Yosemite National Park
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Yosemite National Park is almost 1,200 square miles of high cliffs and outcroppings, waterfalls, ancient sequoias, and wilderness. There are three groves of giant sequoia trees, some of which are more than 1,000 years old. The park is also home to Half Dome and Yosemite Falls - both spectacular formations in their own right. Whether you want to visit these world-famous landmarks, or spend time in the less populated backcountry, there’s something for everyone to do at Yosemite.
The park sees millions of visitors every year. Because of this, you may have a better chance of hiking and exploring where you wish by using the park’s transit system instead of hoping to find parking at a popular spot.
The weather at Yosemite is fairly mild, though the park usually has snow from November through May. Winter temperatures are mostly in the 40s-50s during the day and in the high 20s-low 30s at night. During the summer, highs are in the 70s-80s and lows are in the 40s-50s. Bring a warm jacket and plan on layers while hiking and touring around the park.
There are several quaint towns near Yosemite, and many of them draw on the area’s history during the Gold Rush and as part of an arduous pioneer path west. Whether you’re looking to raft one of the area’s rivers, learn more about the history of the Yosemite region, or treat yourself to a dining experience with a once-of-a-kind view, there’s an activity for you!
If you’re looking for things to do inside Yosemite, the park has scheduled events year-round. It’s a popular place during winter as well as summer, with cross-country skiing, tubing, ice skating, and even a ski and snowboard resort. You can find a full schedule of park events and activities planned throughout the year here.
- Spring 35-65 F
- Summer 70-80 F
- Fall 40-70 F
- Winter 40-50 F
- Coming soon
- Yosemite National Park Private Vehicle: $35
- Yosemite National Park Motorcycle: $30
- Yosemite National Park Per Person: $20
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Yosemite National Park Hiking Trails
There are so many iconic landmarks in Yosemite, and so many great trails where hikers can get a closer look. You can choose from less strenuous hikes to the bottom of these spectacular waterfalls and mountains, or challenge yourself with a trek to the top. Whatever you decide, you’re guaranteed a picture perfect moment...or several.
Yosemite Valley Trails
Wawona/Mariposa Grove Hikes
Tuolumne Meadows Trails
Things to do Outside Yosemite National Park
There is, of course, a ton of stuff to do inside Yosemite National Park. However, the area around it is full of exciting activities and events as well. From exploring more of the area’s Gold Rush history to dining with spectacular views of the Yosemite Valley, there’s plenty to do once you’re done on the trails.
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite offers many places to camp, both public and private. Because the area is so popular, be sure to make reservations before your trip. Also, some campgrounds are seasonal so be sure yours is open at the time you want to visit.
Campgrounds Near Yosemite National Park
Find the Best Dumpstations Near Yosemite National Park
Dumpstations Near Yosemite National Park
How to get to Yosemite National Park
You can also travel around Yosemite by renting an RV. RVing allows you to travel at your own pace and stop wherever you’d like on your journey. If you don’t own an RV, RV rentals are available in many places along the way. You can fly into one of the areas above and rent an RV near Yosemite, or rent one in your hometown for your vacation.
There are several RV campgrounds in Yosemite. Check to make sure the campground you’re interested in is open when you plan to visit (some are seasonal), and be sure to make reservations in advance.
There are several ways to get to Yosemite National Park. The park is about four to five hours from the San Francisco Bay Area, and about a six-hour drive from Los Angeles.
From San Francisco and the Bay Area, take 580 east to 120 east, or 140 east into the park. From Los Angeles and Southern California, take the 5 freeway north to Hwy 99 to Hwy 41 into Yosemite.
The closest airport is the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, a little over an hour away. If you want more choices for flights, your next options are the airports in San Jose or Sacramento.
Frequently Asked Questions
Top things to do at Yosemite National Park include exploring the Yosemite Valley, driving to Glacier Point, and hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls. There are many excellent hikes, bike rides, and other ways to explore the park as well!
Yes, you do need to reserve a camping spot at Yosemite National Park. Reservations are required for all open campgrounds in 2022 and there are no first-come, first-served campgrounds open.
Reservations are also required to drive into the park during peak hours from May - September.
Yes, pets are allowed in developed areas of Yosemite National Park. Pets may be on paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths unless there are signs indicating otherwise. Pets are also allowed in all campgrounds except walk-in campgrounds.
The best time of year to visit Yosemite National Park is in May or September. Crowds are smaller in these months since the summer season isn't in full swing, but the weather is pleasant and visitors can hike, bike, and do plenty of outdoor activities.
Yosemite National Park is 1,169 square miles, or 759,620 acres large. It encompasses rivers, forests, meadows, waterfalls, ancient sequoia groves, and more.
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