Yosemite National Park embraces a spectacular tract of mountain-and-valley scenery in the Sierra Nevada, which was set aside as a national park in 1890. The park harbors a grand collection of waterfalls, meadows, and forests that include groves of giant sequoias, the world's largest living things.
Areas to visit:
Yosemite Valley - Yosemite Valley is world famous for its impressive waterfalls, meadows, cliffs, and unusual rock formations. Yosemite Valley is accessible by car all year.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias - The Mariposa Grove is located 36 miles (one hour) south of Yosemite Valley, near the park's South Entrance. The Mariposa Grove is the largest stand of giant sequoias (also known as Sierra redwoods or big trees) in Yosemite.
Wawona - Wawona is the home to the historic Wawona Hotel, dating from the late nineteenth century. The Pioneer Yosemite History Center, a collection of historic buildings, is located just over the covered bridge from the hotel.
Glacier Point & Badger Pass - Glacier Point, an overlook with a commanding view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierra is located 30 miles (one hour) from Yosemite Valley. The road ends at Glacier Point and it is a short walk to the viewpoint. Both downhill and cross-country skiing are available at Badger Pass from mid-December through early April.
Crane Flat - Crane Flat is a pleasant forest and meadow area located 16 miles (30 minutes) from Yosemite Valley. Nearby are the Tuolumne and Merced Groves of Giant Sequoias, which are only accessible by foot.
Tioga Road and Tuolumne Meadows - The Tioga Road (Highway 120 East), is generally open to vehicles from late May or early June through sometime in November. It offers a 39 mile scenic drive between Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows through forests and past meadows, lakes, and granite domes. Many turnouts offer broad and beautiful vistas.
Tuolumne Meadows is a large, open sub-alpine meadow graced by the winding Tuolumne River and surrounded by majestic peaks and domes. From sometime in November through late May or early June, this area is only accessible by cross-country skis or snowshoes.
Hetch Hetchy Valley - Hetch Hetchy, a lesser known twin to Yosemite Valley (perhaps because its river has been dammed), is home to spectacular scenery and is the starting point for many less-used wilderness trails.
Private car, minivan, pickup truck or RV: $20.00 (Valid for 7 days)
On foot, horseback, bicylce or motorcycle: $10.00
Yosemite Annual Pass: $40.00
There are five entrances to the park:
South entrance on Highway 41 north from Fresno.
Arch Rock entrance on Highway 140 west from Merced.
Big Oak Flat entrance on Highway 120 west from Modesto and Manteca.
Hetch Hetchy Entrance along the Hetch Hetchy Road can be approached from the Evergreen Road immediately west of the Big Oak Flat Entrance and provides access to Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Tioga Pass entrance on Highway 120 east from Lee Vining and Highway 395.