Over the last few years, Yosemite National Park has averaged more than 3 million visitors. This world-famous, 1,200-square-mile park offers incredible views of Sierra Nevada mountains and valleys, rock formations, meadows, waterfalls, cliffs and giant sequoias. Some of the more popular sights include Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, Half Dome, El Capitan, Glacier Point and the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove located near the park's south entrance. Visitors can hike, drive or take a tour bus through the park. Activities include camping, hiking, wildlife watching, boating, rock climbing, fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, snow skiing, snowshoeing and swimming. While the park is open every day, 24 hours a day, The Tioga, Glacier Point and Mariposa Grove roads are closed from October/November through May/June. Due to the large number of people who visit the park, accommodation reservations are recommended.
Get to the park from Highway 120 or Highway 41 in Tuolumne County. There are five entrances to the park and access points to Glacier Point Road and Mariposa Grove Road:
- South entrance: From Highway 41 north from Fresno
- Arch Rock: From Highway 140 west from Merced
- Big Oak Flat: From Highway 120 west from Modesto and Manteca
- Tioga Pass: From Highway 120 east from Lee Vining and Highway 395
- Hetch Hetchy: From Hetch Hetchy Road from Evergreen Road west of the Big Oak Flat entranc
- Glacier Point Road: Access to Glacier Point and Badger Pass ski area
- Mariposa Grove Road: From the south entrance to Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
TelephoneInformation on Yosemite's 13 campgrounds: (209) 372-8502
Information on Yosemite's 5 High Sierra campgrounds: (559) 253-5674
Car: $20 for a seven-day pass
Individual: (bus, motorcycle, horseback or on foot) $10 for seven-day pass
Backcountry/wilderness permit: Free
Wedding permit: $150
When to go
Summer: All areas of the park are accessible, and this is when the most visitors are present. The weather is warm to hot with thundershowers possible. Some of the waterfalls are dry by August.
Fall: Most park areas are open through October. The weather is varied, wth rain or snow possible. Fewer visitors are about during October and November.
Winter: Yosemite Valley and Wawona are accessible, but the Tioga Road usually closes in November. The Glacier Road/Badger Pass Road is open to the Badger Pass Ski Area. The climate in the winter is cold and snowy.
Spring: Snow melt brings the water back to the waterfalls each spring, but roads can remain impassable through May. The climate varies, from warm days to the occasional snowstorm.
Yosemite National Park