Best U.S. National Park Views
Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA
The View: Abe Lincoln established Yosemite Valley as public land in 1864, with good reason: the area is chockablock with misty rapids, granite monoliths, and towering sequoia trees. Crowds flock by foot and car to Glacier Point, but you can catch the same view—without the hordes of gawkers—at Sentinel Dome. It’s only a one-mile hike from the valley floor, yet earns you a 360-degree view of the park (including El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America).
Getting There: Start your hike at the Sentinel Dome trailhead, six miles east of the Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff on Glacier Point Road. You’ll wend through forest and wildflower-topped meadows before reaching the granite dome (it’s a quick scuttle from there to the overlook).