Yosemite National Park is definitely worth a visit

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Vast forests, bright blue freshwater lakes, dazzlingly tall sequoia trees and towering waterfalls are just a few hints to describe the Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is a true masterpiece and one of the most special American national parks. It is definitely worth a visit and after reading this article you will know everything you need for an unforgettable trip.

Yosemite National Park is known as the world's first protected natural area. It is also one of the largest national parks in America and with over 4 million visitors the busiest park. 
Two major rivers, the Merced and the Tuolumne, rise in Yosemite and cut through the park. The heart of Yosemite is formed by the Yosemite Valley: a valley created by glaciers with the world famous Half Dome and El Capitan granite cliffs.

Plan your route

If you're visiting Yosemite National Park you'll probably do so while visiting some other fantastic cities in America. With an area of over 3000km2 (1158 sq mi), it can be difficult to plan your visit properly. So it is wise to know in advance which places you want to visit and plan your itinerary accordingly. For example, you can combine Yosemite National park with San Francisco, Highway 1, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Death Valley.

Plan at least 2 full days to visit Yosemite National Park, but be sure to stay longer if you have the time. Most of the sights are in and near Yosemite Valley, which is centrally located in the park. You will visit this area first if you are visiting the park from San Francisco (3.5 hours drive). If you are only in the park for 1 or 2 days, it is best to visit only the highlights of Yosemite Valley.

Just a little further north you'll find the Tioga Road which connects the west and east of the park. This road enters the park when coming from Death Valley (4.5 hours drive). 
In the south you will find Mariposa Grove where you can see the large Sequoia trees. This area is the first to visit when coming from Los Angeles (4.5 hours drive). 

Black bears

Well-known Yosemite residents are the black bears. Not long ago they provided visitors to the park a lot of entertainment by stealing food and invading parked cars. 

However, the policy surrounding this spectacle has been reversed.

Due to too much destruction, the bears are now learning to no longer depend on human food. Don't be alarmed by the rubber bullets fired at the animals to scare them away.

Best travel time

Yosemite National Park is best visited between May and October. During spring (May / June) nature in the park comes back to life and the waterfalls are at their most powerful. In summer many waterfalls are almost or completely dry. The Tioga Road may be closed in May and late October. This road is closed in winter due to heavy snowfall and does not open until spring. The high and busiest season in Yosemite NP is in July and August. Click here for our Yosemite Park climate charts.

A sustainable place to stay

If you want to spend the night in Yosemite valley it is very wise to make reservations. Many hotel rooms are always sold out. Many people go camping, but if we needed to recommend a place it would be the Rush Creek Lodge.

Not only is it a beautiful hotel with a great restaurant and amazing pool. They also do their best in being as sustainable as possible.

America the beautiful pass

You pay for all national parks in America an entrance fee, this is on average between $ 10 and $ 25 and is valid for one vehicle including passengers. If you visit more than one national park (4 or more) you better buy the America the beautiful pass. This national parks pass costs $ 80,- and is valid for 1 year, for one car with passengers. You can buy the pass at the national park or in advance online.

This article was last updated on May 15, 2024.