15 Beautiful Reader-Submitted Photos Celebrate Yosemite on Its 150th Birthday

To celebrate the park’s enduring beauty, check out some incredible Yosemite pictures from our photo contests

Sunset in Cook's Meadow Chris Wayne
A storm forming over El Captain Rex Naden
Sunrise over Conness Lake Hark Lee
View of the sunset from Taft Point Chet Burgess
The view of Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point after a rare Spring snow storm. Monica Cummings
Sunrise over Convict Lake Jeff Lewis
A lone tree in Yosemite Valley Erion Cuko
Tunnel View at dawn under a blanket of fresh snow. Douglas Croft
The base of Vernal Falls Aaron Feinberg
A star filled sky over the Half Dome Ravinda Murthy
Sunset on Lower McCabe lake Leonard Chavez
A horse path through Yosemite Valley Corinne Trujillo
View of Half Dome from Glacier Point, right before sunrise. Aidan Sellars
A man standing at the base of the Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove. Joanne Freemire
A dogwood tree hangs over Merced River. Rex Naden

150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, setting aside a vast swath of land in eastern and central California to become Yosemite National Park. In doing so, he ensured the preservation of the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias—and helped launch the national parks movement, setting precedent for the public preservation of natural spaces. To celebrate the park's 150 anniversary, Yosemite will host a panoply of events all year long, including a project to restore Mariposa Grove, which includes 500 mature giant sequoias—some of the oldest organisms on Earth. 

Obviously, the best way to experience the beauty of the park is to visit—Yosemite receives around 3.7 million visitors annually, and park officials estimate that number will increase this year due to the anniversary activities. But if you can't make it out to California to enjoy the park's natural wonders for yourself, we've pulled together 15 beautiful images, submitted by Smithsonian.com readers to our annual photo contests, to help you experience the majesty of Yosemite from wherever you might be.

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