Yosemite National Park

One of the best ways to see Yosemite is with a little help from a knowledgeable tour guide. You get the best Yosemite information, without someone having to miss out on the beauty because they're driving. Tour companies like Discover Yosemite, Tour de Yosemite and Yosemite Private Tours specialize in making your Yosemite Trip memorable.

Plus adventure tours such as YExplore and Lasting Adventures can take you into the back country to hike with the experts.

Right at the southern entrance to Yosemite is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. These awe inspiring giants are among the largest living things on our planet, and truly a sight to behold. It's an easy hike to see some of the most famous Sequoias, such as the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree.Trams run during the summer months that will take you on a full tour of Mariposa Grove if you prefer the ride to the walk.

The Pioneer History Center, in Wawona, takes you back in time to the 19th Century to see first-hand what life in Yosemite and the surrounding area was like. Your hosts, dressed in period costume, take you on guided tours, show you how the residents performed their day to day tasks. Tours take place from July 4 through the summer until Labor Day. The Pioneer History Center is open year-round as a self-guided tour. While in Wawona, a must see is Chilnualna Fall, an easy walk from The Redwoods in Yosemite.

For some of the most dramatic views of Yosemite, visit Glacier Point. As you look across Yosemite Valley from thousands of feet above, you'll gain perspective on more than just the park.

Tunnel View is one of the most photographed spots of Yosemite. Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridal Veil Fall, Cathedral Rock and Sentinel Dome are all on display before you. Photographers' tip: For the best photos, come back in the afternoon. The sun will be at your back, giving you the best lighting for breathtaking shots.

One of the few year-round waterfalls in Yosemite is Bridalveil Fall. While the spring thaw brings this beautiful cascade to its full potential, water flows year round, dropping 62 stories to the floor of Yosemite Valley. You can take a short walk to the base of the fall to get an up close look. You may want to bring an umbrella, however, as you may get wet.

El Capitan becomes to climbers and sightseers alike, as this single sheet of granite climbs 4000 feet in to the sky from Yosemite Valley below. In fact, El Capitan is the largest single piece of exposed granite on Earth. If you are in to rock climbing, El Capitan is the place to test your mettle, as thousands of people each year pit themselves against this famous precipice.For photographers, El Capitan framed by a blue sky behind makes a beautiful photo.

Perhaps the most recognizable image of Yosemite is Half Dome. Visible from many points around Yosemite, Half Dome's sheer face was carved by the same glaciers that created the magnificent Yosemite Valley. While any view of Half Dome is beautiful, perhaps the best is from it's top. See www.nps.gov/yose for more information.

While Yosemite boasts many beautiful sights, it also lays claim to North America's highest waterfall: Yosemite Falls. The beautiful cascade is also among the world's top 10 highest. To get an up close look at Yosemite Fall, a short path takes you right to the bottom for an amazing look at this stunning formation.

For more information on Yosemite, visit their website.