Yosemite National Park is well-known for boasting stunning waterfalls, scenic vistas, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California the park has been in operation since the late 1800's. Today people come from all over the world to marvel at the giant sequoias or take an adventurous raft trip down the river.
The park is home to a countless number of waterfalls for viewing. Falls are strongest in the springtime when snow melting makes the surge of water more impressive. By the end of the season, some of the falls become a mere trickle. Yosemite Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls and stands over 2,000 ft tall. Bridalveil Falls greets visitors at the entrance of the park and can be seen by many roads.
There are several lodging options available when traveling to Yosemite. Guests can choose comfy hotel rooms or cozy cabins in the woods. There are also thirteen campgrounds available that offer backcountry camping, RV sites, and traditional campsites. Some campgrounds are open year-round while others are open on a seasonal basis. Some are reservable, and others are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check with the park for more information and to plan what trip is right for you.
Yosemite is a large park and can be intimidating to navigate alone. There are a variety of outfitters available to offer guided tours of all types. Hiking, climbing, camping, and wildlife viewing tours can all be accessed in the park. For those looking for a slower paced tour, there are also bus tours and walking tours available throughout the park. Custom tours can be set up to accommodate the exact experience you are looking for.
Yosemite National Park is home to several animal species including black bear, coyotes, deer, bighorn sheep, bobcats, and more. The wildlife here is a bit more timid and seeing them is considered to be pure luck. Guides that work in the park, as well as outfitters, are the best option to increase the chances of seeing any. These professionals tend to know the right times and spots to see them. As with any wilderness area, it's important to take caution when viewing these animals and never feed the animals!
Some of the most amazing views can be seen in Yosemite, and these vistas are often why people visit the park. The area is full of giant mountains emerging from the landscape like something out of a book or movie. Large fields of glacial rock that spans for miles and the rugged mountains of the Sierras. The most popular spots are Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Olmsted Point. These areas offer truly breathtaking views of the natural wonders the park has to offer. Half Dome is a massive piece of granite towering almost 9,000 feet. It gets its name from the dome shape that looks like half the rock fell off.
A must on the things to do in Yosemite is definitely to take a stroll through one of the giant sequoia groves. Mariposa Grove is a grouping of over 500 of these giant beauty's for people to walk through and explore. Visitors will feel like they've been transported to a giants kingdom when next to these massive trees. There are several trails throughout the area from easy to difficult.
Thousands flock to this area each year to hike some of the most amazing trails in existence. From short easy hikes to multi-day trips the park has something for everyone to enjoy. Yosemite has some of the most unreal mountain views and picturesque spots in the world. Guided tours can be taken in small or large groups for the day or overnight.
Another popular activity that brings the brave to the park is rock climbing. Considered to be some of the most challenging in the world, the vertical walls of Yosemite's mountains can scare even the most advanced climber. If viewing is your preference take a chair to El Capitan Meadow where you can watch the climbers make the trek. Yosemite also offers a climbing school for beginners to advanced.
Rafting is a great adventure to take while visiting the area. The Merced River offers a wide variety of rafting trips with several outfitters along the banks. Whether you're looking for whitewater thrills or a relaxing float, there is something for everyone. The river changes throughout the year due to snow melting where the river becomes high and fast. Rafting is a seasonal activity in the park for the spring and summer.
Take a break from exploring the park and get some shopping or relaxation in at Yosemite Village. Complete with a post office this "town" has pretty much everything you need. It is home to hotels, retail shops, restaurants, and much more. The area is the closest development park. A unique space that even has a school and residential areas. Yosemite Lodge and the Ahwahnee Hotel are the only two hotels in the area to offer hotel rooms only. This is a great area for those who want to mix the nature of the park with comforts of home.