Spotlight: Midnight Moon Cabins In SoCal’s Idyllic Big Bear Lake Resort

The following is a guest post from the folks at Midnight Moon Cabin!

Reaching New Heights Of Style, Quality & Comfort: Midnight Moon Cabins In SoCal’s Idyllic Big Bear Lake Resort Invites Guests To Indulge In Romantic & Family-Friendly Adventures of a Lifetime

Southern California-Based Entrepreneur & Designer Sarah Salvatore Brings New Level Of Sophistication, Class & Contemporary Décor To The Big Bear Mountain Resort Vacation Rental Experience

It’s early in the work week and, not for the first time or the last, you find your mind drifting away from the mundane to the sublime. And in that moment of fantasy, you’re no longer seated at a desk, standing behind a counter, crowded around a conference table or glued to a computer screen. Instead, you’ve just been magically transported to a stunningly inviting mountain resort with a lake so blue no other color would dare taint it and a sky so clear no cloud would dare darken it.

Fortunately, for residents of Southern California and beyond yearning to rediscover their love of nature, recapture their youthful spirit of adventure, or rekindle their passionate sense of romance, translating such a common workday reverie into reality is as easy as driving to the nearby enchanted community of Big Bear Mountain in the glorious San Bernardino National Forest. And better still, experiencing this natural bastion of year-round recreation and excitement has never been as appealing as it is right now thanks to a forward-looking designer and real estate expert named Sarah Salvatore – the force behind the most modern, upscale, eco-friendly and unique vacation rentals to come along in the area in years: Midnight Moon Cabins.

Designing A Better Vacation Destination

Stylish yet homey, elegant yet bucolic, and supremely romantic yet eminently family and dog-friendly, Midnight Moon Cabins represents the best of all possible worlds to anyone visiting Big Bear – comfort, natural authenticity and stunning design all a short walk, drive or cross-country ski hike away from Big Bear Village and Big Bear Lake, as well as the star attractions for winter sports enthusiasts – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.

Located in different but equally picturesque areas of Big Bear, Midnight Moon Cabins is comprised of three vacation destinations that each have their own distinct sizes, settings, features and personalities but share the common goal of making vacationers feel both at home and yet a million miles away from home at the very same time.

Offering mid-century modern decor that celebrates minimalism and sustainable luxury, Midnight Moon’s three dog-friendly cabins include Moondance, Firefly and Moonshine. So let’s put on our parkas and ski boots and visit all three Midnight Moon Cabins now!

MOONDANCE – Modern comfort meets mountain charm at Moondance, where every design, décor and amenity has been carefully selected for maximum comfort. Welcoming local adventure-seekers and global travelers alike,  Moondance boasts a cozy open floor plan, inspiring mountain views, and two private bedrooms able to accommodate up to five guests looking for a truly unforgettable experience.

Nestled in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Big Bear, Moondance also offers visitors convenient access to the area’s varied mountain resorts, wilderness hiking paths, Big Bear Zoo (a new must-see attraction for families) and, of course, the town of Big Bear Lake Village.

FIREFLY – A picture postcard-worthy cabin offering couples, families and friends the perfect opportunity to escape, relax, and unwind, Firefly features stylish modern decor and thoughtfully appointed amenities. Situated in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Big Bear, Firefly has two bedrooms and accommodates up four guests. Explore miles of adjacent trails, walk two short blocks to the Bear Mountain and Snow Summit shuttle, or take a brief two-mile ride to Big Bear Lake Village. 

MOONSHINE – Like its two other Midnight Moon counterparts, Moonshine is another true work of art by Sarah that offers guests a one-of-a-kind getaway experience any time of the year. Offering the comfort of timely modern amenities combined with the majesty of timeless natural splendor, Moonshine is located in near proximity to all of Big Bear’s most desirable attractions and welcomes up to six guests per night.

All three Midnight Moon Cabins are surrounded by towering pines, are only a short drive away from pristine Big Bear Lake and are specially designed to offer visitors optimal luxury and comfort. In addition, all three Midnight Moon cabins have EV chargers – a unique amenity among vacation rental cabins in the Big Bear area.

