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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

My favorite vacation spot: the glorious — and nearby — Yosemite Valley

Bryan Zhao
The winter view of Yosemite covered in a fluffy blanket of snow.

In the brutal summer heat, students wait in line at Falcon Fest, with many complaining about the long wait. Conversations revolve around students’ summer vacations often spring up, and many are quick to  highlight their vacation spots all across the globe: China or France or even a random tropical island. After having the opportunity to eavesdrop on some of these conservations, however, it pains me that my fellow students neglect to mention going to some of the greatest vacation spots that can be found in our own state.

Roughly every two years, my family and I travel 175 miles to  a nearby treasure: Yosemite. Whether the valley is icy and snow covered or sunny and verdant, it is without a doubt one of the best places to relax anywhere on the planet. 

What makes Yosemite special is the variety of activities to do in the National Park. If you enjoy aquatic pursuits, you can enjoy whitewater rafting and kayaking along the numerous streams and rivers that flow throughout the park. Along the rush of the rivers mists splash over hikers on trails that reveal stunning views of the valley. Brave mountain climbers scale El Capitan, while dozens of hikers follow trails alongside Yosemite Falls. In addition, ski resorts such as Badger Pass operate inside the boundaries of the park, giving those who travel in the festive season a chance to both glide along the mountaintops and catch the views of a snow blanket.

What I enjoy the most about Yosemite are the views when you reach the tops of trails like the scenic Glacier Point. The mountaintops on the side of the valley tower over the thin valley trickling through the middle of the mountains. From the valley, it seems as if the mountains touch the sky, and from the top of the mountains, you can see panoramic views of the valley and other surrounding mountains after grueling hikes.

In a world where the allure of distant paradises often takes center stage in our vacation plans, it’s important to remember that hidden gems can be found right in our own backyards. Others coming back from their summer trips may boast of having gone to Bora Bora or Europe, but for me, the bragging rights should go to those who have experienced all the glories of the Golden State.

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