Yosemite National Park Travel Guide

Removed, rugged and ravishingly beautiful, the Yosemite National Park is both a US National Historic Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Magnificent and imposing granite cliffs, incredibly diverse flora and fauna, mystical waterfalls, giant trees, and miles and miles of beautiful hike trails – this is USA’s version of Avatar’s Pandemonium. The idea of preserving this park began quite early, in the mid-19th century and today the park welcomes 4 million visitors annually. Geologically, this place is young – only 10 million years old. Ice ages in the subsequent periods sculpted the valley with massive, slow-moving glaciers.

Visitors ought to note that weather varies greatly with elevation and can change dramatically in a very short period of time. Still, the park is incredibly accessible – most of its sites can be accessed by either foot, shuttle or even bicycles. During winters you can even ski.

Hotels & Restaurants Yosemite National Park

PLACES TO STAY

Budget Hotels

  • Yosemite Riverside Inn: Located along the Middle Tuolumne River, the Yosemite Park entrance is 10 minutes away.
  • Curry Village: Tent-styled hotel located inside the Yosemite National Park.
  • Housekeeping Camp: Located inside the National Park, all major attractions are a stone’s throw away.

2/4 Star Hotels

  • Yosemite Lodge: At the Falls; a short walk from the Yosemite Falls.
  • The Ahwahnee: Rife with history and visits from famous personalities, The Ahwahnee is a historic landmark.

How to reach Yosemite National Park

GET IN

Since there are no landing strips at the Park, you’ll have to land at one of the towns and either hire a car or avail of a shuttle service.

  • By Shuttle: The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System offers shuttle services from the towns of Merced, Mariposa, El Portal, Lee Vining and Mammoth Lakes.
  • By Rail: Amtrak too has a train service to Yosemite from San Joaquins and Merced.
  • By Car: You could always hire a car and drive to Yosemite National Park, using any of its four entrances; the park is connected to four State Routes. These routes however, are winding and quite mountainous, so let the road have your full attention.

GET AROUND

  • By Shuttle: The Park offers shuttle buses that are either free or charge a nominal fee and run to all the attractions. The Park has more than one shuttle service, so check with the stops before you board the bus.
  • By Car: Driving around the Park in a rented car is one of the best ways to get around. It can get crowded though during the summer, so be prepared for some traffic.
  • By Cycle: Yosemite National Park has designated bicycle paths for all those of you who would like to cycle your way through the Park. Bikes can be rented on a daily basis.
  • On Foot: Walking trails are in place and are quite effective too when it comes to seeing the Park; the Park is most accessible through a network of walking trails.

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Weather in Yosemite National Park

Trip plans for Yosemite National Park