Guide to visiting Yosemite National Park

Yosemite©Neha & Lunatech/Flickr

US is a country well-known for its grandiose nature: endless prairies, big lakes and huge mountains. There are numerous national parks and nature reserves in the US where one could spend months in a row just exploring the amazing nature, many of which can be found in the Rockies – Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Rockies, Glacier are just a few. But even though the competition is fierce, I will always have a place in my heart for Yosemite National Park. I hope my guide to visiting Yosemite National Park will give you an idea about how great this place is but also what are the main attractions:

Getting there

Yosemite is situated high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains but despite this it can be reached from several directions. If you are traveling from one of the big Californian cities – Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco – then the city of Fresco will be your main gateway towards Yosemite. The park can also be reached from Reno – this in case you are driving from the direction of Lake Tahoe. Buses are also a choice, there is a special bus service called YARTS.

Attractions

Yosemite valley panorama ©Rennett Stowe/Flickr

Before talking about the possible attractions and points of interest in Yosemite, maybe it would be nice to tell you what exactly Yosemite is. The park consists mainly of an unusual U-shaped glacial valley, guarded by massive rocks. The main attractions in the park are the spectacular waterfalls as well as the scenic hikes. Yosemite is a rock climbers paradise, with its famous peak El Capitan being the biggest granite monolith in the world.

Best time to visit

One advantage of Yosemite is that it is open all year round. However, the park gets quite crowded during July and August, so if you are one of those tourists who hates queuing you might want to avoid these months. Late May and June are the period when the waterfalls reach their maximum debit, so prepare to take tons of pictures. September and October are also great for admiring the foliage – actually Yosemite is one of the best places in the USA for this kind of contemplative fall activities.

Safety measures and equipment

Half Dome ©docentjoyce/Flickr

Yosemite is a very popular destination which makes wildlife shyer and harder to spot than in other parks. Cases of attacks and mauling are very rare, with the two most dangerous animals being the bear and the mountain lion – not frequently spotted, though. When hiking, be aware of weather conditions, check out for trail condition with the rangers and wear proper equipment: boots, sunscreen, water flask, light clothes etc. Also, don’t climb without the proper training and equipment!

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