In this page, you will find informations and advices we can give, based on our experience
Yosemite National Park - California
What to do if you have little time : Panorama Trail
Yosemite was the second National Park created, after Yellowstone. Landscapes, beautiful, are various from mountain to lakes or waterfalls.
Anyway, The park did not let us only good impressions. It is very difficult to stay there, to move. It is very popular and it seems that infrastructure is very poor. The park authorities appear overwhelmed by the attendance. Nearby cities like San Francisco can explain this attendance. We planned to stay five days but we have staid only 3 days ! Too bad because the scenery is beautiful !
We recommend to stay here at least 3 days.
Like every National Parks, a fee is required at the entrance of the park. It's 35$ per vehicle. If you have the pass "America the beautiful", access is included.
Be careful, however, because due to the success of this park, the pass or the park entrance fee is no longer sufficient to enter Yosemite. The park has set up a reservation system for those who want to enter by car only : for the period between May 20 and September 30 between 6am and 4pm, 70% of the places must be reserved on the internet from March 23. The registration is done on the recreation.gov website (direct link here) and costs 2$. The registration is valid for 3 consecutive days, for the vehicle, regardless of the number of people in the car. From May 13, 2022, the remaining 30% of places will be allocated on the internet 7 days before the date of entry in the park (for example May 13 for a visit on May 20). In both cases, a paper copy of the permits must be presented at the entrance to be scanned.
Loop of 8,7 miles
4 to 5 hours
30$ for access to the park + 25$ for the shuttle
To make this trek of 9 miles, you have to book the bus to Glacier Point at Yosemite Lodge ($ 25 per person in 2010). This walk provides an overview of the park. The views are superb, the first being at View Point with views of Half Dome and Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. The walk is then to reach Yosemite Valley. The great part of the journey is sometimes quite steep downhill. But there are also some climbs long enough especially after Ililouette going toward Nevada Falls. The arrival to this cascade is at the top. It is very impressed with the speed and the roar of the water that flows into the void. We then go to Vernal Fall. The least we can say is that it goes down steep on rocks. Attention to the knees! Passing near Vernal, we are literally on rinse because the path (which can be slippery) passes very close to the waterfall. The end of the ride is at shuttle stop 16.
Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls
Loop of 1 mile
30$ per vehicle
They are two most famous of the park because access is very easy if you stop at the first viewpoint at Lower. The ride is on a very crowdy path. It start at shuttle stop n°6.
It is better to sleep in Yosemite because the travel time between the hotels outside the park and sights inside are important (a lot of traffic, speed limits and distances). However, it is difficult to find places in campsites or hotels in the park unless you book in advance. We have tested :
Copyright Magali and David BELLEC