Midnight Moon Cabin’s prices currently range from$299 to $499 per night, though prices vary seasonally and special offers are posted periodically throughout the year. Anyone interested in reserving a Midnight Moon cabin may visit www.midnightmooncabins.com

As Sarah puts it, “Whether you’re searching for the perfect romantic getaway in the mountains or a place to bring the whole family, Midnight Moon Cabins has got you covered. Adventurous couples can enjoy a day on the slopes or a romantic hike in the area. If cozy fireplaces and lazy snow days wrapped in luxe bedding are your style, then this is exactly where you will want to be.”

And a recent guest at Firefly wrote, “The details and design are what makes this place so unique. Its location is very convenient to all Big Bear has to offer and the hosts were very responsive and courteous. We also appreciated that they were so dog-friendly!”

Or as another guest raved: “As someone who appreciates a good eye for design, Sarah knocked it out of the park!”

Welcome To Big Bear

The jewel of the San Bernadino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s premiere four-season mountain lake escape destination. Located in the heart of Southern California – and close to Phoenix and Las Vegas – Big Bear invites travelers from near and far to enjoy such attractions as the pristine and fish-filled Big Bear Lake, countless mountain and lakeshore hiking trails, Bear Mountain ski resort (featuring terrain parks and learner slopes), the family-friendly Snow Summit ski resort and a diverse array of boutiques, gift shops and restaurants that line the streets of charming Big Bear Lake Village.

Meet Your Host!

With a multi-faceted background that includes running a theatre company, mastering the fine art of interior design and forging a successful career in real estate entailing several properties in California and elsewhere, Sarah Salvatore in 2018 set her sights on converting three optimally-located Big Bear cabins into idyllic bastions of romance, family togetherness and natural splendor.

According to Sarah, a mother of two who’s married to film composer, noted musician and Midnight Moon Cabins partner Troy MacCubbin, “Given the importance of tourism to Big Bear and the explosive growth of vacation rentals in the community, we found three years ago that many of the available cabins in the area were dated and old-fashioned. Our goal was to bring the Big Bear cabin experience into modern times while fully preserving the outdoorsy, all-natural mountain resort ambiance that defines the area.”

Calling upon a longtime passion for architecture, design and home renovation that enables her to do everything from decorate the inside of a house to drywall the outside of it, Sarah turned the three perfectly-situated cabins she and Troy purchased into veritable showpieces of warmth, luxury, coziness and functionality.

Summing up her Big Bear experience thus far, Sarah says, “Midnight Moon Cabins was born out of a dream I had that was shared and nurtured by my husband Troy – a fiercely faithful, brave and bold partner who believed in me so wholeheartedly and pushed me to be my bravest and best self. Today, our original dream has come true beyond our wildest expectations thanks to our cherished friends and neighbors in Big Bear as well as the wonderfully supportive guests we’ve welcomed over the past three years who make running Midnight Moon Cabins a genuine labor of love each and every day.”

To learn all about Midnight Moon Cabins, please visit www.midnightmooncabins.com

* Photos by Gianna Christina Photo.

Romantic Encounters of the Cruise Kind

If you will be cruising with someone you love sometime soon you may be looking for ways to amp up the romance. You’re in luck because I’ve created a list of ideas to help you wow your honey and have her thinking you are the king/queen of the lovey dovey!

  • Ask for a couple’s table at dinner. Instead of sitting with six to eight strangers you can request a private table on most cruise lines at dinner to really have some one on one time with your sweetie. If this isn’t possible then make sure to spend at least one evening at a private table in one of the restaurants on board.
  • Tell the cruise it’s your honeymoon. If you don’t want to lie then say it’s a second honeymoon, but either way make sure the word honeymoon is on the staff’s radar. Many cruise lines will place rose petals on the bed or fun tokens in the room to help set the mood.
  • Request champagne/wine and strawberries from room service. You can have this delivered upon arrival to your cabin or you could set it up for one evening after dinner.
  • Bring some non-flammable candles. Just because you’re on a cruise ship doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a night by candlelight even if it has no flame.
  • Skip an excursion at one of the ports of call and just spend the time with each other. You could walk the beach or just have lunch alone together.
  • Enjoy sunrise or sunset together. Grab a drink and possible even a snack and go to some area on the ship that isn’t overrun with people. This is much easier to do for sunrise, but if you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed early do this for sunset. Just sit and watch the sun go up or down and hold one another.
  • Get a couple’s massage. This may or may not be possible on the cruise you choose, but if your cruise line has couple’s massages make sure to try this. Then, afterwards just soak in the hot tub for a while to continue the good feelings.

