KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

LANGUAGE: English

CURRENCY: Dollar

WHEN TO GO:  Spring and Summer are ideal times to visit Yosemite National Park.  May and June will have the best waterfalls displays.

WEATHER: Yosemite has typical seasonal weather.  Summer will be cool in the morning but hot in the afternoons.  Best to pack layers. Be prepared for draught conditions in the late summer months as well as possible smoke and haze from wildfires. Expect snow in the winter as well as road closures to points like Glacier Point.  

TRANSPORTATION: We highly recommend renting a car.  The Park is very large and quite a bit of driving will be involved.  For example, it will take you around an hour and a half by car to reach Glacier Point from the entrance of the park.

POINTS OF INTEREST: Glacier Point, Tunnel View, Cooks Meadow, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome

GUIDE TO YOSEMITE

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California, Yosemite National Park spans over 1200  square miles. Yosemite is noted for it’s towering granite faces of El Capitan and Half Dome and beautiful cascading waterfalls of Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls. 

You will need a reservation to enter the park due to Covid 19 safety measures.  You will also need a permit to do certain hikes within the park like Half Dome.  Make sure to research restrictions and reservations requirements before visiting.

WHERE TO STAY:

Rush Creek Lodge is a wonderful option especially for those traveling with children.  Located right off Highway 120 outside the Yosemite National Park entrance, Rush Creek is a destination all on its own!  Boosting an indoor game room, outdoor playground, heated saltwater pool, large hot tub and spa, there is more than enough to keep everyone in your party happy during your stay.

Make sure to check the daily activity board in the main lounge.  An example daily schedule during our stay included pool yoga at 10am, kid crafts from 10-3pm, geode-cracking from 3 to 5pm, family trivia at 6pm and s’mores 7 to 9pm (complimentary to all hotel guests).  Check out our full review of Rush Creek Lodge for more. 

Looking for lodging options within the park grounds? The Ahweehee is a luxury hotel option within the park (Yosemite’s only luxury option to be exact!)  Like stepping back in time, the lodge is a nod to times past and sits in a prime park location.

Also located in the heart of Yosemite’s Valley, Curry Village is a more rustic and economic lodging option within the park grounds.  Sporting traditional cabins and canvas  tents, Curry Village is in a great affordable lodging option a short drive from Cooks Meadow.

Autocamp is another unique lodging option near Yosemite.  Located 40 minutes west of the Arch Rock Entrance to Yosemite National Park on Hwy 140, Autocamp features an eclectic mix of vintage airstreams and canvas tents “room” options.

WHAT TO DO:

Yosemite National Park is full of activities!  Trails to hikes, views to photograph, sunsets to watch, animals to learn about and chilled streams for a swim.

If you have limited time to explore the park (like we did), we would recommend hiring a guide for the day.  Echo Adventure Company was a great option for us.  Our guide and driver was extremely knowledgeable and helped navigate us through the park making sure we hit all the highlights!  The tour company even packed us a fresh picnic lunch to enjoy at the top of Glacier Point.

Listed below are our recommended stops within Yosemite National Park.

GLACIER POINT

Be prepared for a windy drive up to Glacier Point!  Braving any car sickness is worth it for these stunning panoramic park and Half Dome views.

*Our guide mentioned the road to Glacier Point will be closing for the next few years for a road widening project.  The only way to reach the top until the road is finished will be to hike.

TUNNEL VIEW

Located right off the main road, Tunnel View is the only place in the park where you can view all the major mountains in one spot including El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rock and Bridalveil Falls.  Unfortunately, smoke from nearby wildfires has made the sky hazy and Half Dome hard to see.  Nonetheless, it is a beautiful vantage point!

COOKS MEADOW

Personally, this was my favorite stop!  When we arrived at the meadow, we were greeted by a family of deer grazing their way along the walkway.  Located right at the bottom of Yosemite Falls, the meadow has several wooden walking trails weaving around the field.  Sadly, Yosemite Falls was dry due to the current draught conditions.  Our guide informed us Yosemite Falls is seasonal and the best time to view waterfalls in the park are the months of May and June.

EL CAPITAN

If you have watched the documentary Free Solo, you are familiar with El Capitan.  This towering rock wall should not be missed! A rock climbers dream, stop by the meadow below El Capitan with your binoculars and try to spot the climbers making their way up the rock wall.

MIST FALLS TRAIL

This was not the trip for a day hike for us; however, we would love to return to hike Mist Falls Trail.  A moderately difficult trail, the path leads you to Vernal Falls for beautiful views of the falls.  Supposedly, the trail is like a rock stair stepper and can be slippery with the mist from the falls.

Welcome to Mullen it Over!

Hi, we’re Amanda & Kai!

An every day couple trying to see the world and cross off our ever expanding bucket list.

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