Yosemite National Park Guide

One of America’s greatest treasures, it is a paradise for nature lovers, climbers, hikers, and artists, and there’s a reason why!

In this article, we’ll share some top attractions of Yosemite National Park, with some valuable tips about when to visit, where to stay, and what to bring with you to make the most of your time in the park. 



ParkYosemite National Park
Things To DoFalls, Drive, Discover
Hotels Near Yosemite National ParkAutoCamp Yosemite, Echo Adventure Yosemite Basecamp, and Many More.
Price$70 to $80
Validity7 Days
Camping LocationMultiple Locations

Where Is Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite National Park is situated in east-central California in the United States. It lies 140 miles to the east of San Francisco and 100 miles to the south of Sacramento.

To reach Yosemite National Park, you can take a flight to Fresno Yosemite International Airport, which is one and half hours drive away from the park (65 miles).

Other airports in the vicinity include Oakland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and San Jose International Airport.


It is one of the most iconic national parks in the U.S. It sits on the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains and has four major entrances.

Known for its alpine scenery, deep valleys, plunging waters, towering granite monoliths, and giant sequoias, and more, you could easily spend days and even weeks exploring the park. 

It covers almost 1200 square miles divided into five vegetation zones. More than 4 million visitors come to the park; 15% are international visitors. 

Complete Travel Guide for Yosemite Valley 


The history of Yosemite began after the last ice age ended and the glacier in the region’s high country weathered and carved the valley below.

Native Americans were the valley’s first residents until the 1949 gold rush bought miners and settlers to the region. 

The foundation of this park was laid in 1864 when president Abraham Lincoln declared the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias public trust of California.

On October 1st, 1890, Congress passed the act to create a national park in the region and it came into existence. 

Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

See Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls is one of the park’s most prominent and striking features that you won’t be able to take your eyes off.

The falls flow in three sections, which you can see in their entirety from the vantage points all over the park.

Tumbling over the granite wall and thrashing the rocks at the base of the cliff, the fall looks utterly different from every angle.

You can walk along the trail on the left side of the river to enjoy the outstanding views and feel the mist sweeping over you. 

Explore the Popular View Points

If you’re a first-time visitor to this park, don’t miss the famous viewpoints of the park.

The most famous views in Yosemite Park include Tunnel View with Half Dome, Glacier Point, Valley View with Merced River, and Olmsted.

All of these jaw-dropping viewpoints are accessible from paved roads through the park that you can hike or drive. Be sure to do your research before planning to hike to Yosemite’s views. 

Discover Wildlife

Yosemite National is a perfect place for wildlife watching. It has diverse wildlife with over 400 animal species and multiple life zones for flora and fauna.

The high diversity of species results from the park’s rich habitat, widespread coniferous forests, and a mild climate that provides an ideal habitat for animals to live in.

Some of the unique animals you may see while hiking in the park include American black beer, Mule deer, Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, bobcat, and coyote. 

Go Rock Climbing

Yosemite National Park is one of the most significant climbing areas where climbers can challenge themselves with various climbing adventures.

From the climbs of E.I. Capitan to Merced River Canyon, pinching crystals on sun-soaked Tuolumne Meadows domes to guided climbs on the gigantic walls of the valley, it is a paradise for climbers from all around the world. 

Best time to visit

It has a distinct appeal no matter what time of year you visit; Spring brings a gushing waterfall, summer allows fantastic outdoor adventures, fall boasts colorful tress and less crowd, and winters make it turn into an icy wonderland for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing adventures.

However, May and September are the best months to visit the park due to easy accessibility and less crowd. 


Make sure to download the official map of this park before visiting. You can also download the maps for all the top attractions separately.

A variety of digital maps are available on the NPS site. Click here to download the park’s map in PDF. 

Hotels Near Yosemite National Park

Here are the top 5 best hotels near this that are recommended by Booking.com:

  1. AutoCamp Yosemite
  2. Echo Adventure Yosemite Basecamp
  3. WorldMark Bass Lake
  4. Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites
  5. Yosemite Valley Lodge

Camping Locations

It has 13 campgrounds, out of which seven are available on a reservation system. You can accommodate R.V.s and trailers for overnight camping.

All campgrounds are open from early November, and reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s better to make a reservation early.

To make a campground reservation, click here

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The weather in at this park is unpredictable. Significant events like snow, wind, and rain can occur in any season, so make sure to check out their weather page before your visit to be prepared.

Summer is consistently sunny with an average temperature of 32°C, while in winter, temperatures range from -2 °C to 13°C on sunny days

Autumn is one of the best times, with warm days and cool nights. 

Entry Fee & Reservations

To enter the Yosemite National Park, you can use a Yosemite Annual pass for $70, America the Beautiful Pass for $80, and Senior Pass for $80.

The Entry fee is $20 per person.  $35/vehicle, and $30/motorcycle, valid for7-days.

You can purchase the entry pass in advance from recreation.gov upon arrival. 

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Checklist for Yosemite National Park

  • Warm and clothing Layers
  • Binoculars
  • Backpack 
  • Sturdy water shoes
  • Rain Coat 
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and hat
  • First-aid kit 
  • Map


Is there any Free Pass for Yosemite National Park?

A lifetime free access pass is available for U.S. military members, Gold Star Family members. U.S. citizens or permanent residents over 62years of age. 

Which is the best time to see waterfalls at Yosemite National Park?

Spring is the best time to enjoy the beauty of waterfalls to the fullest as the snow starts to get melt. 

Can I feed the animals in Yosemite National Park?

No, it’s illegal to feed or approach the animals in Yosemite National Park. Animals in the park are primarily wild, so it’s mandatory to maintain a safe distance. 

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