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3. Yosemite National Park

California

Visitors in 2009 (through August): 2.7 million

Yosemite National Park lies east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada and offers visitors a varied landscape of deep valleys, vast meadows and groves of giant sequoia trees. Ninety-five percent of the park is designated as wilderness. It's best known for its spectacular waterfalls, which are at their most robust in spring.

More info:

nps.gov/yose

Related:

A different view of Yosemite's Half Dome

Hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls

Yosemite suited to a Model T

Tips for happy Yosemite National Park camping

FOR THE RECORD:

National parks: A previous version incorrectly said that Yosemite National Park lies west of San Francisco. The park is located in the Sierra Nevada east of the city.

Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
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