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How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?


Somewhere over Yosemite National Park. Photo by Jess Stryker.

Standing in the Yosemite Valley, it's easy to spot Half Dome, El Capitan, even Nevada Fall. But would you recognize those features from a jetliner?

Take a look at this photo, which I shot the other week, and see how many landmarks in Yosemite National Park you can identify. If need be, break out your magnifying glass.


Southwest often flies right over the park on the ONT to SMF route. Be sure to get a window seat on the mountain side and you can also get some good views of SEKI!

Many years ago Delta had an early AM flight from Fresno to Reno using an old beat-up 727. I flew on it many times when I lived in Fresno and was working on a project in the Reno area. The flight passed over Yosemite just above the minimum allowed altitude, so the view was spectacular. Each time the pilot would make a brief announcement about it, then he would dip the right wing way down as he flew over to allow a better view from the windows. It was almost like a sight seeing flight!

Most south to north flights from the LA area to Sacramento, Reno, and Oregon allow excellent views (assuming clear weather) of Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe. Get a window seat on the right side of the plane.

Yay Yosemite!!
Yay SEKI!!!
Have a good weekend :)

Years ago -- too many to remember -- Sandy and I were on a flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco. I had gotten myself a fine window seat on the port side of the plane, and there I sat with camera poised, ready to get some great photos of the Sierras. As I was about to take the first photo, the pilot came on the intercom to tell those of us on the port side of the plane that we should keep a sharp eye out for the space shuttle. By coincidence, it happened to be headed for a landing at whatchamacallit airbase in southern California at that exact moment. (I can't remember if it was landing there because of bad weather in Florida or what.) We didn't spot the space shuttle, darn it, so I had to settle for some pretty good photos of the Sierras.

Here are a few of the landmarks I've identified in the photo above. I'm by no means an expert. I'm sure many of you can add more, and I may be wrong on some of them too!

Here's a higher resolution copy of the photo:

And something for you SEKI fans (ie; SEquoia and KIng's Canyon National Parks):


You guys are slipping, nobody has yet to correct me that you can't see Nevada Fall from the Valley! It should be Yosemite Falls.

I just got back from hiking Yosemite but my flight back east flew right over both Zion and Arches. Many iconic features are clearly visible from 30,000 feet. Angel's Landing looks especially spectacular and it confirmed that the new Canaan Mnt wilderness on the park's south border was well deserved. I've seen the Grand Canyon quite clearly before but this time it was clouded over. On another trip west, I got a wonderful view of the Great Sand Dunes. That view made me move up that park on my near term itinerary (May 2010?). Flying is sure great for geography buffs.

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