Best Times for a Caribbean Cruise

For most of the year the weather in the Caribbean islands features average lows in the mid-70s to average highs in the mid-80s. With that in mind pretty much any time is a good time for a Caribbean Cruise, but when are the best times to go? The answer to this question depends on a few factors ranging from your budget to your travel needs and wishes.

According to several travel websites, the most expensive time to cruise to the Caribbean is in the summer months between June and August, spring break and during winter break from schools. The temperatures are generally higher in these months making for excellent swimming conditions. School is also out during these months and most families want to take vacations while their kids are off.

It’s important to note that because so many people are taking cruises the Caribbean during the summer these cruises are generally a very full. There will be a lot of people so if you prefer less people (especially less kids) around you then you should consider going in the slower season. June is also the beginning of hurricane season but the weather usually doesn’t get too bad until September and October.

The low/slow season and the cheaper time to cruise is April, May and September through January with the exception of spring and winter break from schools. December through April is also the driest time in the Caribbean with low humidity and less chance of rain. The catch with cruising during this season is the water is often a lot colder but for some people the smaller crowds, fleeing the cold weather of the north and cheaper cruise prices makes the colder water worth it.

Have you been to the Caribbean more than once? When is your favorite time to visit?

When is the Best Time to Plan Your Travel?

Ready, set, go! Wouldn’t it be great if traveling for vacations really worked that way? You pick a spot on the map and you just pack and go! Sadly, that privilege seems to only remain with the rich. So, the question is how can the average traveler decide on the best times to plan their trips?

First, you will need to decide on the details of the trip, i.e. the destination, whether you want cold temps or warm temps, when you can get time off from work and your budget. Once you have these ideas in mind the real research begins. The good news is that if you are working with a reputable travel agent you can bring your travel wishes to them and they can give you ideas for your vacation, but ultimately the final decisions will lie with you.

Once you have the logistics figured out of destination, budget, timing etc… it’s time to book the trip. Still, a question of when to book remains. In most cases your best bet is to book as soon as you nail down your trip goals. The sooner the better because you will have the best options on rooms, flights and transportation to name a few.

In the event you are choosing to visit a destination during its busy or peak season booking quickly becomes even more imperative as the cheaper accommodations can sometimes get snapped up so fast you will be left with either the priciest options or none at all. The same thing often goes for holiday traveling- the sooner you book the more options you will have!

With all of that said if you can book six months in advance great, but up to a year is even better! Besides, the sooner you book the sooner you can start making additional arrangements if needed such as canceling your mail, booking a pet sitter, putting in for the vacation time at work- you get the idea.

Romantic Destinations Worldwide

Whether you are planning an exciting couple’s escapade or a honeymoon, there are many romantic destinations worldwide to suit your taste. If you and your lover are seeking somewhere with that perfect ambiance for your next vacation, read on because we found some of the most romantic destinations in the world:

  • Venice – A ride in the gondola truly symbolizes the magic and romance of this city. Ride down the canals with your lover and enjoy the sites of Venice. Dine in stylish Italian restaurants by the canals and get lost in old brick passages while you stumble upon Italian squares and churches. Venice is definitely the place that can make you fall in love again.
  • Seychelles – These Indian Ocean islands located off the coast of Africa were home for some of the most amazing people in the world. It’s extraordinary, out of the way location makes it an incredible place to spend time with your loved one. There are many spas, golf courses, tropical drinks, and fishing trips ready to make your romantic trip unforgettable. Honeymoon here and you may never want to leave.
  • Maldives – These 23 small coral islands are barely above ocean water and the reefs in the area are teeming with life. And yet, even though they bustle with ocean life, they are quiet and secluded.
  • Tuscany – Villas, vineyards, and historic Italian towns, this entire place billows with a sense of adventure and love. Stay in cozy villas, eat the finest food, and bike through the amazing vineyards to drink the top class wine.
  • Bruges – This medieval city in Brussels may not jump to the front of your mind as a romantic destination, but the setting of the place will take you back to a simpler time that feels just right to reconnect with that special someone. The town has certainly protected its history to our benefit allowing visitors to walk through the ancient city lanes hand in hand and relax at sweet cafes filled to the brim with charm and love. A step back in time- perhaps this is the way every romantic getaway should feel.

