This Stunning Footage Proves That Yosemite National Park Could Be The Eighth Wonder Of The World

When you live in a state as beautiful as California – especially Northern California – sometimes you forget that the beauty we are surrounded by daily is somebody else’s “view of a lifetime.” This is especially true when it comes to Yosemite. We carry on our everyday lives, aware, but not really fully conscious of the fact that one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the entire world is right in our backyard.

If you grew up in California, you probably spent time in school learning about the history and the geology of Yosemite National Park. We’ve all seen the iconic Ansel Adams photos of El Capitan. Maybe you were lucky enough to take a field trip here.

Maybe you took a family vacation here. If your family is anything like mine, this meant you piled into the back seat with your siblings and complained loudly about the heat, the lack of acceptable snacks, or the fact that your brother poked you when Mom wasn’t looking. When you tumbled out of the car, you moaned about all of the tourists blocking your view, or that your thighs were burning as you marched up the steep switchbacks to the top of Yosemite Falls. At the top, Mom made you pose for pictures with Dad. You cracked a joke that his bald head was the “Whole Dome” to complement Half Dome in the distance. He scooped you up and threatened to toss you over the edge. You flailed and squealed for Mom as he laughed and swung you back to solid ground. You gave him the silent treatment for about 20 minutes, until you needed the lifesaving water bottle stashed in his backpack.

Don’t take this place for granted. People travel from around the world to experience a place that we too often shrug off as “oh yeah, I’ve been there.” This place is magical. If you are standing at the edge of these ancient cliffs, thousands of feet above the valley floor, and you aren’t pondering your very existence within the universe, you aren’t looking hard enough. Maybe this incredible video of the harrowing hike up Half Dome, shared on YouTube by Amazing Places on Our Planet, will inspire you:

I went back to Yosemite recently. I must have hit the sweet spot for travelling, right before the summer hoards unloaded from the tour busses and swarmed the trails. We rented bikes and took off down the path to Mirror Lake. At one point, I tore my eyes away from the great granite cliffs towering around me long enough to realize a coyote was running through the fields beside me, playfully keeping pace with me as a peddled along. Her pups joined in a few minutes later, keeping a safe distance, but obviously enjoying the adventure as well. I live here, I thought. This is real life.

What a wonderful world we have. Never forget this.

To see more breathtaking footage like this, check out the Amazing Places on Our Planet YouTube channel. You will find hundreds of other incredible videos showing off the best our beautiful planet has to offer!