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Yosemite just might be the iconic US National Park. A land of giants, massive granite cliffs and domes providing the setting for dramatic waterfalls to tumble thousands of feet over. Your journey starts as you approach the Park entrances with an overview of the geological features you’ll be viewing and how time and the elements have shaped the valley.
While in Yosemite Valley, with stops at Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls you should scan for rock climbers on the sheer granite El Capitan. Considered mecca for climbers from all over the world, you’ll hear about their feats, while new records may be set for you to see.
Thankfully, there is a growing interest for interpretive areas to learn about the local Native American Miwok people, now available at the Yosemite Museum and Mariposa Grove.
As we climb to the spectacular Glacier Point for views down into the valley, you’ll learn how important Presidential visits shaped the future for National Parks and hear how the legendary Buffalo Soldiers became guardians of the National Park.
Travel to a hidden corner of Yosemite National Park, the Hetch Hetchy Valley and feel rather insignificant as you stand under the towering Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove.
Groveland, Mariposa, Fish Camp or Tioga Pass entrances
Although you can see the main highlights in a single day, plan for extra time to explore all areas and time for hiking
Yes, you can drive throughout Yosemite, though many visitors also use the shuttle to move around the compact 7 mile Yosemite Valley portion in peak months.
The 46 miles drive along Tioga Road is particularly scenic and open seasonally from late June to November.
There are five entrances to Yosemite National Park so it really just depends on where you are arriving from. Most visitors will come through the Big Oak Flat Entrance or the Arch Rock – El Portal Entrance, which is located southeast of Big Oak Flat.