Valley offers a wide range of attractions for visitors to the park.  The valley also offers a variety of scenes that have been created by glaciers, leaving waterfalls, rock formations and a diverse areas of geology creations and ecosystems (plateaus, valleys, forest, rivers, meadows and more).  These creations leave Yosemite a site for hikers, climbers, campers, animal and fauna seekers, and outdoors men.

Popular Locations:
Mariposa Grove-most unique grove of conifer trees in US; with pine, fir and incense cedar trees.
The Giant Sequoias-1,540 acres with three grove of trees containing 106 trees.
Glacier Point-7,214 feet high, the "lookout of the valley" with views of Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls.
El Capitan- 7,569 feet high, the largest and hardest solid granite face in the world ( a climbers dream to redline) the standard of rating climbing is based of the climb.
Half Dome - 8,842 feet high in eastern part of the valley, that was left in "half" when the glaciers receded; this formation is 87 million years old.
Vernal and Nevada Falls- created from the Merced River, cuts its path through park always flowing even in driest seasons of the year.
Tuolumne Meadows- the largest area of "parks" in North America (park: area between mountains with high numbers of vegetation's and game.

Extra:
The Fire Fall was an event put on by park rangers of Yosemite at Glacier Point.  Rangers would set up huge bonfires on the cliff's edge and when the call to "let the fire fall" rangers would push the fire over cliff and have an amazing sight the fire raining down to Yosemite Valley like it came down from heaven.  Our trip adventure and teacher was of the many people that have witnessed this spectacle as a small boy/young man.  There has been a site to commemorate the last fire fall of January 25, 1968.  This site is unique because it has been created by past park visitors with their memories of this event.
 

I hope that you can enjoy the beauty of quite possibly the most magnificant national treasure that the United States has to offer.  Remember though, "the beauty of this place cannot be described, but it must be seen and experienced so that it has become part of your heart and soul." Theodore Roosevelt
 
 
Photographed by Richard Marklin in 1963
(glacierpoint.com/firefall)
The FireFall always occurred after dark, but this picture had to be exposed so long it looks like daylight.