There’s a reason Yosemite is the most revered national park in the US of A. Majestic and awe-inspiring, Yosemite packs in so much natural beauty it puts places like the Alps to shame. The only downside? 4 million visitors a year. But don’t worry, there’s enough Yosemite to go around.
As America’s third-oldest national park, Yosemite is sort of a great and grand aunt that you’ll want to visit again and again. Mostly because there’s no way you’ll be able to really see it all in one go. From Yosemite Falls to the giant sequoia trees of Wawona and the powerful Half Dome…
Yosemite in HD
This video showcases a 200-mile backpacking expiring through one of the most popular National Parks in the USA captured by Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill. It was filmed over 10 months and showcases the extraordinary changes of the park throughout the seasons. Simply incredible.
Now that we’ve whetted your appetite and you’re ready to book those flights to San Francisco, there are still a few things you should know before planning your trip to Yosemite.
When to go: Spring is the most popular time to visit the park. So expect weekends to be crowded and busy. This is when the waterfalls are their most powerful. In summer however the Tioga Pass and Glacier Point are open to the public, giving visitors amazing access to the higher passes with views of Yosemite Valley below.
Hiking: Terrain varies greatly across the park but generally fit travellers won’t have too many difficulties tackling trails throughout the valley. Day hikes don’t require a permit except for the Half Dome Summit which is open year-round but it’s not recommended to climb without cables which are only up from late May to early October.
Sights: Yosemite Valley is famous for its waterfalls, meadows and unusual rock formations. You can visit by car but in summer it feels more like rush hour than discovering a national park so park and take the shuttle bus if you can. Park essentials include Half Dome, a giant granite monolith that looks as if it’s been split in half, and El Capitan, a rather imposing vertical face that is has become a legend among climbers.
Mariposa Grove, south of Wawona, is home to the largest stand of giant sequoias in the park. There are few words to describe standing among the tallest of tall trees, looking up.
Top tip: Make sure the memory card on your camera is empty. You’ll understand once you arrive.
Who wants to go?