These gorgeous photos of Yosemite National Park in California will make you appreciate the beauty of America’s public lands. Check out the full set of photos on Huffington Post: http://on.doi.gov/1IC9xT6 For more stunning photos of national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands, follow @USInterior on Instagram: www.instagram.com/USInterior Top photo: Yosemite Valley, with El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from the valley and Half Dome in the background, taken from Tunnel View. Photo courtesy of Toby Harriman. Middle photo: El Capitan’s Dawn Wall by National Park Service. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made history for being the first to free climb Dawn Wall, which is considered the toughest climb in the world. Bottom photo: Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center within Yosemite National Park by Sean Goebel (www.sharetheexperience.org).

9 incredible photos of the guys about to make history on this 3,000-ft vertical mountain 

Two men are about to make history climbing a 3,000-foot vertical wall of granite on the monolith El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in California. As if that weren’t enough of a feat, the two are throwing in an additional challenge: They’re making the climb using only their hands and their feet.

I was in Yosemite National Park last week as Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson were in the midst of their history making climb. I’m always amazed when people push themselves to the limits for a seemingly impossible task. Kind of makes our daily struggles seem more managable by comparison, I guess. I obviously couldn’t really see them in action, but made this photo to try and capture the insanity that these guys were up against. (Those are their tents in the lower right hand corner.) Congrats to them! Check out this photographer’s photos for up-close action. Pretty amazing. http://instagram.com/coreyrichproductions/

A dusting of snow turns Yosemite National Park in California into a winter wonderland. Ed Cooper captured this winter view of the southwest face of El Capitan – the largest monolith of granite in the world. Rising more than 3,000 feet above Yosemite Valley’s floor, El Capitan is a favorite for experienced rock climbers. 

Photo courtesy of Ed Cooper.