If you are crav­ing por­tals to beauty, the Mag­nif­i­cent Moun­tain Loop (MML) of three Cal­i­for­nia National Parks offers trav­el­ers uncount­able “doors.” In one trip you can enjoy the tree giants of Sequoia National Park, the adjoin­ing won­ders of Kings Canyon National Park and the iconic delights of Yosemite.

This year, Yosemite shares the riches of nature and his­tory with a 150th anniver­sary. Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln signed the Yosemite Land Grant 150 years ago, cre­at­ing “the first pro­tected wild land for all time” and the “first state park in the world” accord­ing to the National Parks website.

Below are some quotes by past famous Yosemite vis­i­tors Ralph Waldo Emer­son, John Muir, Ansel Adams, and Pres­i­dent Teddy Roo­sevelt to inspire your own visit. There are also some tips to add lux­ury to your travel.

Every­body needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir


Accord­ing to the National Parks Ser­vices web­site: “In 1871, John Muir, and Ralph Waldo Emer­son, Amer­i­can Poet, and Tran­scen­den­tal­ist vis­ited the Mari­posa Grove of trees in Yosemite and Muir said to Emer­son in the grove: ‘You are your­self a sequoia. Stop and get acquainted with your big brethren.’ ”

Emer­son called Muir a “new kind of Thoreau” who gazed at sequoias of the Sierra instead of scrub oaks of Concord.”

In Yosemite, Grandeur of these moun­tains per­haps unmatched on the Globe; for here they strip them­selves like Ath­letes for exhi­bi­tion, &stand per­pen­dic­u­lar gran­ite walls, show­ing their entire height, & wear­ing a lib­erty cap of snow on their head.” From Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Journal.


In 1903, Pres­i­dent Theodore Roo­sevelt requested to meet with Muir in Yosemite, and Muir encour­aged him to sleep under the stars– a night that led the pro­tected area to be expanded and trans­formed into a National Park.

It was like lying in a great solemn cathe­dral, far vaster and more beau­ti­ful than any built by the hand of man.”- Roosevelt

Sleep­ing under the stars like Muir and Roo­sevelt may be the rich­est way to enjoy the nature of the park 24/7, but if you are look­ing for more pam­per­ing nur­ture in your visit, the Tenaya Lodge offers lovely lux­ury rooms, concierge ser­vices, the Embers restau­rant and the Ascent Spa with sig­na­ture organic treat­ments. The Ahwah­nee Lodge’s legacy din­ing room is worth at least one mem­o­rable meal.  Yosemite Lodge inside the Park affords win­dow views of the Yosemite Falls, and great access to the park’s sites, trails and shut­tle system.

For those that want to cel­e­brate the resiliency of nature with some per­sonal rushes,OARS is now offer­ing river raft­ing in the Tuolumne River.  (I haven’t yet tried their river trips but hear good things.)