There is nothing so American as our national parks.Franklin D. Roosevelt
About the Park
Yosemite National Park is a magnificent park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains that contains massive granite domes, waterfalls, sheer cliffs, giant sequoia groves, and lush meadows in the spectacular Yosemite Valley. This is a spectacular park that should be near the top of any National Park bucket list.
Check out the view from Yosemite Valley!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- Enjoy some of the top attractions in Yosemite Valley and drive the park road loop
- Go to Glacier Point for one of the best views anywhere in the park
- Hike the iconic Half Dome for the experience of a lifetime
- See the giant sequoias at Mariposa Grove
- Take an enjoyable hike to see Bridalveil Falls, which is 620 feet tall
- Stand in awe at the incredible El Capitan, a granite buttress that rises 3,600 feet above the valley
After watching “Free Solo,” the documentary of climber Alex Honnold’s successful free solo climb of the 3600’ El Capitan, John attempted the climb. He claims he made three feet, but Bev knows it was only one foot. LOL. The interesting thing was after posting this picture on Instagram, we heard from his mom, Dierdre Wolownick, the oldest woman ever to climb El Capitan. She may be the absolute “rockstar” of the family!
If you make it to Yosemite in California, be sure to head to the base of El Capitan and just imagine!
Size of Park
1,169 square miles
Yosemite was the first area of land set aside by the US Government for preservation
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park in California has been designated to protect 1,200 square miles since 1864. For many tourists, this park is one of the must-visit national parks due to its stunning valleys, meadows, giant sequoia trees, and iconic peaks.
Yosemite Village, located nearby, has everything from restaurants to shops to lodgings.
While there is no shortage of beauty in Yosemite National Park, it is iconic for its waterfalls and towering granite monoliths, one of which is the El Capitan. Moreover, the waterfalls inside Yosemite are known to be some of the tallest in the world!
Best hiking trails
Yosemite in California has some of the best hiking trails in any national park. Here are some of the hiking trails you should know about.
Lower Yosemite Fall Trail
If you want a trail that offers fantastic views but is not very demanding, choose the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. This paved loop trail is just one mile long and is relatively easy. With direct views of the Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls, this trail promises an unforgettable experience for hikers.
If you are an experienced hiker and want something equally challenging, Mist Trail might be the one for you! The round trip is 14.5 miles long and takes you to one of the most visited points in Yosemite, Half Dome.
Half Dome is also one of the most photographed natural wonders. A hike on Mist Trail also makes for a memorable experience because, on your way, you will also pass rivers, waterfalls, and meadows.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
If you want to see Yosemite’s ancient Sequoias, Mariposa Grove Trail should be your first choice. The grove is home to 500 mature giant sequoia trees over a thousand years old.
The hike is only 2 miles long. Once you get there, visit the Grizzly Tree, which is almost 2000 years old!
Bridalveil Fall Trail
Bridalveil Fall Trail provides views of one of the most prominent waterfalls in the park, the Bridal Veil Falls. This waterfall does not have a direct drop like most falls; instead, it drops at a curve, making it look like a streaming veil.
The trail is 0.5 miles long and can be completed within half an hour. With minimal elevation, this trail is popular.
Four Mile Trail & Panorama Trail
If you want to hike the hardest trail in Yosemite, add Four Mile Trail to your itinerary. With an elevation of 975 meters, this 17-mile-long trail offers incredible views. However, to admire these views, you must be a hiker in top shape, as the hike is highly strenuous. If you want to make your hike even more challenging, return through the Panorama Trail.
Camping in the Park
Yosemite has 13 campgrounds that offer both front-country camping and backcountry camping. In the front-country campgrounds, you can either park your RV at a designated site or pull up close to your site in your car. On the other hand, for backcountry camping, you must hike to your site with all your gear. It should be noted that campgrounds in Yosemite do not have electrical, water, or sewer hookups.
There are four campgrounds in Yosemite Valley which include Upper Pines, Lower Pines, North Pines, and Camp 4. South of Yosemite Valley, you will find Wawona Campground and Bridalveil Creek Campground. Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Tamarack Flat, Tuolumne Meadows, White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, and Porcupine Flat are located north of Yosemite Valley.
Upper Pines Campground
This is one of the more popular campgrounds in the park as it is located near some of the most iconic features of Yosemite, including the Merced River. The campground can be accessed from all park roads, and campers can also access food and grocery services at Yosemite Village and Curry Village, which are located nearby. In addition, a dump station, potable water, and food storage lockers are available on-site.
Located near the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Pioneer History Center, the Wawona Campground has 94 sites, including potable water, dump stations, and food storage lockers. The campground is open year-round.
Tuolumne Meadows Campground
This campground is located in one of the largest high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada. There are 152 sites on the campground that provide parking pads, restrooms, water, fire rings, food lockers, and picnic tables. The campground has also improved accessibility for people with disabilities.
Hodgdon Meadow Campground
With 104 sites, Hodgdon Meadow Campground is located near Hwy. 120. The campground accommodates large rigs that are up to 40 feet long and is also one of the few campgrounds in the park that are open year-round. Moreover, campers also have access to flush toilets and drinking water.
Camping options near the park
If you cannot find a campsite inside the park, fortunately, you will find plenty of options nearby. These camping options include Diamond O Campground, Dry Gulch Campground, and Summerdale Campground, all located a few miles from
You can either drive to Glacier Point or take a shuttle. In any case, getting to an elevation of 2198 meters will be one of the best things you will do in Yosemite in California, as the views here are sensational!
You can admire Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, and Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point. The best thing about this overlook is that you can quickly get to it without any hassle or physical exertion. However, this also means that the viewpoint can be crowded most of the time.
Yosemite Valley View
This is another viewpoint that is easily accessible. You can catch this sight before Pohono Bridge, just along Northside Drive. As you stand on the floor of Yosemite Valley, you will have a portrait-like view in front of you with the Merced River and some Cathedral Rocks.
This view highlights the iconic El Capitan, more than 900 meters tall and the most towering exposed vertical face of granite on earth.
Tunnel View showcases Bridalveil Fall along with El Capitan and Half Dome. Located at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel, this viewpoint provides a unique perspective you wouldn’t want to miss!
If you are in the mood for hiking, consider going to Taft Point. The hike here is more accessible than the one to Half Dome.
The outcropping at the final viewpoint is a prominent place for a photo op, and many climb up here to take that thrilling shot. Besides an excellent picture, you will also get a clear view of giant fissures in the huge granite rock.
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