Why I Keep Going Back To Yosemite

I find myself going to Yosemite National Park at least twice a year.  If you haven’t been there, it is a massive park, but the most iconic locations are in the six square miles of Yosemite Valley.  It is most well known for its massive waterfalls.  More on them later.

Tunnel View

It is hard to explain the draw that keeps me going back.  As a photographer there are practical reasons.  I will usually have a particular composition in mind and plan a trip accordingly.  But, this is almost an excuse to justify a trip.

Is it the shear scale of the Yosemite Valley?  On every visit I go to Tunnel View.  Tunnel View is a scenic overlook by a tunnel, hence the name.  It is an iconic view over much of the valley.  Photographs kind of come out the same each time, so I rarely take a shot.  But, experiencing it first hand never gets old.

Old Friends

Is it how different it can be in different weather?  I go in late fall and winter usually.  It is very affordable then.  I really enjoy the winter because of how the white snow blankets the valley floor.  And, it is really exciting when it is snowing because it adds so much depth to photographs.  I thinks it’s these photos that truly show the grandeur of Yosemite.


Little Tree Alone

Is it the serenity?  Yosemite is known for being one of the most crowded National Parks in the United States with tales of gridlocked roads all day.  But, this is in the spring and summer.  In the winter and fall, it is a different story.  When I get there around sunrise, I sometimes feel I have the whole park to myself.  I know it’s not true, but for a few moments it is complete peace.

"Firefall" at Horsetail Falls 

Is it the waterfalls?  This is what so many go to see.  They are so large that they look scary from a mile away.  Artists call this ‘sublime.’  Sublime is the human response of enjoying something scary, like watching a scary movie.  There is also the almost yearly "Firefall" at Horsetail Falls.

The draw of Yosemite is an enigma.  It is kind of like art.  Art is also something that is hard to defined, but it is lots of things like expressive, creative and poetic.

Checkout the American Wilderness Gallery for Yosemite photos and more.