Yosemite National Park is situated in the picturesque Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The park covers nearly 1,200 miles of terrain which varies in its accessibility. Also, Yosemite is opened 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and there is no reservation required to visit. Because of this, Yosemite has something for everyone. There are activities and facilities for every level of outdoor adventure visitors could want in every season.
The area of the park most frequented by visitors is Yosemite Valley. The valley is easily accessible by car and it is the main hub for visitors as many of the park’s stores, restaurants, campsites, and lodges are in the valley. All these facilities are linked by a shuttle system which is free to visitors. The shuttle operates until 10 pm and in addition to the facilities, it stops at many of the sightseeing destinations and trail heads within the valley.
For those visitors that are seeking to spend the night in Yosemite, there are several scenic lodges and campsites available in the valley. It’s recommended that visitors make their reservations well in advance as the park is a popular destination. However, there are limited first-come, first-served campgrounds for visitors who have not been able to get a reservation. Some campgrounds come with accommodations for RVs.
There is a wide array of activities for everyone. For the outdoor enthusiast there are many hiking and biking trails of various levels of difficulty which wind through diverse terrain including waterfalls, forest groves, meadows, wetlands, and giant sequoias to name but a few. For those seeking a guided tour of the terrain, a guided horseback or mule ride is available from the spring through the fall.
For a more relaxing stay, there are museums and historical landmarks which highlight the history of Yosemite and introduce visitors to the flora and fauna found within the park. For those visitors who have been inspired by the majestic landscape, there are free art classes offered spring through fall at the Yosemite Art and Education Center and you can purchase supplies there too. Also, there are a number of festivals and events within Yosemite. So it’s best to check the event schedule while planning a trip.
For the water enthusiast, there are plenty of lakes, rivers and streams suitable for swimming in addition to the pools available at the lodges. There are raft rentals along the Merced River. Also, visitors may bring their own non-motorized craft for use on the river. However, kayaking in one of the many lakes is also popular.
Fishing is available year round in Yosemite. However, California State fishing regulations are enforced so fishing licenses are required. Also, there are some special regulations in effect at the park, so it’s best that visitors familiarize themselves with the rules that are applicable for the time of year they are visiting. Visitors can do this at the Yosemite Visitor Center or simply by asking at one of the many stores within the park that sell fishing supplies. At these stores, visitors can buy fishing licenses as well as bait and tackle.
Yosemite has some of the most rugged, challenging, and remote famous terrain to offer. Many of its remote destinations are world famous; including the John Muir Trail, Half Dome, and El Capitan. Renown for their idyllic scenery, accessibility to these landmarks can be daunting to even the most season outdoor enthusiast so careful planning is paramount.
You can backpack and rock climb through much of this wilderness. Also, you can camp anywhere in the wilderness so long as regulations are followed or you can make use of the limited campsites available in the park’s high-country. However, as the park’s trails are popular, it’s important to plan your route and then reserve your spot through that portion of the park. These Wilderness Permits, reserve your access to an unspoiled and solitary experience in Yosemite.