Activities & Adventure 5 MINS READ

The Ultimate Guide To Yosemite National Park

The Ultimate Guide To Yosemite National Park

Activities & Adventure 5 MINS READ
yosemite national park

Yosemite National Park is inarguably one of the most famous national parks in the country. Located in California, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this stunning national park boasts close to 1200 square miles of wilderness, grand meadows, native plants, and some of the highest peaks of granite in the country.

You’ll find deep valleys, stunning waterfalls, relaxing streams, and the perfect hiking trails for your next adventure. The Yosemite Valley in the heart of the national park is where you’ll find campgrounds and hotels, where you can begin your hiking expeditions. Enjoy the stunning views of the park from Tunnel View, bask in the serene alpine wilderness of Tuolumne Meadows, and learn about the important Native American tribes that lived here. Park rangers encourage visitors to plan ahead to explore the different parts of the park through guided hikes. If you plan to stay overnight at the park, you would have to obtain wilderness permits in advance. Keep in mind to not leave food in your vehicles in order to keep safe from bears. The sad truth is that several peaks in Yosemite are reducing in size due to natural melting caused by climate change.

Things To Know About Yosemite National Park

Parts Of Yosemite National Park


The national park can be divided into five parts – Yosemite Valley, Wawona/Mariposa Grove/Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows, Hetch Hetchy, and Crane Flat/White Wolf.

Activities At Yosemite National Park

cycling at yosemite
Image Credit: Travel Yosemite

This wonder of nature was preserved and protected by the Yosemite Grant of 1864, which marked the first instance of preserving parkland for conservation and public use in the country. The National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy conduct a lot of activities in the park to promote tourism, such as art classes, photography sessions, stargazing sessions, and nature walks. We recommend checking their websites for more information on this.

Yosemite Valley And Yosemite Falls

yosemite falls

Yosemite Valley is a glacial valley that runs through Yosemite National Park. The valley is about 3500ft deep and runs for over 12km. There are a lot of granite cliffs with two of the most renowned peaks being Half Dome and El Capitan, which are covered in pine forests. The Merced River runs right through the valley floor and gives way to a lot of different waterfalls and streams with Yosemite Falls being the tallest waterfall in North America. Bridalveil Fall and Vernal Fall are the other falls in the valley. This valley is the most important part of Yosemite National Park.

The valley itself was formed by glaciers during the ice age, sculpting the granite walls of the valley and creating a flat valley floor. Hikers and rock climbers especially love this region with peaks such as Half Dome and El Capitan being extremely popular amongst hikers. These are challenging hikes so we highly recommend doing your research beforehand. You might also need to get a permit for some hiking routes including Half Dome.

This is where you’ll find a lot of restaurants, lodging, and campgrounds, making it the perfect place to visit in the park. The Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Valley Lodge are the most popular hotels in the park.

Mariposa Grove Of Giant Sequoias

yosemite mariposa

Mariposa Grove is an area of over 500 giant sequoia trees and can be found towards the south of Yosemite National Park. These huge tall trees are extremely old with many of them being around 3,000 years old and towering over 250 feet tall. This was the first part of the park that was protected by the Yosemite Grant signed by Abraham Lincoln. You can use several hiking trails and boardwalks to explore this grove including the Grizzly Giant Loop Trail.

The famous Wawona Tree or Tunnel Tree is a whopping 90 feet in circumference and a tunnel was cut through the tree in 1881 to provide for the passage of carriages. Unfortunately, this weakened the tree and it fell in 1969 due to the weight of a heavy snowfall. We also highly recommend visiting the Mariposa Grove Museum to learn more about the Southern Miwok Native Americans that lived in this region and considered the trees to be sacred.

Glacier Point

glacier point sunset yosemite

Glacier Point is one of the most popular viewpoints in Yosemite National Park located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of over 7,000 feet. You can enjoy stunning views of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and Yosemite Falls, along with the other stunning landmarks in the park, from this viewpoint. The road to Glacier Point is only open at certain times of the year, staying closed during the snow season, so we recommend checking if it’s accessible in advance. You can also visit the nearby Sentinel Dome from here for 360-degree views of the mountain range.


What is the best month to visit Yosemite?

The best time to visit Yosemite is between the months of May and September. The park attracts 75% of its visitors during these months.

How many days is enough for Yosemite?

Depending on what you want to see in Yosemite, you would need between 2-5 days in the park to truly be able to experience the different views, experiences, and hikes that it has to offer.

Is Yosemite better than Yellowstone?

While we can’t compare the two, it’s important to note that Yosemite is open for several activities and many parts of it are available to explore even during winter, but it’s not the same case with Yellowstone.

Should I go to Yosemite or Sequoia?

The Sequoia groves such as Mariposa Grove and the Merced Groves in Yosemite National Park are a must-visit.

What is Yosemite known for?

Yosemite is a national park known for its amazing natural landscaping with tall granite hills, lovely waterfalls and rainbows, and some of the best hiking trails in the country.

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