By John Lerias (July 2000)
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I am quite amazed with the average 5-star rating of Epinion contributors and comments of most people about how fantastic Yosemite National Park is. Two years ago we visited Yosemite for the first time after having visited more than 35 national and state parks in the world of which 25 were in the US. We had ample time to explore the park by foot, biking and driving. It was mid October, the crowds - gone and the weather - great. We have heard first hand from people that crowds can be horrendous and traffic - bumper to bumper - in the valley.
We hiked several of the trails leading to view waterfalls, massive granite landscape and forested areas. We biked all along the valley crossing several bridges and mirror lakes and viewing spectacular scenery of massive grey rocks and high waterfalls.
Although the park was very scenic and enjoyable to visit with lots of good hiking trails and accommodations, for sheer beauty and splendor, Yosemite is WAY overrated in comparison to several other parks in the USA. There was nothing magical about the scenery in this park when you compare the euphoria we felt visiting places like Denali (Alaska), Canyon de Chelly (Arizona), Natural Bridges (Utah), Dead Horse Point (Utah), Yellowstone (Wyoming) and Bryce (Utah). Each of these parks have sceneries and hiking experiences that are unique and not found anywhere else in the world.
People who are tremendously impressed with the mediocrity of Yosemite should try visiting some of the parks mentioned above. I believe they will instantly appreciate the difference and the quality of the experience; and not to mention the magical sensation felt by being there.
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