YOSEMITE — As we come to the end of what can only be described as a “unique” 2020, we are indeed grateful that places like Yosemite have remained intact and protected through these challenges. Thanks to the foresight and commitment of countless advocates throughout the last century, Yosemite remains a sanctuary – what some might even consider a temple – of the precious values of wilderness and nature.
Through this past year, Virtual Yosemite has continued expanding their VR coverage of Yosemite National Park – which enables those who can’t get here in person to realistically explore the beauty and majesty of the park from their homes and desktops.
Thanks to the gracious support of our friends at the Yosemite Conservancy, yosemitehikes.com, Mountain Tools, and national park staff members, Virtual Yosemite has been able to navigate the challenges of park closures, the cumbersome and unpredictable permit process of the recreation.gov website, and marveled at the valiant efforts to protect visitors and staff from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the past year, they’ve added more than 80 new locations (now totaling over 300) to their 360° Yosemite VR experience, each complete with ambient sounds, captions, and GPS/map location info. Virtual Yosemite has been recognized by numerous publications as one of the top interactive VR location experiences online.
Among their new locations covered this past year:
The Three Brothers and Manure Pile Buttress
The Yosemite Climbing Association Museum
Highlights of the Pohono Trail
Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) training
Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias
Lukens Lake and May Lake trails
The Comet Neowise above Turtleback Dome
The Wawona Swinging Bridge
Tenaya Lake area
Mt. Dana Trail
The Blue Jay Fire along Tioga Road
The beautiful and unique Lyell Canyon Trail
An amazing underwater granite arch in Tuolumne Meadows
Eastern Sierra fall colors (Lundy and Lee Vining Canyons)
Fall in El Cap Meadow, and “snowliage” (snow and fall foliage) in Leidig Meadow
With continuing support, they’re planning much more VR photography and park coverage throughout the year ahead. Of course, you and their many viewers help them continue their expansion with your kind remarks and promotion of the Virtual Yosemite site to your friends, publications, and social media channels.
Best wishes to you all for the holidays, as well as a rejuvenated and adventurous year ahead!