Yosemite National Park Vacations
Occupying nearly 1,200 square miles in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park is a destination for all seasons. Its towering sequoia groves, rugged peaks, unique rock formations, and gushing waterfalls have captured the imaginations of artists such as Ansel Adams, and the millions of tourists who are drawn to its vast, pristine wilderness each year.
Hike to the top of Half Dome or catch a spectacular glimpse of it from Mirror Lake. Visit in the spring and early summer, and you’ll see the waterfalls at their best as the snow melts. Take a scenic hike or drive along the subalpine Tuolumne Meadows in the summertime for views that will take your breath away. Stroll through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, past the Bachelor and Three Graces, Grizzly Giant, Fallen Monarch and Tunnel Tree.& Visit the Yosemite Museum for a glimpse into the lives of Yosemite’s native Miwok and Paiute people, and explore the Ansel Adams Gallery in Half Dome Village. In the wintertime, gear up and hit the slopes at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard area (formerly Badger Pass).
Featured Yosemite National Park Hotel
For those traveling into Yosemite National Park from the south, Oakhurst is an essential stop. Everything you need is here – dining, lodging and supplies for the day’s next adventure. Marvel at the towering and ancient sequoia trees of Mariposa Grove, take a dip in the Merced River and hitch a ride on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, an old logging train that now takes visitors on a scenic tour of the surrounding forest. Drive further for a breathtaking view of the Yosemite Valley from above, an unforgettable sight unique to the south entrance to the park.
Located along the road to the popular west entrance of Yosemite National Park, this former Gold Rush town offers a taste of history along with affordable lodging options for your Yosemite vacation. From here, you can easily access the Yosemite Valley, home to the park’s iconic waterfalls, miles of hiking trails and breathtaking views of El Capitan.
Sonora is a little California town with a lot of charm and a heart of gold. First established by miners and their families during the late 1800s, the town still preserves its legacy with a picturesque downtown district where local artists and watering holes have taken up residence in the shops and saloons of this former Gold Rush boomtown. With a convenient location only a few hours’ drive from Yosemite National Park, Sonora is the perfect place to start your adventure.
When to Go
Yosemite National Park is open, and there are activities to be enjoyed in every season. However, some parts of the park, including the Tioga Road and the route to Glacier Point close in November. Service along the Tioga Road is only available June through September. The Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain open for visitors year-round
In June, wildflowers bloom in the Yosemite Valley and Wawona; the subalpine flowers in the Tuolumne Meadows blossom later in the summer. Nearly three-quarters of the visitors to Yosemite arrive in the summer, so be prepared for slow-moving traffic and large crowds. The shoulder season in spring and fall are great options for a visit, although the weather is more variable.