Are you dreaming of visiting Yosemite Park? Whether you want to check out its majestic waterfalls, and rock formations like Half Dome, or just sample the stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, a trip to this iconic park can be an experience like no other. With all that it has to offer – and more – planning your visit is essential if you want the getaway of your dreams. Here are some tips for making sure your journey through Yosemite lives up to every expectation!
At Yosemite National Park, planning a memorable trip is essential. From my experience, here are my suggestions to ensure you make the most of your visit so you can create an unforgettable adventure. I am in no way claiming to be an expert, but I can always give you my thoughts and suggestions.
Reservation Required at Yosemite National Park
During the weekends of February 10-12, 17-19, and 24 to 26 in 2023, those planning on entering will need to reserve their spot ahead of time – even if they don’t plan on visiting Horsetail Fall. For those arriving midweek Monday through Thursday though, there’s no worry about reservations – just pack up your camping gear or hiking boots and head out during these days.
Where to stay at Yosemite National Park
Camp on-site at Curry Village Yosemite National Park
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Yosemite National Park and stay at Curry Village! Enjoy a unique experience by waking up every morning surrounded by nature’s bounty. Check out my latest blog post below.
When to go to Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park provides year-round adventure, including snowy winter activities in Yosemite Valley. For the ultimate experience, plan your visit between May and October when temperatures are perfect for hiking.
Visiting Yosemite National Park in the winter can be a breathtaking experience, but it also requires extra caution and preparation. Chains on vehicles should always accompany adventurers from November through March when exploring this icy wonderland – after all, you never know when Mother Nature might require them. If you rent a car by law you may be required to have chains so be prepared to bring or buy them.
I’m from Texas yall, so for the record, I personally prefer to not hike or drive on ice. This is something you should consider when picking out dates. What kind of hiker are you? What kind of weather do you want?
Heads up: Be prepared for the gas inside of the park to be expensive. Fill up before you enter the park.
Airport near Yosemite National Park
Here are the closet cities:
- 78 miles to Fresno, CA.
- 79 miles to Modesto, CA.
- 94 miles to Stockton, CA.
- 116 miles to Sacramento, CA.
- 117 miles to Reno, NV.
- 131 miles to San Jose, CA.
- 133 miles to Fremont, CA.
- 147 miles to Oakland, CA.
We were so excited to visit Yosemite Park that we didn’t hesitate to book our flight with Southwest Airlines. After landing at San Francisco Airport, it was only a four-hour drive away before we could start exploring America’s first National Park. The last two hours of the drive are absolutely stunning. We personally wanted to spend a few days in San Franciso before jetting off to Yosemite Park, so for us, this was the best option.
My blog post on San Francisco.
How to get around Yosemite National Park
Yosemite offers a convenient and eco-friendly way to explore the valley; once you’ve arrived, park your car and hop on the free shuttle bus that circles around the park regularly. It is a super quick and easy way to get around the park.
What to do in Yosemite National Park
Ancient Giant Sequoias
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia trees near Yosemite’s South Entrance serves as a living testament to nature’s power and majesty, home to 500 colossal behemoths who have stood tall since antiquity. The oldest giants are estimated at over 3,000 years old which is an awe-inspiring reminder that some things truly last through the ages. I personally felt beyond blessed to see these giant sequoias up close and personal.
This grove is home to the illustrious Grizzly Giant – one of the oldest living sequoia trees in its 2,700 years. The Clothespin Tree and Faithful Couple are just two examples out of hundreds waiting for brave adventurers willing to take on the challenging hike up into the upper grove. Get ready for an unforgettable journey through time. It really is surreal. Show off your photos in the comments section below – I can’t wait to see them.
Hike to Glacier Point
For adventurers looking for an unforgettable experience, Glacier Point is the ultimate destination. A strenuous eight-mile hike up and down felt like a billion switchbacks for me, but it offered breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley. This Four Mile Trail provided ample opportunity for us to marvel at the beauty of Yosemite.
I loved that we witnessed Glacier Point from a different perspective – by taking this adventurous hike. At the point of time that we were there the road construction meant that this was the only way to see it – so we took full advantage and explored the stunning vista on foot. Our reward was this view below along with a protein shake.
Vernal Fall Day Hike
Explorers brave enough to take on the Mist Trail will be rewarded with incredible sights at Vernal Fall. Roaring 317 feet down a granite ledge, its thunderous cascade is surrounded by clouds of mist that shower every rock and hiker in sight. Take the 1.6-mile hike up this legendary path for breathtaking views from the bridge or make it all the way to the top.
Our trip to see the majestic waterfalls was sadly a little less spectacular than we’d hoped; instead of cascading down in an impressive spray, it meandered slowly with only a slight trickle. Sadly, all the waterfalls were dripping during our stay.
This is a challenging trek that left us feeling energized and accomplished. The picture captured my journey in all its glory; from ruffled hair to untied laces, I looked like an intrepid explorer who had been hit by a bulldozer. However, it was still 100% worth it.
Take a Scenic Drive around Yosemite National Park
You should unlock the wonders of Yosemite National Park by going on a road trip. From awe-inspiring vistas to unforgettable views, these drives provide access to trails and attractions that cannot be experienced while simply walking. Take a few hours to experience it for yourself – you won’t regret it. Look at what we came across while on our drive around the park. This is one of my favorite things to do at a national park, just going for a scenic drive. We never know what we may come across.
What to pack for Yosemite National Park
- Water (4 bottles for a day hike)
- Battery Pack
- Jacket (layers)
- Hiking Boots
Yosemite should be on everyone’s bucket list – it really is that breathtaking. And while a spontaneous trip can sometimes be the best kind, for a location like this, it pays to do your research and plan ahead. Glam Escapes can take care of everything from reservations to itineraries so that you can make the most of your time in Yosemite worry-free. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on earth! Click here to learn more.
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