Yosemite is the crown jewel of the National Park Service and it's iconic valley distills the grandeur of the western States better than any other single location.
Unfortunately, it's not hard to learn that the best aspects of our National Parks are quickly slipping away– The past few decades have brought a spike in litter and vandalism, the infrastructure built around maintaining the parks is aging into obscurity, and the impacts of climate change hovers over all of our public lands like a, sometimes literal, dark cloud.
That being said, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone willing to admit that dealing with the massive crowds of dirtbags, pseudo-influencers, and weekend warriors is not, in the end, worth it.
"Take only photos, leave only footprints." ◆