Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite National Park, located in central California near the border of Nevada, is recognized for its giant sequoia groves, granite cliffs, waterfalls and multiple lakes. El Capitan, a granite cliff that looms above Yosemite Valley, is a popular destination for rock climbing. Along with the famed Mirror Lake, the park is also home to Tenaya Lake and Merced Lake.
On the east end of Yosemite Valley is Mirror Lake, so named because of the reflection of Mt. Watkins on the surface of the lake. Native Americans use the Indian name of "Wai-ack," which means "water rock." Although one of the smaller lakes in Yosemite National Park, it is frequently visited and photographed due to its striking visual presence.
Tenaya Lake is the largest lake in Yosemite National Park. The Indian name of Tenaya means "shining rocks," referring to the glacial polish that exists all around the lake. The lake is just west of the Tuolumne Meadows, one of the most-visited areas of the park. From this lake, you can access the Pacific Crest Trail and some of the higher points in the park like Mount Lyell.
Merced Lake is located 13 miles upstream from Yosemite Valley. The lake connects to the Merced River, which is the main river that runs through Yosemite National Park. By the lake is Merced Peak, on the southern end of the park boundary, and Merced Grove, home to a multitude of giant sequoias. There are many areas to camp by the lake and explore the natural wildlife and wonders of the park.
Article Written By Susanna Lo
Susanna Lo is an established writer, director and producer who won awards in The Berlin and Montreal film festivals. She is a member of PEN and WGA. Her parents worked for the airline and hotel industries and she's been traveling since infancy. Lo has lived in Europe, Asia, South America and North America and speaks five languages. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication.