There is no single word that describes Yosemite National Park. John Muir described it as
"Nearly all the park is a profound solitude. Yet it is full of charming company, full of God's thoughts, a place of peace and safety amid the most exalted grandeur and eager enthusiastic action, a new song, a place of beginnings abounding in first lessons on life, mountain-building, eternal, invincible, unbreakable order; with sermons in stones, storms, trees, flowers, and animals brimful of humanity."
It is one of those places that you want to go back to every year but can experience something completely different each time. The Valley is hot and busy while the High Sierra's are vast and quiet. Roaring water falls, world class rock climbing, deep valleys and monstrous hikes.
While there, we eased in with Lembert Dome, which was a semi challenging 2.8 miles. The next day, we pushed ourselves with North Dome, which was 8.8 mile round trip that looked across to Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. We took a day break and drove into the Valley, where we got to stand at the foot of El Cap and cool off with Yosemite Falls. We were back to the High Sierra's on day 4, where we tackled the 14.5 mile Cloud's Rest. The hike pushed us to our brink as you gain 1,000 feet elevation in the first 2 miles, however, it was worth every step. The shear magnitude of the elevation thins out the crowds quickly, which is a breath of fresh air after the crowded Yosemite Valley. Once at the top, you realize that you are higher then both Half Dome and El Cap, while looking down at the entire valley. It was humbling to see the power of Mother Nature, which was made clear by the previously scotched landscape from the Ferguson Fires in 2018. Our last day was pure leisure as we drove into Mammoth Lakes for a beer and food that didn't come in a bag that required a cup of boiling water.
So how do you describe Yosemite in one word?
Grand? Serene? Massive? Peaceful? Indescribable? Incomparable? Majestic?