Merced Beauty - Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite is situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is one of the most famous and most visited national parks in the US. For those of us that love the outdoors, Yosemite has everything: granite cliffs, waterfalls, rivers, streams, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers and sequoia trees, Yosemite has enchanted many for a long time. Galen Clark first championed the protection of Yosemite Valley, leading Abraham Lincoln to sign the Yosemite Grant in 1864. He was followed by John Muir, whose efforts helped establish a larger area beyond the valley to be included in what was to become a national park. The park gained even more acclaim through the photography of Ansel Adams. Adams' photo of Half Dome in 1927 named "Monolith" and his subsequent amazing black-and-white photos made Yosemite a must-visit location to the public. Yosemite's popularity continues today as more than 5 million people visited the park for the first time in 2016.