If You Could Visit Just One National Park…

We’ve not seen all 55 national parks in 23 months of the Isaiah 6:3 Tour, but I think we’ve seen all the ones that folks rave about. And as far as we are concerned, Yosemite NP takes first place by a wide margin, even considering the crowds of people you have to deal with. If you cannot see the face of God at every point of the compass in the Yosemite Valley, which is the heart (and only flat spot) of the entire park deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, then you are a desperately lost soul. It was impossible to get a reservation in the three campgrounds in the Valley, even though it is just short of the busy season, so we camped outside the park and commuted 50 wicked mountain miles one way for three days.

The Sierra Nevada’s got so much snow this winter that the waterfalls are flowing several times their usual spring flow. They do not look like falling water, they look like falling steam from afar, and from up close like millions of white phosphorous bomblets trailing white smoke. Some smaller falls totally vaporize before they reach the valley floor. Yosemite Falls, at 2,425 feet high, is the highest waterfall in North America and fifth highest waterfall in the world, and this spring it’s roaring like an F-100 flying low overhead.

The rocks are just as impressive as the waterfalls. El Capitan, rising 3,600 feet above the Merced River on the valley floor (4,000 feet msl) is the world’s largest monolith of exposed granite. Climbers come a from around the globe to challenge its imposing face. Half Dome, the other famous peak in the park, rises over a thousand feet higher than El Capitan. There’s also Sentinel Rock, with the seventh highest waterfall in the world—Sentinel Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls just below Cathedral Rocks. All these magnificent creations can be seen from the multiple points in the valley, many of them at the same time in a narrow valley that is only 14 miles in circumference. Just takes your breath away!

Shirt pocket digital cameras cannot begin to capture the splendor, but I’m going to post a few pics anyway. The God’s eye view of the valley below from the peak at Glacier Point is missing because the road to it won’t be cleared of snow till early July this year.

As Jesus’ disciple, Nathanial told his brother, “Come and see” for yourself. If you could visit just one national park in your life, make it this one. It must have been a Garden of Eden before mankind discovered it.  Come in the spring when the waterfalls are the most beautiful and beat the worst of the crowds. You’ll get a bonus of bountiful giant pink and white dogwood blooms and the new spring green of ancient oak behemoths amongst the even more ancient gigantic cedars, and 150 bird species celebrating spring will sing their hearts out for you. It’s a sanctifying experience.


Yosemite Falls


El Capitan


Bridal Veil Falls
and Merced River


Half Dome


“Tunnel Viewpoint”at western end of Yosemite Valley.
El Capitan on left, Half Dome at Center horizon,
Bridal Veil Falls below Cathedral Rocks at right.


Exuberantly blooming pink dogwood

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