Dreaming of a trip to Yosemite? Check out this Yosemite National Park Travel Guide for everything you need to know before you go!
Whether you’re going to Yosemite for the first time or the hundredth, you’re in for an amazing time!
From the towering granite walls laced with thundering waterfalls, to the forested valleys and flowing streams, Yosemite is like heaven on earth. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the most iconic and popular National Parks in America!
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, or you want to visit Yosemite as part of a California Road Trip, this Yosemite National Park Travel Guide is your go-to resource for exploring this scenic beauty.
Here’s everything you need to know before you go…
Yosemite National Park Travel Guide
Yosemite National Park Travel Guide – Things to Do:
#1: Tunnel View
Made popular by Ansel Adams’ photos, Tunnel View is an iconic viewpoint over Yosemite Valley. From there you can see Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and Half Dome!
#2: Bridalveil Falls
The short 0.4 mile loop to Bridalveil Falls makes it the most easy, accessible waterfall in Yosemite. In the springtime the flow of this 600 foot waterfall is at the peak.
#3: El Capitan Meadow
From El Capitan Meadow, you can witness the forested valley floors giving way to some of the largest granite cliff faces in the world. It’s a great place to stop, walk around and take in the surroundings!
#4: Lower Yosemite Falls Trail
A short 1 mile loop will take you to the base of North America’s tallest waterfall. In the springtime, the falls are at their peak, so you can expect to feel the spray!
#5: Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
Only consider this trail if you’re an experienced hiker, and in great shape! It’s 7 miles roundtrip, and climbs 3,000 feet. It’s not for the faint of heart!
You’ll start at the base of Yosemite Valley, and climb up, being rewarded with views of the Upper Falls and Yosemite Valley along the way. Once you reach the top, you’ll cross a bridge over Yosemite Creek. It’s hard to believe that such a small stream can create such a mighty waterfall. A little while later, you’ll make it to Yosemite Point, and be greeted with breathtaking views!
#6: Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls
The mist trail is 3 miles roundtrip to Vernal Falls, and 7 miles roundtrip to Nevada Falls. Along the way, you’ll walk up the Merced River and pass these two waterfalls, some of the finest in Yosemite.
#7: Glacier Point
There’s probably no better place to view Half Dome, Vernal Falls, and Nevada Falls all together, than from Glacier Point. It takes a little while to drive up here, but it’s totally worth it!
#8: Four Mile Trail
The Four Mile Trail is an intense hike that drops straight from Glacier Point down into Yosemite Valley, with an elevation change of 3,200 feet! Most people choose to start at Glacier Point, so they can hike downwards.
#9: Washburn Point
Washburn Point is a lovely overlook near Glacier Point, with views of Half Dome and Nevada Falls. If you have a few minutes to spare, it’s a nice place to stop and take in the view.
#10: Taft Point / The Fissures
This fairly easy, 2.2 mile roundtrip trail takes you to one of Yosemite’s grandest points: The Fissures! It’s a bit eery staring down gaps that go hundreds of feet deep. Right next to The Fissures is Taft Point, which offers some of the most outstanding views over Yosemite Valley. There’s no railing, so watch your footing at the edge!
#11: Sentinel Dome
This 2.1 mile, out and back trail starts at the same spot as The Fissures trail. On this trail you’ll climb 450 feet up a granite dome, and at the top, you’ll then be rewarded with sweeping 360-degree views over Yosemite Valley and Half Dome.
Yosemite National Park Travel Guide – Nearby Destinations:
#12 & #13: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Located in the lower Sierra Nevada mountains, these two back-to-back parks are home to the world’s largest trees: the sequoia. (hence the name!) There are two groves of these trees, the Grant Grove in King’s Canyon and the Giant Forest in Sequoia. You may want to also drive down Kings Canyon – it’s the deepest canyon in the US, and less visited than Yosemite.
For more information on Sequoia and Kings Canyon, check out these Sequoia National Park Travel Tips.
#14: San Francisco
There is so much more to experience in San Francisco, from riding the trolley cars up and down the steep hills, visiting historic sites like Fort Point and Alcatraz Island, smelling fresh baked sourdough bread, and eating a totally gluttonous dessert at Ghirardelli Square. San Francisco is truly is an amazing city, like non other!
Go check out this San Francisco Travel Guide for more details on the city.
Yosemite National Park Travel Guide – Budget Tips, Nearby Destinations, and More
Visiting Yosemite is all around an amazing experience, but getting there should be have the fun! Nothing beats a good old fashioned road trip, especially when a beautiful place like Yosemite is involved.
If you don’t live nearby, fly into the close airline hubs of San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, or Reno. Earn some Free Southwest Airlines Gift Cards and Free Delta Gift Cards to save money on airfare. From those cities, you’re only a few hour’s drive to Yosemite!
When to Visit Yosemite:
If you want to see the waterfalls at full force, then go in the Spring. Summertime probably has the best weather, but also the crowds. Fall is so beautiful with the changing colors, but the waterfalls will be at the lowest. And finally, winter will be very freezing, and the higher elevation roads will be closed, but seeing Yosemite Valley blanketed in snow and with very few tourists might just be worth it!
Now that you’ve seen this Yosemite National Park Travel Guide, don’t miss out any longer! Follow along with Never Ending Journeys for more fun Travel Tips and Inspiration!
Have YOU ever been to Yosemite National Park?
So, what is your favorite part of this Yosemite National Park Travel Guide, and what are your favorite things to do there?
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