A monument to the power of nature and a shrine to conservation, Yosemite is one of America’s grandest and most popular national parks. Carved by ancient glaciers, the park features massive granite rock formations, roaring waterfalls, meandering rivers, lushly forested valleys and grassy meadows. Located around 200 miles (320 km) east of San Francisco, the wilderness area was first protected in 1864, thanks to the tireless efforts of Scottish-American naturalist John Muir.
Today, nearly 4 million people come to Yosemite each year to explore the majestic park. Although many of the best-known attractions in Yosemite can be viewed from Yosemite Valley, walks and hikes on the more than 800 miles (1,300 km) of park trails reward visitors with scenes of breathtaking beauty, from high-country meadows to ancient sequoia forests.