The image is renowned: Half Dome looms above the valley with a commanding height of 8,800 feet and has challenged climbers since the late 19th century. However, there is so much more to Yosemite National Park than one famed granite dome. In fact, the valley floor is an ever-changing landscape filled with rushing streams, and bursting with flora and fauna. Due to the harsh winters, the park is packed during the summer months; however, crowds should not deter one from taking in one of America’s most majestic national parks. The Panorama Trail to Glacier Point provides 360-degree views of staggering peaks descending into a deep and rich valley floor. There are abundant trails to explore – from easy novice hikes to highly technical ones – but all provide a window into one of our richest national landmarks. As touristy as it sounds, it’s beneficial to start a visit with a Yosemite Valley Floor Bus or Tram tour. This puts the park into perspective and will help you find your boundaries for the remainder of your visit. Lodging at the park is expensive, yet extremely modest. The grand Ahwahnee Hotel built in 1927 and on the National Register of Historic Places has been sadly renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel due to an unfortunate legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Delaware corporation that owns the building. However, the Cottages at the hotel remain the best place to stay within the park, and the famed dining room and lodge do not disappoint. One could spend a lifetime exploring Yosemite and still not see all of it; however, the changes in elevation combined with the rich flora and fauna and the history of Native Americans who inhabited the land make it one of the country’s most compelling and enthralling national parks. Though it may be a far trek for some to reach it, Yosemite will astound with her unparalleled vistas. Go West!