If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Yosemite National Park, in California’s Sierra Madres, you are missing the experience of a lifetime. Home to grassy meadows, granite cliffs, lakes, giant sequoias, glaciers, forests and waterfalls galore, this place is a nature lover’s paradise.
- Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, can be found within the park and has a staggering 2,425-foot drop.
- Scientists believe a glacier is responsible for forming the unique shape of the Yosemite Valley.
- There are at least 90 species of mammals in the park, including black bears, coyotes, beavers, bobcats, bats, and chipmunks.
- The park was home to the Ahwaneechee Indians for more than 4,000 years.
- Best time to visit: The recommended months to visit Yosemite are May and September when the park is open but not too crowded. I should mention, many roads and trails in Yosemite are closed for the majority of the year due to snow. Seasonal park closures are the primary reason why so many travelers visit during the summer months, making these months the park’s busiest time of year.
- What to wear: Dress appropriately for the season that you are visiting. In the cooler months, a jacket or layered clothing is usually required for comfort. When picking your shoes for the day, consider your planned activities. Waterproof shoes are recommended. Due to the higher elevations and exposure to the sun, I suggest packing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- Most visitors chose to drive personal vehicles throughout the park. Keep in mind, road closures are common between October- March. The Yosemite Valley Shuttle provides free rides to and from all the major vista points, shops, and accommodations within the Yosemite Valley, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round.
What to See:
- Yosemite Falls, like I mentioned earlier, is the highest waterfall in the U.S. The best time to view is during late spring when the excess water from melting snow flows most vigorously.
- Half Dome is probably the most popular geographical feature in the park. Some people just want to witness it and snap a few pictures, others prefer to hike it. Whichever you choose, it’s a must-see. If you plan on hiking you must purchase a permit.
- Glacier Point is considered one of the most breathtaking lookouts in Yosemite. The panoramic views are indescribable. The point is accessible by vehicle, making it convenient for those traveling with small children.
- The Mist Trail is one of the park’s most frequented trails. To reach the top of the falls, visitors must hike up a 600-step granite staircase that runs alongside a raging waterfall, taking you close enough to where mist from the falls sprays out onto the trail.
Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.