Top 10 Reasons Why a Group Cruise Works For Everyone

If you have already been on a cruise once in your life, then you already know why they are such a wonderful value for the money. For your next cruise though, I’d like to suggest making it a group getaway. Let’s take a quick look at the top 10 reasons why a group cruise works for everyone.

  1. The number one reason to bring your pals or family along for a cruise is the financial savings. When you have a group of 10 people or more there is generally a group rate offered. However, this rate and the minimum number of people required to get it varies by cruise line. Call your travel agent for details.
  2. You’ll be less likely to sit with strangers at dinner. For large groups cruise lines generally seat you all together.
  3. Your savings could carry over to excursions. When your group is booking ask about group rates for excursions. Because tour guides want to book as many seats as possible, you might just get another deal!
  4. Custom excursions may be available to you. Depending on the size of your group, your cruise line might be able to put together a special excursion just for your party. For example, Royal Caribbean has been known to put together scavenger hunts, special dinners and private excursions not available to everyone on the cruise.
  5. You might get extra perks on board such as chocolates in your room, bottles of champagne or even a private cocktail party just for bringing your closest friends and family.
  6. On board entertainment is included and there are several options for what to do to be entertained. No more worrying about what to do outside of the excursions!
  7. The head of the group might get cash just for putting the trip together. There are some cruise lines that offer cash incentives, free cabins and additional discounts to the person in charge as a thank you for bringing them the business.
  8. It will be a fabulous bonding experience. Group cruises are ideal for family reunions and weddings because of this! They are also great for companies looking to boost employee morale.
  9. There will be something for everyone. Regardless of the type of trip the people in your group are hoping for, odds are at least one activity will speak to their interests.
  10. All the legwork will be handled for you. When planning a big group get together there are so many details that the hosts generally get “stuck” with. But, when you decide to do a cruise, all of the specifics are taken off your shoulders. I, along with the cruise line, will make the phone calls, arrange the travel accommodations, handle the payments, etc… You just get to show up and enjoy!

Common Mistakes Made When Choosing What Foods To Pack For A Camping Trip

Camping is a popular activity, enjoyed by many people throughout the nation. But when it comes to food and preparing meals, especially when it comes to backpacking, mistakes can be easy to make.

When one goes backpacking, they are carrying everything, from their shelter to all the clothes they need to, yes, their food, on their back. So naturally one tries to reduce the weight they are carrying as much as possible. One of the heaviest things that go into one’s pack can be food.

In an effort to make one’s backpacking experience more enjoyable, one needs to find the balance between low weight foods that also provide enough calories to fuel the strenuous activity involved with backpacking. There are several ways to reduce the weight of one’s meals.

The first thing one should do is select foods that are, by nature, already low on weight. Items such as dehydrated noodles and nuts are not heavy, and also provide sufficient nutrition for hiking. There are several companies that sell freeze-dried meals that are light weight, but these are often expensive and are often not particularly very tasty.

Another thing one should look at to reduce weight is packaging. Foods such as tuna fish and chunk chicken are excellent for backpacking, as they are quite nutritious and do not require refrigeration, but are often found in heavy aluminum containers that sometimes require a can opener to open.

However, it is becoming increasingly more common to find in groceries stores, on the same aisle, often next to the heavy aluminum containers, tuna fish and chicken in lightweight, easy to carry pouches.

Backpackers should plan their hikes so that they do not carry too much food or too little food. For a short, weekend hike, one can carry all their food with them. However, for longer hikes, such as through-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, one has the option to buy food at one of the many towns along the trail, or you can buy food at home and ship it to destinations along the trail.

Camping meals do not need to be complex! A meal of chicken flavored Ramen noodles with some chunk chicken thrown in can be just as satisfying as chicken cordon bleu with a side of red skinned mashed potatoes, not to mention a lot less stressful to prepare.

While the idea of cooking over the campfire is romantic, one should always carry a stove with them. Luck would have it that all the available firewood is wet, the lighter won’t strike or the matches are wet, or you end up in an area with no firewood at all. Having a stove would take this unfortunate situation and make it a negligible fact.

