"Yosemite National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Yosemite National Park by acemj

Yosemite National Park Travel Guide: 1,520 reviews and 3,525 photos

I lived in California back in the late '80s and early '90s and never made it to Yosemite, so when my friend Gina and I were trying to decide what to do with a couple extra days on a visit to San Francisco, my vote was solidly for this magnificent park. Our two days here were certainly not enough to get a sense of the whole place, but we were able to see some of the park's highlights . . . and what a highlight reel it is!

Most visitors come and see the Valley Floor, a cavernous shoot of green meadows and splashing water framed by giant walls of granite. At first sight, you'll be knocked back on your heels and speechless. Pictures, in fact, do not come close to conveying the scale of this place. It is simply staggering. The monolithic grandeur of El Capitan and Half Dome must be given the respect of your presence before they reveal themselves to you completely. You must stand beneath them, eyeing a lone tree or a man hiking along a path nearby as a reference point, to truly appreciate their towering, timeless qualities.

I am told that during the peak summer months that the automobiles swarming the Valley Floor can make it resemble Fifth Avenue in New York more than an oasis of natural perfection, but don't let that dissuade you from venturing here. We visited in early June during the week and the crowds were really quite small, the weather brilliant and the sights inspiring. Even during July and August, you can escape the crowds by moving outside of the Valley and into the more remote points in the park.

There are over 760,000 acres to explore here, the vast majority of which remind us of our relative size in this world. We are but a microscopic dot on the map, but spending time in places of such enduring beauty can be nourishing and we often discover strength inside our tiny selves to return to our daily lives as conquerors, or at the very least, as larger men.

  • Last visit to Yosemite National Park: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (37)

Comments (24)

  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    Great page. Lots of helpful tips. Well done.

  • mmyerspa's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    Thanks for the tip on The Bug. I hadn't come across this accomodation option in all of my searching over the last 2 years. Looks like a great place to stay. Great price and good location.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2006 at 9:24 AM

    Very informative and useful tips Mark! I especially appreciated your transportation tip since I can barely walk, let alone hike!!

  • Mar 8, 2006 at 4:51 AM

    Wow! Hope to visit the park next year. Thanks for your info, tips and links about "when to visit ". The Yosemire Bug seems very pleasant indeed.

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2006 at 2:04 PM

    Great page! I'm visiting Yosemite in June '06, and I can't wait to get there.

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2005 at 6:11 AM

    Great page on one of Americas greatest National Parks (and one of my favorites)

  • RinaNeo's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2005 at 5:43 PM

    Great opening pic ...

  • IceBear7's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2005 at 12:38 AM

    great TLs, it's just a wonderful place!

  • RedEaredPanda's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2005 at 7:37 PM

    Reading your tips for the second time preparing a different type of trip (backpacking) to Yosemite park.. Don't know if it's a good idea in April; gotta do research.. Thanks for the tips..

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2005 at 4:53 AM

    Great observations on what to avoid at Yosemite and how to get great shots (and proof with photos). Very true about staying off the valley floor. The only way to really get away from the crowds here is to hike far and high. Gina looks nice btw. ;)


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