Filled with lush meadows, evergreen trees, and flowing waterfalls, this park offers glacier-carved sights and hikes at various difficulties. The park provides an escape to nature for residents and visitors of the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
Sample popular trails
Many of the popular trails are in Yosemite Valley and include the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail, Bridalveil Fall Trail, and Cook’s Meadow Loop. Some challenging trails include the Half Dome trail (requires permit to hike to the top) and the Four Mile Trail, which will take you to the amazing sights in Glacier Point. You can also see giants sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove and view the lush meadows and rivers in the Tuolumne Meadows.
Best time to go
Spring is a great time to visit the park as the flowers are starting to bloom, and the waterfalls are flowing the most. However, some roads may still be closed due to lingering snow. The summer months are the most popular and crowded, especially in Yosemite Valley. The fall is also a great time to visit the park as the crowds have thinned out. However, the waterfalls will be much smaller, and some roads will start to close.
Where to stay
You may camp inside the park, but will need to book a reservation, which are available up to five months in advance on the National Park Services website:
There is lodging inside the Park and in nearby cities, such as Merced, Fresno, and Mariposa.
How to get there
Some of the nearest airports include:
- Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
- Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH)
- Merced Regional Airport (MCE)
- Mariposa-Yosemite Airport (RMY)
Other airports in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento include:
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Oakland International Airport (OAK)
- San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
Getting between nearby cities:
You can travel between San Francisco, Sacramento, and Merced, Fresno through Greyhound and Amtrak.
Getting into Yosemite:
You can enter the park by driving or through the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS), which will take you from Merced, Sonora, Fresno, and Mammoth Lakes into the park.
Entrances to the park are mostly located on the west side. The Big Oak Flat Entrance and the Arch Rock Entrance are a couple of the most popular entrances into the park.
Shuttles inside the park:
The Yosemite Valley Shuttle provides transport around the Yosemite Valley.
Official Yosemite Guide from the National Park Services:
Cover image from Public Domain/Pixabay