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About Yosemite Valley

Carved out of the granite by ice age glaciers, Yosemite Valley, the heart of Yosemite National Park, stands as one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring sights in the world. Yosemite Valley is a popular attraction for visitors from all corners of the globe.

Meandering through the valley is the Merced River. Although congested in summer, the scenic drives that follow the Merced on both sides can provide guests with a lovely overview of Yosemite Valley. There are a number of places along these drives where visitors can stop to explore Yosemite Valley highlights.

As you drive into the valley from the south on Highway 41 you pass through the Wawona tunnel and encounter the amazing vista of Inspiration Point. The entire Yosemite Valley spans out before you. Majestic El Capitan is seen on your left, the split granite rock of Half Dome in the center and Bridalveil Falls spills down into the Merced River from the cliffs 620 feet above Yosemite Valley. There are many other waterfalls that can be enjoyed from various points in Yosemite Valley, including Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls. There are various levels of hiking trails that can be taken to visit the waterfalls and other valley sights.

There are many meadows, wooded areas, flowery meadows, trails and picnic areas in Yosemite Valley that can be explored and enjoyed. Further in towards the eastern end of the valley are the developed areas with parking areas, campgrounds, shops, hotels, stables, restaurants, visitor information centers and activity centers..

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