Waterfalls. Granite cliffs. Giant Sequoias. Wildflowers. El Capitan. You get the picture. As one of America's oldest and grandest National Parks (thanks, John Muir!), Yosemite National Park range needs little explanation. While there is a lotto do at Yosemite, many first-time visitors to the park are so overwhelmed by the natural splendor and sheer size of the place (it's 1,189 square miles, about the size of Rhode Island) that they don't stray too far from the highly-trafficked tourist zone in Yosemite Valley. However, venturing off on the park's 800 miles of hiking trails is rewarding. Just don't forget your compass.
Historic hike-toid: Although Yosemite officially became a National Park in 1916 when the NPS was formed, a park bill signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1864 made Yosemite the first area of park land to be set aside for preservation and public use by the federal government.