Cornforth Images

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park covers an area of 1,189 square miles over the Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is one of the first wilderness parks in the US, and is best known for its waterfalls, though you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and a vast wilderness area. Yosemite’s granitic rocks and remnants of older rock are a predominant part of its geology. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and then tilted to form its relatively gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes. The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in formation of deep, narrow canyons. Then about 1 million years ago, snow and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. The downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today.

There are many incredible and well known locations to photograph in Yosemite National Park. El Cap, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and the Merced River provide countless opportunities to every photographer who makes the journey to “The Valley”.