Yosemite National Park in the USA is often called one of the most beautiful places in America. Golden Valley, a paradise for rock climbers and a forest of evergreen giants. Yosemite National Park is a real gem of the country; it is here, among the Sierra Nevada mountains, that lies a valley formed during the passage of the last of the glaciers, which is visited by more than 4 million people annually. In this article we’ll figure out why it’s so interesting Yosemite Park in California, how and when is the best time to go here, how much does such a trip cost and what to be prepared for.

Key points and nuances for an independent trip to Yosemite

  1. The park is truly huge - try to allocate as much time as possible to visit it.
  2. Operates around the clock 24/7.
  3. It is believed that the best experience and opportunity to see the park is hiking. The length of all the trails is about 1100 kilometers, so you should choose something for yourself in advance.
  4. You can take a sightseeing tour to all the main attractions of the park. Ideal option if you have limited time.
  5. Before your trip, it makes sense to install the NPS App, which contains many useful nuances about US national parks.
  6. The easiest way to get to the national park is by rented car. If you depart from Los Angeles, you will spend about 5-6 hours on the road. It's faster to get from San Francisco - 3-4 hours. It is possible to get to the park by bus, but with a transfer at Merced station, as always, it is better to rent a car in advance, I recommend checking prices through this service.
  7. You can move around the park by your own car or a free bus (shuttle).

When is the best time to go to Yosemite Park?

Yosemite National Park in the USA can be visited at any time of the year. But it is best to go there in the spring - it is not hot, the meadows are blooming, and the waterfalls, lakes and rivers are full of water. In early spring, you can also see the snow-capped mountain slopes of the Sierra Nevada. From April to November, the snow caps disappear, exposing part of the Cordillera mountain range.

Tours, excursions and useful links

If you are not considering the option of an independent trip, then there are offers of organized tours. You can take a sightseeing tour from San Francisco - more. Prices start at $199. This trip usually includes pick-up from your hotel, guide services and visits to major attractions. Please note that food and drinks are not included in the tour price.

There are options for private tours and more intense ones - see here.

General information and a little history

Yosemite National Park was founded back in 1890, but received UNESCO World Heritage status only 100 years later. Yosemite stretches over an area of ​​more than three thousand km² of California and occupies the central and western part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On its territory there are hundreds of waterfalls, lakes, rivers and unique rocks, among which there is even gold.

Previously, Yosemite was home to the Miwok Indians, who conducted active trade with the arriving Europeans. It ended during the Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, when a gold mine was discovered at the foot of one of the mountains. Immigrants began to arrive here, and a struggle began between the local Miwok and Awanich tribes and the European gold miners. The struggle ended only after the introduction of government troops under the command of James Savage into these lands.

The name of the national park was not the most pleasant. "Yosemite" means "they are murderers" in the Miwok Indian language. So the indigenous people called their enemy - the Avanichi tribe.

A must see in Yosemite

The park is so huge that it is difficult to single out the ideal route, I will give only one piece of advice - travel for the maximum number of days If you love nature, you will be amazed at the beauty of this place at the entrance. Try to give up delicious food in a restaurant, countless selfies and looking at your phone, just take a walk and breathe in the cleanest air. If you want something more, then consider the options for excursions, a large list is here.

Being in Yosemite, I was once again surprised by the Americans how they can protect their natural resources and earn huge money from them. Here tourism is developed at the maximum level, although sometimes huge crowds of people upset.


The most famous rock of the national park, which can be seen from Glacier Point observation deck –El Capitan (El Capitan). The height of the monolithic rock reaches 2307 meters above sea level. The height above the park is 900 meters. You can climb to the top of the cliff by routes of varying difficulty and see the amazing landscapes of the valley.

The second largest and most popular rock is "Half Dome"who was nicknamed half dome. Its height is 414 meters. This mountain can also be climbed by one of several routes. But first you need to get permission. Those who try to climb the mountain without it face a hefty fine.

Waterfalls in Yosemite

The most attractive and famous waterfall in Yosemite National Park is Bridalveil Fall (Bridalveil). From English, the name is translated as "bride's veil". In fact, drops of water falling from a height of 188 meters break on the rocks and form a haze like a flying plume. To see the waterfall from above, you can climb the path to the top of the cliff, but do not forget to put on comfortable shoes - the path is not easy.

A waterfall descends from the eastern slope of the El Capitan granite rock "Horsetail" or as it is also called - "fiery waterfall". At sunset, the rays of the sun are reflected in the waters of the waterfall, giving it an orange or red hue. From the side it seems that a lava flow is pouring. The height of this natural wonder is 650 meters!

Record holder for height in the park - Yosemite falls. Throwing down from a height of 739 meters, it is included in the top 20 highest waterfalls on the planet. According to the legend of the Avanichi tribe, the spirits of witches live at the foot of the waterfall. Beautiful and noteworthy Nevada and Vernal, located on the Merced River. They also have trails. In Yosemite, a huge number of waterfalls are concentrated, which other reserves rarely boast of.

giant sequoias

If you do not have the opportunity to see the tallest tree on the planet in Sequoia National Park, you can go to Grove Mariposa Grove (Mariposa) and touch his brothers - giant sequoias. Among the green centenarians of Mariposa grows a unique giant Grizzly, which scientists number about 2400 years. The mammoth tree grove is located in the southern part of Yosemite Park.

Giant trees can also be seen in the eastern part of the national park. They are located in Tulumne grove. You can find a lot of fallen trees here, against the background of which people seem like small ants. Many sequoias are fenced and it is impossible to walk near them because of the fragile root system.

Lake Mirror

Mirrored in name and in essence, the lake is one of the symbols of Yosemite. Photos with the landscape of this lake and the flowering meadows surrounding it can often be found in guidebooks and on the Internet.

Mountain ranges and trees are reflected on the smooth surface of the glacial lake, giving this place a special attraction.

In the forests and rivers of Yosemite, you can find many unique representatives of flora and fauna. Red trout, black-tailed deer, baribal and many other rare species are found here.

Where to stay in Yosemite?

If you want to stay overnight in Yosemite, you can do so at numerous campgrounds and hotels. If you want to save money, then it makes sense to move a little away from the park itself and the cost of the room will immediately decrease by at least 2 times. On my trip I stopped in the town of Mariposa, there are dozens of options there, for example this one:

Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel

Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel

What prices should you expect? This is America in a very tourist region, so expect at least $100 a night, and if in the park itself, then $200 (camping sites from $40).

How to get to Yosemite National Park

You can create the ideal route only by starting from your starting point. However, this is America, so feel free to enter the point with coordinates into Google maps and see the options.

Park Address: PO Box 577, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone: (209) 372-0200

Below is the location of the tourist center:

Yosemite National Park USA can compete in attractiveness with many of the most beautiful places on the planet. Therefore, when you arrive in California, do not rush to fall on a sunbed on a local beach. Better head to Yosemite, where amazing discoveries await you at every turn.

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5 years ago

Nature is of course gorgeous, but getting there is not so easy ((