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.
When we finally planned a trip here, I was already researching the top places to visit at the Park and some things to remember.
I stayed at an AirBnB cabin in Oakhurst, which is about an hour away from Yosemite’s Visitor Center.
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.
Tunnel View is an iconic location in Yosemite from where you get an aerial view of the Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and Half Dome.
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.
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.
It was lush green when I went, with some fog in the backdrop, which made the scenery look amazing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Things to Keep in Mind:
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!