Finally, throw your trash away! Trash thrown on the trail harms the environment and makes it less enjoyable for other hikers. If you’re in an area where there are no trash cans, carry it with you until you get to one.

Just make sure that if you’re in an area known for bears, you hang your food and trash in a tree. If everyone keeps their trash off of the trails, they will remain beautiful for generations to come.

Yellowstone National Park The First Us Park

A plume of hot magma under the Earth’s crust, combined with Yellowstone’s geologic diversity, creates a dynamic array of geothermal features at Yellowstone National Park, such as the famous Old Faithful and the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Within the park are about one-half of all the world’s known thermal features, including geysers and hot springs, as well as bubbling mud pots and steaming vents, known as fumaroles.

Wildlife at Yellowstone National Park

Wolves were reintroduced into the park in 1995 and since then have developed a cult following second only to the park’s grizzly and black bears, which create “bear jams” during the heavy summer traffic.

The Northern Range of the park has been aptly called the American Serengeti, and it’s no wonder with the abundance of bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn, deer, elk, and moose seen there. And don’t forget the coyotes, foxes, bobcats, lynx, and mountain lions. Yellowstone has the highest concentration of mammals in any state but Alaska, according to the park service.

Learning Programs and Guide Services

The vast majority of park visitors just drive through the park to enjoy roadside wildlife and top features, including the Yellowstone River Waterfall. But Yellowstone takes on a whole new dimension via guided learning programs. Park rangers give interpretive nature and history lectures throughout the park. And seasonal Lodge and Learning programs are available from the Yellowstone Association Institute.

Other Activities include hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, boating, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and camping.

Attractions Nearby Yellowstone National Park

Majestic Grand Teton National Park and the John D Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway border Yellowstone’s southern entrance. Several hours to the east of Yellowstone is Bighorn Canyon National Recreational Area, straddling Wyoming and Montana.

Visitors may also want to soak in the hot spring-fed thermal pools at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray, Montana. The resort has an excellent restaurant, and day guests are welcomed to use the mineral-rich open-air pools for a small fee.

Yellowstone National Park Admission and Operating Hours

Basic admission is about $25 per vehicle for a 7-day visitor pass to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Although Yellowstone is open every day of the year, operating hours for visitor centers vary by season, and not all roads are open year-round. Park guides suggest you plan your visit carefully.

Allow several days to explore the 2.2 million-acre park, which is both a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

Directions and Lodging Info for Yellowstone National Park

The rectangular-shaped park is in the northeast corner of Wyoming, just overlapping Montana and Idaho, and can be approached from multiple directions.

 North Entrance: Highway 89 South past Gardiner, Montana, to the entrance.
 West Entrance: Highway 191 South past West Yellowstone, Montana, to the entrance.
 South Entrance: Highway 89 North through Grand Teton NP to the entrance.
 East Entrance: From Cody, Wyoming, Highway 20 West to the entrance.
 Northeast Entrance: Highway 212 South past Silver Gate, Montana, to the entrance.

Lodging is available in the park through Yellowstone National Park Lodges or in towns near the park’s five entrances.

Yellowstone National Park Wildlife to Keep an Eye Out For

Yellowstone National Park is the second-largest park in the U.S. outside of Alaska, and it teams with wildlife. Following are some of the notable mammals in Yellowstone.

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho) is diverse and abundant. Noted for the many species of plants and animals found within its borders, the park has several types of mammals, including some that are truly majestic. Following is some of the mammal wildlife in Yellowstone.

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park: Grazing Animals (Bovids)

There are several different species of grazing animals found in the park. American bison are often seen feeding in the open meadows adjacent to wooded forested areas, often in small herds. Mule deer and occasional whitetail deer, as well as elk (which are very numerous in the park), and moose are the deer species that can be found in Yellowstone. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats live in the higher elevations in the park, and pronghorn can be found grazing in meadows and grassy areas.

