Yosemite Valley9035 Village Dr, Yosemite Valley
Seven miles long and one mile across at its widest, Yosemite Valley is a mélange of sheer granite cliffs, plunging waterfalls and verdant meadows bisected by the clear Merced River. The Valley’s world famous sites include Yosemite Falls, the tallest free-leaping waterfall in North America, which drops in a foaming torrent of three tiers totalling a prodigious 2,425 feet/739 metres or nearly half a mile of vertical white water. There’s also iconic Half Dome, Yosemite’s most recognisable chunk of granite. With three smooth, rounded sides and one sheer vertical face, the dome’s bald pate appears as if it’s been sheared in half. The towering monolith of El Capitan rises 3,593 feet/1,095 metres above the Valley floor as 'the largest single piece of granite rock on earth', an irresistible challenge to daredevil rock climbers. Yosemite Valley also has man-made majesty, as seen in the National Historic Landmark Majestic Yosemite Hotel. This 1930s' architectural gem is adorned with massive hand stencilled timber beams, sandstone fireplaces and intricate stained glass windows.