Yosemite Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- 1,193 acres Although most visitors will spend their time in the popular seven square miles of Yosemite Valley, there are an additional 1,193 square miles of beautiful terrain. Visit the valley, but camp far away from the traffic to immerse yourself in the great outdoors.
- 366 days That's the amount of days in advance you can book lodging in the park.
- 750 miles Yosemite's more than 750 miles of trails will take you years to cover, so ask a park ranger which he or she would recommend at the time of your visit.
One of California's most formidable natural landscapes, Yosemite National Park features 1,200 acres of sheer awe: towering waterfalls, millennia-old Sequoia trees, daunting cliff faces and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. But despite its enormous size, most of the tourist activity takes place within a seven-square-mile area of Yosemite Valley. Here you'll find the park's most famous landmarks -- Half Dome and El Capitan -- as well as excellent hiking trails through the natural monuments. Even inexperienced hikers can enjoy Yosemite -- guided tours and climbing lessons are offered from local adventure outfitters. Just don't expect to experience it by yourself. Like so many other American tourist destinations, crowds are the biggest obstacles to an enjoyable Yosemite vacation -- at least four million people visit a year. But if you go at the right time (and start your day a little earlier than usual), Mother Nature's wonders will reveal themselves to you in a miraculous and serene way.
How To Save Money in Yosemite
- Rough it Camping in the park (which includes bringing your own tent, food, and supplies) is the cheapest way to experience Yosemite.
- On the outside If camping isn't your thing, there are reasonably priced accommodations outside the park.
- Great public transit in a nature preserve? Yes, Yosemite's bus service is extensive and free.
Yosemite's food choices are mostly practical: Outside and within park ground are a series of small general stores that supply picnic and camping supplies, and a few lodges and snack bars that offer fairly standard fare like burgers, hot dogs and pre-packaged sandwiches. Those who relish fine dining in the heart of the American wilderness will find high-quality American fare at the Ahwahnee Dining Room, the Mountain Room Restaurant and the Wawona Dining Room, which are all located within the park and come highly recommended by travelers.