Predatory Mammal Wildlife in Yellowstone

Black bears and grizzly bears, which feed on vegetation, carrion, and animals that they can catch, live in the park, as do gray wolves, coyotes, and foxes, all of which are the main predators that are found in open areas and meadows. In mountainous, rocky, and heavily wooded areas, cats hunt. Mountain lions hunt larger prey, such as deer in these places, and lynxes and bobcats hunt small rodents and animals like rabbits. Raccoons are at times found in Yellowstone, as are martens, minks, weasels, badgers, and wolverines. Wolverines are rare in the park, but they are some of the most successful hunters and some of the bravest animals, which will confront larger predators such as bears. Otters and skunks also live within the park’s boundaries.

Rodents and Other Animals in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

There are several types of rats, mice, shrews, and voles that live in Yellowstone. These smaller animals are often preyed upon by coyotes, foxes, members of the weasel family, bobcats, snakes, and birds of prey. Gophers, marmots, beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, and porcupines, as well as rabbits (desert and mountain cottontail, jackrabbits, and snowshoe hares), are often seen in the park’s meadows and shrubby areas. Smaller pikas are also found in higher elevations, where they feed on vegetation. Ten different species of bats are also known to inhabit the park.

Wildlife in Yellowstone: Mammal Life

Different animals tend to inhabit different environments within Yellowstone. Although bison, elk, deer, moose, and pronghorn (the fastest animal in the western hemisphere) are usually found in meadows or forested areas in lower elevations, bighorn sheep and mountain goats are seldom seen because they remain more in rocky areas in higher elevations. Wolves and bears tend to be spotted by park visitors in the lower elevations, while felines are more solitary mammals that hunt in more secluded forests or in rocky, mountainous areas. As big cats require large individual territories, they sparsely populate the park, and anyone who gets the chance to see a cougar is lucky indeed.

Wildlife in Yellowstone is diverse and unspoiled. There is likely no better place in the United States to get a better chance to see so many beautiful animals and such natural beauty.

Why Yosemite National Park Must Be On Your USA Bucket List

Yosemite Valley, pronounced “Yosemitee,” a name meaning “Grizzly Bear” in Native American, is located in California’s Sierra Nevada in the central region of California. Declared a national park in 1890, it is more than a mere beauty spot.

Reasons to see the Spectacles of Yosemite

This extraordinary area contains special features due to its dramatic geological past, namely, pressures within the Sierra fault thrusting huge mounds of granite monoliths upwards and over at an angle. Over millennia, these monoliths have been carved by ice ages, glaciers, and meltwater.

When the most recent ice age ended 10,000 years ago, the already deep Yosemite Valley was filled with a lake, which slowly silted up. The result is huge granite cliffs overhanging a fertile valley floor. It is no wonder that Yosemite is a catalog of wonders.

Sightseeing the Chief and Half Dome for Challenging Climbs

El Capitan, or the Chief, is one of the tallest sheer cliffs in the world. Overlooking the Merced River and surrounding woodland, it towers a dizzying 3,000 feet (900 meters) above. A similar cliff, the Half Dome, so named because of its sheer cliff face and rounded rear hump, rises 2,200 feet (670 meters) from the valley floor.

Visiting Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls

The seemingly endless Yosemite Falls is the sixth highest in the world and the highest in North America. The waters plummet a staggering 2,425 feet (739 meters) in three huge leaps. Incidentally, several other waterfalls found in the valley are some of the highest in the world. But Bridalveil falls, adjacent to El Capitan, is a little different. It plummets, by comparison, a moderate 620 feet (190 meters) but below, the water suspends itself in a misty veil, explaining the name.

Sequoia, the Biggest Trees in the World

Amongst the incredible flora and fauna that can be found in the fertile lands of Yosemite Valley is the sequoia tree. Growing to 200 feet (60 meters) or more, they are not as tall as the giant redwoods that can be found in Western California but have more girth and, therefore, bulk. This makes them the biggest in the world. The Grizzly Giant found in the Mariposa Grove is estimated to be 2700 years old.

Travel in Yosemite

Yosemite valley contains an extraordinary amount of special features within one area, namely El Capitan, one of the tallest sheer cliffs in the world, Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfalls in North America, and the sequoia, the biggest tree in the world. This is without considering the extraordinary light effects the weather has upon this dramatic landscape.

A spectacular view can be found from Glacier Point, 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) above the valley. John Muir, a Scottish conservationist and naturalist who worked tirelessly in the valley, wrote about its beauty, “No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite…as if into this mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures.”