Yosemite National Park - Celebrating Americas National Parks
My Trip To Yosemite National Park
In 2007 I had the amazing opportunity to spend three months traveling
around the United States - it was my own Great American Road Trip!
My brother and I loaded up the car with camping gear and headed west. I decided that we should try to visit every National Park we came across along our route, and as we headed east for home from California we had to stop at Yosemite National Park - it turned out to be my favorite off all the National Parks I've visited!
We arrived at Yosemite in August and the park was experiencing a bit of a drought, so most of the rivers and waterfalls were drier than in most years. My only regret is that we didn't get to see those amazing falls in their full majesty, but that just gives me good reason to make it back there someday...
Yosemite National Park Facts:
- In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill assigning preservation of Yosemite Valley by California
- Established as a park in 1890
- Became an American National Park in 1890
- Yosemite Falls in the highest waterfall in North America at 2,425 feet (739 meters)
- There are 13 campgrounds and 8 hotels/lodges in the park
- Most visitors only visit the park for the day, traveling the parts of the park that are easily accessible by car
- Over 3,000,000 visitors annually
- Yosemite valley represent only 1% of the parks area, but is the part of the park where most visitors stay
- 95% of the park is designated as Wilderness
- Gained designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984
Yosemite National Park Pictures
Within Yosemite Valley, most visitors start at the well-appointed Visitor's center, which includes shopping, dining and a museum that displays the incredible natural history of the valley and the rest of the park. Multiple roads criss-cross the valley, and along the way you can see such popular sights as Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Tunnel View and Yosemite Falls.
Sights in Yosemite ValleyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mariposa Grove is a sequoia grove in the extreme southern end of Yosemite National Park. It contains two of the 25 largest trees on Earth. Since Giant Sequoias are resistant to rot and decay, the remains of trees that fell centuries ago still remain in the park.
Video Tour of Yosemite National Park
The most popularly driven route through Yosemite National Park, Tioga Road spans the width of the park from east to west. The 39 mile (62 km) drive from Crane Flats to Tioga Pass is the most popular tourist drive, with easy access to 6 of the parks campgrounds. Along the way you can see sights like Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake and multiple granite domes.
Sights along Tioga RoadClick thumbnail to view full-size
Camping in Yosemite National Park
During my visit to Yosemite National Park, I decided to avoid the crowds
and stay at one of the remote campgrounds - plus, we didn't have a
reservation, and the more primitive remote campgrounds are first-come,
first-served! We chose the Yosemite Creek campground, which has no flush
toilets or showers - in fact there's no running water available, so we
had to bring our own. It was pleasantly remote and only accessible via
an unpaved road, so no giant RVs or rowdy party-types. Just a quite and
peaceful spot to rest up after a day of exploring!
There are many other options if you're not into the primitive sites and pit toilets for your Yosemite National Park vacation! There are over 1,400 campsites around the park's 13 campgrounds, and many are RV and handicapped accessible with showers and/or flush toilets and potable running water sources. Many need reservations, and the less primitive the site the more you'll pay per night. For instance, the place where I camped was just $10 a night, while the more "cushy" campgrounds charge $20...
More Yosemite National Park PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Yosemite National Park Video Tour
See more of my Tavel Photos...
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