Park and Ride: Yosemite National Park

“I’ve only been to a handful of other places that could possibly equal it but, after this visit, Yosemite may be the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.”

This blog post comes from our contributor, Michael James!

Yosemite National Park is set within California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and receives millions of visitors every year, undoubtedly one of the most frequented national parks in the US. It’s known for its giant sequoias, and for a number of iconic views like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, or Glacier Point, perhaps most notably made famous from photographs from the legendary photographer Ansel Adams.


I visited during the fall, and had the chance to beat some of the crowds of summer and enjoy a slightly milder temperature, perfect for day hikes and camping under the stars at night. The beautiful, sweeping meadows and crystal clear mirrored lakes surrounded by trees and backdropped by the mountains of Yosemite help keep things in perspective.


The larger-than-life rock faces towering several thousand feet into the clouds is extremely humbling, especially when you’re standing right in front of them, at only a fraction of their size. Merely driving through Yosemite is pretty incredible. The mountainous roads are some of my favorite to drive on and yield many vantage points to stop along the way and take in the view and, other times, just miles of road surrounded by pure nature.


The air is sharp and clear and, with every breath, you feel invigorated by something that could only be described as inspiration. Even if you don’t make it to all of the famous sites, there are plenty of trails and meadows you can explore, finding yourself on a serene river bank with absolute quiet, with nothing but gorgeous views and the sounds of morning soundtracking the scene.


Yosemite is a magical place to explore any time of year, and the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with both yourself and nature. I felt like I could have spent weeks here exploring the thousands of different trails and amazing sights. I suppose getting a taste of anywhere is all you need to draw you back to it so, with that, I know I’ll be visiting again. Here’s a stop I took while driving from Yosemite through the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was a remarkable sunset to say the least, and a nice farewell to Yosemite.


Check out more of Michael’s work on his Instagram!

+Where do you find inspiration in nature?

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5 years ago

What a wonderful place! Nature inspires me as well

5 years ago

This is one place i’ve yet to see, but it’s on my list. Those stars in the sky… my goodness!

Bonnie Chavez
5 years ago

Hi there! You should mention if you plan on staying at Yosemite other than backpacking you need to make reservations a year in advance. That said anything from Memorial day to Labor day 1016 is filled. If you love backpacking please be aware of the bears!
My backyard was Yosemite for many years until I moved to New Mexico.
By the way for a deep pocket splurge go to the Ahwahnee Hotel for any meal, it’s wonderful!

5 years ago

Yosemite has been on my “must see” list for so long now. I agree it’s one of the most beautiful places, especially in the states. Seeing your photos makes me want to spend an entire week there.

5 years ago

dying to go! the beauty is immeasurable! those stars!