Horsetail Fall is a small, ephemeral waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. For two weeks in February, the setting sun striking the waterfall creates a deep orange glow that resembles Yosemite's historic "Firefall."
While Yosemite National Park is known for its towering cliffs and giant waterfalls, the National Park Service also protects significant cultural resources. The Rangers' Club is one of five buildings in Yosemite with National Historic Landmark status.
Yosemite National Park is famous for its spectacular glacially carved landscape. Although glaciers have come and gone many times in the past, there are still two active glaciers near Yosemite's highest peaks. (8:34)
Since the glaciers retreated around 15,000 years ago, rock fall has been the major force of change in Yosemite Valley. Geologists work to understand this force of nature in order to protect the millions of visitors who come here each year.
Summertime visitors to Yosemite National Park miss many of the unique events of winter and early spring. Frazil ice flows are dramatic natural events that occur in the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley during March and April.
Explore the Tuolumne River from its glacial headwaters at 13,000 feet down through Tuolumne Meadows and into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Scientists and rangers describe the power this river has on the landscape and on the people who visit it.
When Joseph Walker passed through in 1833, there were none, but today, thousands of maps portray Yosemite National Park. From a land grant created during the Civil War, to modern computer mapping, these maps also tell the story of the protection of Yosemite.
The granite monolith of Half Dome is recognized throughout the world as an icon of Yosemite National Park. Thousands of visitors hike to the summit each year, rewarded with spectacular views and an experience that is not easily forgotten. (9:35)
Although most visitors are familiar with Yosemite Valley, 95 percent of Yosemite National Park is designated Wilderness. Free from roads and cars, this vast wilderness offers spectacular scenery, natural quiet, and the opportunity for solitude and reflection.
Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America, and is a powerful presence in Yosemite Valley. From winter ice to spring flood to autumn dryness, this magnificent waterfall is a dynamic force of nature.
From foothill elevations to high mountain peaks, hundreds of flower species are found throughout Yosemite National Park. Rangers and scientists discuss the rich botanical history and some of the rare plants found here.
In 1984, 83 miles of the Tuolumne River were added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System by Congress with an amendment to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This included 54 miles of the river within Yosemite National Park.