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Discovering Yosemite

Roberto Nickson


Behind the Shot

In a normal year, about 4 million people visit Yosemite National Park, one of the most-visited parks in the U.S. John Muir, the naturalist and champion of the establishment of Yosemite as a national park, wrote, “No temple made with human hands can compete with Yosemite.” In 1890, his dream came true. Congress set aside more than 1,500 square miles of land, and Yosemite National Park was officially established.

While the national park is large (about the size of Rhode Island), the majority of visitors congregate in the 7 square miles of Yosemite Valley. As valley visitors emerge from the 0.8-mile-long Wawona Tunnel at the Tunnel View portal, they are overwhelmed by a breathtaking panoramic view that is second to none. The often-crowded turnout looks eastward into the valley and provides a view of such famous valley features as Half Dome, El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall.

Roberto’s reaction matched that of other visitors, “My first time to Yosemite. I had always dreamed of visiting the park, and finally had the opportunity to go last year with my fiancée, Carleigh. A photographer's dream—Yosemite was everything it was made out to be. While hiking through the valley I looked up and saw a beautiful waterfall peeking behind the foreground of autumn trees. I thought it was a beautiful sight and snapped this photo.”