Yosemite National Park is a natural wonder located in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, and is known internationally for its spectacular views, waterfalls, and abundance of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, and rock climbing. Yosemite spans an estimated 1,189 square miles and consists of four California counties: Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera, and Mono. Established in 1890, Yosemite is the third national park in the United States and the first in the world to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The vastness of Yosemite, befitting its nickname, the "Giant Sequoia National Park," provides visitors with plenty of awe-inspiring sights and experiences. From fishing, camping, and hiking in the Yosemite Valley to doing a backcountry excursion or hitting the slopes at nearby Badger Pass, visitors can explore the grandeur of nature while enjoying the convenience of modern amenities.
Perhaps the most renowned of all of Yosemite’s attractions is the breathtaking views of El Capitan (an impressive face of granite) and Yosemite Falls (the highest waterfall in North America). Other popular landmarks include Half Dome and Sentinel Dome, as well as the numerous meadows, lakes and rivers, and diverse wildlife. Stand out hikes include the Four Mile Trail, which leads to Glacier Point and the expansive views of Yosemite Valley, and the longer Mist and John Muir trails for a more strenuous adventure.
The park also offers many activities for visitors, such as the iconic Ranger-led Yosemite Valley Tours, guided horseback and mule trips, boat cruises on the Merced River, rock climbing and ice-climbing excursions, and stargazing in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. For those looking to leisurely explore the park, the free shuttle service provides access to the Valley Floor and Tunnel View.
Yosemite is a huge year-round destination, with over 4 million visitors exploring the diverse terrain each year. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hiking trip or a relaxing nature walk, Yosemite is the perfect place to explore and experience the beauty that nature has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Yosemite National Park
Where is Yosemite National Park located?
Yosemite National Park is located in the the Sierra Nevada of California, approximately 200 miles from Los Angeles, 219 miles from San Francisco, and 382 miles from Las Vegas.
How to get to Yosemite National Park?
Driving is the most convenient way to get to Yosemite National Park. Take CA-41 North from Fresno, CA for about five hours; take CA-140 East from Merced, CA for about two hours; or take CA-120 East from Manteca, CA for about two and a half hours. If you're flying, fly into Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and then rent a car for the drive.
What to do and see in Yosemite National Park?
Yosemite National Park is a stunning natural wonder with many incredible sights to see. Visitors can explore the iconic Yosemite Valley, home to picturesque waterfalls and massive granite monoliths. Other highlights of the park include Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, Half Dome, and Olmsted Point. Hiking, camping, swimming, stargazing, and winter sports are all popular activities among visitors to Yosemite National Park.
Are dogs allowed in Yosemite National Park?
No, dogs are not allowed inside Yosemite National Park, with the exception of service animals. Dogs can legally stay in developed campgrounds and picnic areas, but must remain on a leash at all times.