Yosemite National Park

Since the time I moved to the United States in August 2016 (wow, it’s been almost three years!), visiting Yosemite National Park has been in the top five National Parks I wished to see. About four hours away from San Francisco, Yosemite, is a national park in California that is famous for ancient sequoia trees and the iconic Tunnel View. You can visit this park each season as it presents a different scenery throughout the year.

Processed with VSCO with g6 preset

When we finally planned a trip here, I was already researching the top places to visit at the Park and some things to remember.

Where Did I Stay?

I stayed at an AirBnB cabin in Oakhurst, which is about an hour away from Yosemite’s Visitor Center.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

AirBnB Cabin at Oakhurst

The cabin was huge enough to accommodate 10 people. It was at a convenient location, furnished, clean and provided necessary items such as Wi-Fi, utensils, silverware, and toiletries.

What Did I See?

Tunnel View

Tunnel View is an iconic location in Yosemite from where you get an aerial view of the Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and Half Dome.

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Tunnel View

It was stunning, to say the least. Unfortunately, the fog covered El Capitan and Half Dome, but it had a different appeal. If you’re visiting the park during its peak season, keep in mind that there is limited parking here and you might have to wait for a while.

Yosemite Valley

Right before Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley is a huge open space which gives you breathtaking views of the Yosemite Falls along with its surrounding mountains.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Yosemite Valley

It was lush green when I went, with some fog in the backdrop, which made the scenery look amazing.

Yosemite Falls

One of the main attractions, Yosemite Falls, is the highest waterfall in the park, dropping all the way from 2425 feet from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall.

Processed with VSCO with l6 preset Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

Yosemite Falls

The falls aren’t directly accessible by car, so you would have to park it at one of the designated parking spots and hike up to the Falls. It’s a 15-minute mostly flat hike that takes you close to the Falls. The water was gushing down with a huge force so most of us got wet even though we weren’t even at the base of the Falls. Some of us even climbed up to a spot where you could get very close to them. Surely get an umbrella if you don’t want to get wet!

Half Dome and El Capitan

If you own a MacBook, you must’ve seen them as your wallpaper options. They’re stunning, aren’t they?

Rising 5,000 feet above the valley floor, Half Dome is one of the main attractions in the Park. If you want to hike up, you’ll first require a permit. Keep in mind that this is a 14-16 mile round-trip hike (10-12 hours or even longer) which takes you 4,800 feet up with a final steep ascent of 400 feet using the cables.

About 3,000 feet above the Valley, El Capitan is a stunning rock formation that you can view from a distance or rock-climb up to.

Processed with VSCO with l5 preset

View from the Sentinel Bridge

Unfortunately, it was snowy, rainy and foggy when I visited so I was unable to view these beauties clearly, even from a distance. There are designated spots from where you can view them, such as the Sentinel Bridge, which is right before the road that takes you to Yosemite Valley towards Yosemite Falls.

Miscellaneous Spots

Although there are “things to do in Yosemite National Park”, it’s a National Park after all. Everything is beautiful and worth admiring if you look around.

Processed with VSCO with ke1 preset

We stopped at several spots on the way which don’t really have a name to them but they’re worth stopping at. Be sure to keep an eye out for them!

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Here are the closest airports to Yosemite:
    • Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT) – 64.8 miles
    • Merced Airport (MCE) – 71.4 miles
    • Oakland International (OAK) – 150.3 miles
    • San Francisco International (SFO) – 169.2 miles
  • The weather can get bad here too. I visited around the end of May and it was still snowing and raining there which caused some spots (Glacier Point) to be closed.
  • If you’re visiting during the winter/monsoon season, ensure that your car is either an all-wheel-drive or has chains else they won’t allow you to even enter the park.
  • There are multiple entrances to the park. The South Entrance didn’t allow cars to go in if they weren’t chained or all-wheel drive ones, even if the visitors did not want to go to Glacier Point; but the Arch Rock Entrance allowed us without the chains as it is further away from Glacier Point.
  • Typically, if you search for things to do in Yosemite, you’ll get a list, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you whether all things on the list are accessible by car. For instance, Half Dome and El Capitan are a 17-mile hike from the base which requires prior hiking permit. You can view them from some spots when there’s no fog.
  • There is no signal as you start entering the Park, so download the map on Google Maps prior to visiting.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes because you may have to walk a bit in the park.
  • If you intend to climb up close to Yosemite Falls, know that you will be wet, and it could be slippery up there.

I would imagine that the Park would look amazing during Fall with its magical yellow and orange colors surrounded by the mighty mountains. Have you visited Yosemite yet? Let me know your favorite spots in the comments below or any other spots that I may have missed!

4 Comments on “Yosemite National Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: