In Yosemite National Park, you can see and experience many things: giant redwoods, hiking trails in the California mountains, black bears, the highest waterfalls in North America, and so on.
It’s the epitome of real American outdoor culture.
Here you can find the best scenery. The two most important landmarks in the park, El Capitan and Half Dome, these two huge granites have become holy places for climbing. Thousands of people come to climb each year.
Yosemite is located in the Sierra Nevada, California, and is my ultimate destination. Like other camping enthusiasts, I spent a week exploring the park and hiking as much as possible. But even if you can only spend a day at Yosemite Park, you will love it. Because the attractions are concentrated in the valley area, the transportation is convenient.
Table of Contents
Yosemite National Park Guide
No matter how many days, days or weeks you plan to visit, we want to help you prepare for your trip through Yosemite National Park. I have to say, this park is suitable for everyone, even if you are in a wheelchair.Sitting in the sun under the tree in front of the hotel is also good.
The Yosemite National Park Guide is as follows:
What to do in Yosemite National Park
In this guide, I will introduce four areas to do in Yosemite
- 1 Yosemite Valley, you will find the best hiking trails in Yosemite.
- 2 Glacier Point Road, where you can enjoy the best views of the Yosemite Valley.
- 3 Tioga Road is only open during summer. See the most remote areas of Yosemite
- 4 Mariposa Grove, where giant sequoias grow.
What to do in Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley is the center of Yosemite National Park and a must-see during your visit. If you have only one day to explore Yosemite, it is a good idea to come here because most of the landmarks are concentrated here.
The most crowded area is Yosemite Village, where we can find grocery stores, parking lots, hotels, and most importantly, Yosemite Visitor Center is here.
Keep in mind that driving to Yosemite in the summer can be crowded. There will be a large number of tourists, and these tourists make parking very difficult. Also, the road around the valley runs in one direction. So I suggest you choose the free shuttle service.
Anyway, the first thing I recommend to do is head to the visitor center for the latest information. Because this huge park is often closed by avalanches or mountain fires. So in order to make the trip smooth, going to the visitor center is a must-do.
If you don’t like reading text At the end of the article is a high-definition map.
The main character of the Yosemite Valley is El Capitan, a huge piece of granite that stands 7756 feet high on one side of the valley.
Even if you are not a climbing fan, it is still a pleasant experience to watch them just starting their climb near the base, or from far in the distance, as they get close to the top.
On the other side of the valley is the half-dome, which is also a granite mountain, with a characteristic half-dome shape, 8839 feet high.
Today, climbing Half Dome requires permission to climb to the top.
Every March. Passes are obtained through the lottery issuing mechanism on this website , and 300 passes are issued daily.
If you apply for permission two days before you want to climb. Well, there are only 50 licenses per day. This is the same as applying using the website, but only with luck.
A non-refundable application fee of $10.00 is required for each lottery application. Each awarded
permit has a $10 recreation fee per hiker.
Daily Lottery Only: If your application is selected through the lottery, you’ll automatically be awarded a permit and will be charged $10 per person to the credit or debit card used for your application. If the charge to the credit or debit card is declined for any reason, the reservation will be forfeited.
Cancellation & Change Policies
Permits may be cancelled with full refund of the $10 recreation fee, any time prior to 11:59 p.m.
Pacific Time the day before the hiking date. Please check the weather and consider cancelling your permit if foul weather is in the forecast.
The Yosemite Falls consist of three cascading waterfalls at a combined height of 2425 feet.
The route that goes to Lower Yosemite Falls is easy.
However, to reach the top of Yosemite Falls, you will need to hike for 6-8 hours, during which you rise to an altitude of 2700 feet. At the top, there will be a cool bathtub.
Starting at the foot of the Half Dome, the 1-hour trek to Mirror Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the valley.
Bridalveil Falls is another waterfall in the valley, which we will see as soon as we enter the Yosemite Valley.
VERNAL & NEVADA FALLS
The route that goes to Vernal Falls is also quite simple and only takes 1 and a half hour round trip.If you have extra energy you can try Nevada Falls.This will be a difficult route. 5.4 miles of trek in 8 hours.From Nevada Falls, we can continue until we reach the cables that go up to Half Dome.Make sure you have a climbing permit, otherwise don’t go any further.
A dead-end road that starts in the valley, Glacier Point Road crosses the Wawona Tunnel and rises up the southern part of the valley.Keep in mind that this road is not open all year round, if you want to go this way, first go to the visitor center for the latest traffic information.
In Yosemite Valley, almost only two granite mountains can be seen, El Capitan and Half Dome.
That’s because the view is blocked by trees. TAFT POINT is only 0.6 miles from the Taft Point parking lot. This road is very simple. Through this road, you will wait for the summit to watch the entire Yosemite Valley.
There are no guardrails, and it is bare rock ground. very dangerous.
The Sentinel Dome is another route that offers the best view of the park, starting at Taft Point parking lot. 2 miles round trip.
At the end of the road, we will reach GLACIER POINT. This is also the best place to look at the entire park. Here you can find toilets, phones and shops.
Tioga Road connects two national parks, Death Valley and Yosemite. Because of its high altitude, it is closed by snow for most of the year. Usually open from June to October.
The best thing about Tioga is that, even in high season, it has low traffic and is relatively quiet, not as attractive as Yosemite. Because it is located in a less populated area, the surrounding wildlife is abundant.
Be sure to remember. The highest point of this road is over 13,000 feet. So remember to slow down in the corner of the turn. It may be followed by ice and snow, and you are in danger of a traffic accident.
From Yosemite, head east along Tioga Road. The first thing to visit is Tuolumne Grove, a dense forest where we can see huge redwoods.
Visitors generally prefer to see these huge trees in Mariposa Grove, but if you don’t have much time or if Mariposa is closed, Tuolumne Grove is the best choice.
If you see these huge trees in the photo, you can judge which one is Mariposa or Tuolumne Grove.
The secret is to look at that tree hole, Tuolumne Grove is more broken and apparently dead. The one at Mariposa looked a little green.
Which one to go if you are still depressed. Mariposa or Tuolumne Grove. I suggest Mariposa is better if there is plenty of time, because the trees here look bigger, thicker and longer. I want to emphasize that I mean trees.
After Tuolumne Grove, I arrived at Olmsted Point, one of the popular attractions on Tioga Road.
From here, we can see the back of Half Dome.
After Olmsted Point, we arrived at the Tenaya Lake. In windless weather, sunrise and sunset are the best time to take photos.
Yosemite’s most epic hike: the Sunrise Lakes Trail. From here, it’s a trail to Clouds Rest. The 12.4 mile full-day hike is long and difficult and you need to bring a tent.
Continue on Tioga Road and I reach Tuolumne Meadows. Here is a river called Tuolumne and several streams, one of the purest river systems in the United States.
For the best views of the grass and surrounding peaks, it is recommended to hike. There is a route to Lambert Dome and Dog Lake, which is a 4-mile route.
Another route in the area is Cathedral Lake. From this lake you can see the reflection of the Cathedral Peak.
At the east entrance of Tioga Road, the end of the trip, there is a scenic lake called Gaylor Lakes. This is a hiking trail. From the beginning to the end of the trail, you can enjoy many beautiful views.
Unfortunately, no official Yosemite map covers all routes on this road. However, many of them are on this picture, if you are interested, you can Click Download Tuolumne Meadows Map
Best hiking trails in Yosemite National Park