This incredible national park is known for towering sequoias, beautiful waterfalls, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. Yosemite is great for families, beginner hikers, expert outdoors-people, and anyone in between. There is so much to explore in this famous park and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about planning your trip!
FAT – Fresno (1.5 hours)
SFO – San Francisco (3 hours)
SJC – San Jose (3 hours)
Electrical Outlets: 120V supply voltage and 60Hz
Accommodation – There are a lot of lodging options for Yosemite and it really depends on what kind of trip you are planning.
Getting Around – You really need a car to get around Yosemite, preferably a car with all-wheel drive and high clearance. Yosemite is a BIG park, it takes over two hours to drive from one side of the park to the other, and you can go even further within the park.
There are shuttles that run through the park, but we mainly used these to get from valley parking to the other trailheads because parking is limited. You can also use the YARTS bus system to get to Yosemite, but this takes a long time to get where you want to go.
If you are going in the winter, make sure you check the road conditions and closures. You will need to have an all-wheel drive car and chains in case they become required.
Yosemite Valley is the home of most of Yosemite’s iconic features and views such as Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, and more. This is the most popular area to visit in Yosemite and also usually the busiest.
Difficulty: Easy Length: 1.2 mile loop Elevation: 59 ft
Mirror Lake. If you want to see the lake, make sure to go early in the season, because the lake dries up in the Summer and is pretty much completely gone by the Fall. Mirror Lake:This is a nice and easy hike with limited elevation gain to see the beautiful
Difficulty: Moderate Length: 4.4 mile loop Elevation: 301 ft
Mist Trail is one of the most heavily trafficked trails in Yosemite, but leads you to these two beautiful waterfalls. Despite it feeling very accessible, this is NOT an easy hike. To do the full hike to both of these falls, it is 8.8 miles round trip with 2,191 ft. elevation gain. This hike starts in the valley, near Happy Isles trailhead. The beginning of the hike is paved, but pretty steep uphill. You can also just go to Vernal Falls and this reduces the length of the hike from 6 to 4 miles. Vernal and Nevada Falls: The
Difficulty: Hard Length: 6 mile loop Elevation: 2,162 ft
Difficulty: Hard Length: 9.2 miles out & back Elevation: 3,612 ft
The Ahwahnee Hotel: This grand lodge in Yosemite is famous for its stunning dining room and is probably the most luxurious place to stay within the park. It’s worth swinging by just to see it even if you’re not going to stay there.
Sentinel Bridge and Swinging Bridge: These are just two bridges with stunning views of the valley. If you are tired from hiking and just want to wander around with some views, you can swing by here.
Difficulty: Moderate Length: 2.1 mile out & back Elevation: 456 ft
Difficulty: Easy Length: 2.3 mile out & back Elevation: 367 ft
Difficulty: Moderate Length: 8.5 mile out & back Elevation: 1,607 ft
Difficulty: Hard Length: 14 mile out & back Elevation: 3,166 ft
Difficulty: Hard Length: 5.6 mile out & back Elevation: 1,912 ft
Difficulty: Hard Length: 7.0 mile out & back Elevation: 3,103 ft