1. The light

Morning light at Yosemite

Budd Creek Sunset, Tuolumne Meadows. (Photo: Steve Dunleavy/Flickr)

2. The reflections

Yosemite reflection

Dawn, Seavey Pass. (Photo: Steve Dunleavy/Flickr)

3. The bears

Yosemite bear

Photo: Don Quintana/Flickr

4. The waterfalls

Yosemite waterfall

Horsetail Falls. (Photo: Mike Overall/Flickr)

5. The hikes

Yosemite hikes

Photo: Kai Schreiber/Flickr

6. The colors

Yosemite colors at Merced River

Merced River, Little Yosemite Valley. (Photo: Steve Dunleavy/Flickr)

7. The seasons

Seasons of Yosemite

Photo: Vincent Lock/Flickr

8. The birds

Birds at Yosemite

Steller's jay. (Photo: Anita Ritenour/Flickr)

9. The drives

Driving at Yosemite

The last switchback before Glacier Point. (Photo: Dawn Endico/Flickr)

10. The stars

Stargazing at Yosemite

Milky Way at Tunnel View. (Photo: Snooked123/Flickr)

11. The challenges

Half Dome cables. (Photo: Steve Dunleavy/Flickr)

12. The wildflowers

Wildflowers at Yosemite

Photo: Dawn Ellner/Flickr

13. The sunsets

Sunset at Yosemite

Sunset, Lyell Canyon. (Photo: Steve Dunleavy/Flickr)

14. The critters

Marmots at Yosemite

Marmots at Tuolumne Meadows. (Photo: Dawn Ellner/Flickr)

15. The serenity

Serenity at Yosemite

Tunnel View. (Photo: Vicent Lock/Flickr)

This is part of Explore America's Parks, a series of user's guides to national, state and local park systems across the United States.

Related parks stories on MNN:

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

15 reasons to visit Yosemite
We let the photos do the talking in this tour of iconic Yosemite National Park.