Merced Tranquility - Yosemite National Park, California

If you do a search on the best national parks in the US or the world, two parks consistently appear in the top two spots, Yellowstone and Yosemite. Both parks evoke imagery that captures one's mind and soul. There is no doubt that these rankings attract hordes of visitors (and photographers) to them. The big difference is that Yellowstone is a lot larger at almost 3.5 thousand square miles vs. 1.2 thousand square miles for Yosemite. Most visitors to Yosemite stay primarily in the Yosemite Valley, which measures a minuscule 5.9 square miles. All this means is that Yosemite is extremely crowded throughout most of the year. When I visited Yosemite last September it was still very crowded, and finding anywhere in the valley where there were no people was hard. If you look hard enough, you can find some tranquil spots like this one near Sentinel Bridge on the Merced River.