Visit California: Yosemite National Park Traveling Tips
15 Nov 2019
Yosemite National Park is the 3rd official National Park in the USA, but it’s famous for being the park that sparked the whole idea of preserving beautiful, natural areas within the United States.
If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite, there’s a lot you have to know before you get going!
Here are a few tips for traveling to Yosemite.
1. If you fly, use Fresno Airport & land in the morning to early afternoon
The best airport to use to visit Yosemite is the Fresno airport. The drive into the Valley is around 2.5 hours, and in some areas, the roads are very windy and narrow, making it a trip best taken during daylight hours if you’re new to the area.
If you’re flying from the East coast, you’ll want to catch an early flight, pop in a good pair of headphones, and sit back and relax. If you leave in the morning, you can rest easy knowing you’ll get to Fresno with time to spare.
If you’re familiar with the area, getting there early isn’t as big of a deal. However, just make sure you’re prepared for a semi-long drive on roads that require your full attention.
2. Be prepared for crowds, or go during offseason
Yosemite is one of the most popular National Parks, and Summer is the busy season for area. Most of the roads close during the snowy months, so tourists flock to the park during warmer Summer months.
If you don’t mind the colder weather, Spring and Winter still offer breathtaking views without all of the tourists. However, there are some areas, such as anything accessible via Tioga Road, that are closed off to cars during the Winter which makes getting to Yosemite’s High Country a little tricky.
If you choose to visit Yosemite during the Summer be prepared to get out and on the trails early if you want to beat the crowds.
3. There’s more than one place to park
If this is your first trip to Yosemite, you may notice that parking seems scarce, and for the most part, you’d be right.
However, if you arrive at the visitor’s center and find the parking lot packed, don’t worry too much. If you drive around the valley loop, you’ll find plenty of street parking that is often used by people just stopping and taking photos. This means that people come and go frequently, and there’s normally a spot or two to park.
4. Yosemite is dangerous, don’t be careless in pursuit of the perfect photo
Around 10 people die every year visiting Yosemite. Most of these deaths come from people looking to get the best Instagram shot. Many of the cliffs in the area don’t have guard rails, and people fall.
If you’re hiking, be aware of the fact that some of the drop-offs can be over 1000ft, and it’s not uncommon for people to slip to their deaths.
If you take photos, don’t risk your life to get the shot.
5. If staying the Valley is too expensive, try Mariposa
Mariposa is a quaint little town located about an hour outside of the park entrance. Staying here is usually a fraction of the price of staying in the Valley.
While Mariposa may not be the town with the most to do, there’s areas to eat and shop. It’s a beautiful little local town that will make you feel tucked away in the wilderness, without paying the premium price of lodging within Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite is without a doubt one of the most beautiful place in the USA. It’s home to the largest freestanding granite wall, and the nations tallest waterfall.
There’s plenty to see, but make sure you come prepared, and stay safe.
30 Dec 2020 - Travel