Yosemite Valley received National Park status in 1880, as a result of the efforts of the pioneering Scottish naturalist John Muir, and has grown in popularity ever since. Yosemite Valley is the best-known feature of Yosemite National Park
, and is noted for both its waterfalls and its peaks. Famous peaks surrounding the valley include El Capitan, Three Brothers, Cathedral Spires, North Dome and Half Dome.
The waterfalls include Upper Yosemite, which makes a single drop of 1430 feet, equal in height to nine Niagara Falls. Vernal Falls drops 317 feet, Illilouette Fall 370 feet, Nevada Fall 594 feet, Bridalveil Fall 620 feet, and Ribbon Fall 1612 feet.
The fullest flow is during May and June while winter snows are melting. In mid-July, the falls may suddenly disappear until the first rains of the wet season.