Yosemite (California)

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Yosemite (California)

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Review of "Yosemite (California)"

published 28/05/2004 | casnz
Member since : 25/05/2004
Reviews : 18
Members who trust : 3
About me :
- aka hollynz @ epinions.com -
Pro breathtakingly gorgeous
Cons none
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" Yosemite National Park .... WOW !!!"

If you are intending to vist the US try to make time to visit the National Parks. I visited a few on our trip and each and every one was an outstanding experience.

Yosemite National Park is a must see, if you are in California definitely make the effort to visit because It really is THAT beautiful and I am sure you wont regret it..

Yosemite Valley was formed by glaciers which, over time, carved through the granite rock and has left us with one of the most beautiful places on the planet with towering sheer granite rock cliff faces which will have you spellbound. Driving through this park is definitely on the list of Must-do's when visiting California so beg, steal or borrow, just make sure you get here.... oh, maybe not steal okay?

It is the 3rd oldest park in the USA and was established in 1890.
It is extremely well maintained and the natural features are only enhanced by the little wooden footbridges and well maintained picnic areas.

The wildlife is just that …wild. We are talking bears and cougars here guys so be prepared and read the literature they hand you at the gate.
I had hoped to see a bear … preferably a long way in the distance but it wasn’t to be. I did see a lone coyote trotting along a trail and massive amounts of glorious birds and squirrels and the occasional deer . There was an old deer around the visitors centre which was happy to stand still while folk took photos.


Getting there.

Grab a rental and head off yourself if possible, if not, there are a few companies that do Day Trips to Yosemite so ask at the Visitors Centres or at your hotel.
Self driving is no doubt the best way to go, this gives you the freedom to explore the valley at your leisure and at your own pace.


*$10 per person if on foot or cycling.

*$20 per car -( covers all passengers as well)

* $50 National Parks Pass . This is good if visiting a few parks and is valid for 12 months from date of purchase. They can be purchased at the entrance gates by anybody.

Accommodation inside the park..

There are various levels of accommodation here from budget to the luxurious with prices to match. Bring a tent and camp if you want to as there are campgrounds sprinkled throughout the park for campers and vans.


There are 13 campgrounds throughout the park. Prices range from $18 -$45 so do a bit of checking first.

Reservations may be required for some of the campgrounds but most are on a first come, first served basis.
Peak time is May-November so maybe some pre booking could be necessary if visiting around these times.
Be sure to read up on all the rules about wildlife, bears are very active at certain times of year in this park.

Ph: 800 436 7275
Online at www.nps.gov/yose OR www.reservations.nps.gov

Rates range from $48 for a hard sided tent to over $300 so do your homework before booking … and book you must if you fancy staying inside the park for a night or two.

*The Ahwahnee.
123 guest rooms and 24 cottage rooms in this top of the range lodge.

*Curry Village.
628 guest accommodations from motel rooms, cabins to tent cabins.

* High Sierra Cabins.
Canvas tent cabins.

* High Sierra Tent Cabins.
Dormitory style cabins.

*Housekeeping Camp
Really roughing it here with fold up bunk beds and concrete walls. No linen provided here.
282 units, campground restrooms and shower facilities, laundry and small shop.

*Tuolumne Meadows Lodge.
69 High Sierra Canvas cabins .

*Wawona Hotel.

*White Wolf Lodge
28 cabins.

*Yosemite Lodge.
226 lodge rooms, 64 standard rooms, 100 cabins, 89 cabins with shared facilities and 69 share hotel rooms.



We drove from San Francisco and took the 120 to the Big Oak Flat entrance gate. This drive was interesting with some nice scenery on the way. If you need to stock-up on things make sure to do this at Oakdale. This is a decent sized town where you should be able to find everything you need. There is no other town before the park gate but there is the small village of Groveland where you will find limited accommodation, supermarket, pub and restaurant.

Where we stayed.

We were lucky to find a bed for the night so I wouldn’t recommend winging it like we did. We had all but run out of hope of finding a room and thought we might be sleeping in the car for the night when we drove into Groveland, a small town 26 miles from the Yosemite entrance. I was so relieved to see a small hotel and some shops but we discovered the hotel had no vacancies, they told us to check out the Groveland Motel a bit further up the road. They had cabins (but no vacancies), tee pees and trailers available so we settled for a trailer for $46 for two.
This was one of those big caravan deals with a bathroom (toilet and shower) cooking area and 4 beds (double and 2 singles)
Across the road was a supermarket so we went and bought some supplies and cooked our dinner.
Groveland itself is a lovely small town set amid a grove of tall trees and a fantastic western style saloon. It’s called The Iron Door Saloon and is worth stopping, if only to walk through those swinging doors like in the movies.

What we saw.

We were up early and left Groveland around 7:45. We got to the gate at 8:30 and then the fun began.

Yosemite was a real treat and will be permanently etched into my mind. It is beauty on such a grand scale that you just cannot believe it until you stand in the middle of it.

The park is extremely popular and people talk of huge crowds and jam packed roads but the day we visited, on a Monday morning in mid-may, we were practically the only ones there apart from the occasional tour bus which would pull up from time to time. These buses didn’t hang around too long though and then it would be back to just us and the sounds of nature.

We walked a trail to see Mirror Lake. This was one of the shorter, easy going walks and took about 30 minutes. When we got to the lake the water surface was dead still and was just like glass, reflecting the magnificence surrounding it and wow… the photos came out great.

There are many trails here and you can head off for days if you are into serious hiking or just take the short hikes which are well marked throughout the park.

We spent time at the YOSEMITE VALLEY VISITORS CENTRE and checked out all the info about the parks hikes and trails.
This area was well served with plenty of dining and shopping outlets so we took time out and had lunch here before carrying on.

Our drive through the park took us past the massive EL CAPITAN and HALF DOME. This huge towering rockface is quite often the one that features in photos of Yosemite N/P. We pulled up and walked over to a tour group and listened to their guide talking about the rockface and that was when we discovered there were people climbing it. Apparantly they sleep up there on little ledges because according to the guide I was eavedropping on, it takes about a week to get to the top.
You could barely make people out unless you had binoculars which luckilly ... we had with us.

We eventually made our way out of the park about 4.30 pm , we only spent 8 hours in the park but it was so worthwhile and the photos are guaranteed to look fantastic, it just can't be helped.

Have fun!

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Comments on this review

  • kollarosie published 12/10/2005
    I have to say - I think Yosemite is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Sheer magic! Fantastic review.
  • petitesquirt published 28/05/2004
    I was there in April. It was beautiful although we didn't walk to the mirror lake. We went walking among the giant trees.
  • MAFARRIMOND published 28/05/2004
    Sounds great. I'd love to go. Maureen
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