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8

Ways to Make

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

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COVID-19

Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking

Yosemite National Park is spectacular and typically crowded because of it. Try to go during the off season or start your day early to enjoy the variety of activities in this park. From the cliff peaks to the valley at the base of the thunderous waterfalls, you will find plenty to do at this famous park.

Sentinel Dome Hike

2.2 mi RT

This was our favorite hike in Yosemite, and one of our family favorites of all time.  It was a relatively easy hike with some more moderate uphill near the summit. The summit offers miles and miles of views in all directions, including Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley, and Nevada Falls.

We got there early and were able to find a spot in the tiny lot.  We had the summit to ourselves for quite awhile, but then as the crowds came we headed back down to a full parking lot and cars up and down the road.  We were lucky to get to this hike with amazing vistas as Glacier Point Road is usually closed in early April.

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Glacier Point Loop

1 mile

Easy hike, one quarter of it is paved and takes you to a look out point with fourth of it is on paved path. Once you reach the look out, you will find a stunning 270 degree panorama of waterfalls, dozens of peaks in the eastern Sierra range, Half Dome and much of the Yosemite Valley. This would be a great place to watch the sunset. A convenience store near the start of the hike comes in handy for ice cream or special treat.

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Lower Yosemite Falls

0.5mi round trip

This hike takes you to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America where you can feel the water spray as it crashes to the base of this 2,400-foot waterfall. The experience is best in the spring and early summer, when there's plenty of water roaring over the falls.

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Tunnel View

This famous viewpoint has views of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls.  You can reach the parking lot and this viewpoint at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel along the Wawona Road (Highway 41).

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Columbia Rock on Yosemite Falls Trail

2 mi RT to Columbia Rock, 7.2 mi RT to the top

After a series of switchbacks on this uphill climb, we were rewarded with views of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley.  We chose this as our stopping point, but this trail continues to the top of America's tallest waterfall.

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Bridalveil Fall Trail

1.2 mi round trip

This is a short path through the woods to the base of the Bridalveil Waterfall. Depending on the wind of water flow, the surrounding rocks at the base of the falls may be slippery, but otherwise the trail is an easy hike.

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Yosemite Valley

This is a "must do" for visiting Yosemite.  Whether you drive it, take the shuttle, or walk it, go early and spend some time enjoying the sights. Aside from the amazing sights, they have museums, food, gift shops, and more.  We ducked into an art shop and the kids did an art project when it rained.  Someday I'll get back there for the photography tour.

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El Capitan Meadow

El Capital is best viewed from El Capitan Meadow. This is found off the one-way North Drive on the way out of Yosemite Valley. This is a great place to watch the sunset!

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Additional Tips

  • We stayed at Yosemite View Lodge in El Porto.  It was great hotel just outside the park that had a kitchenette area including microwave, cook stove and pots/utensils.  They even had a pool! The gas station just down the road had adequate but expensive grocers.  Still less expensive than eating out every meal.

  • We were lucky to visit during the off season, but we had limited time.  If you have more time, be sure to consider visiting Hetch Hetchy and Mariposa Grove, both came highly recommended by the rangers.

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