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
- 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
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.
- 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.