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San Francisco to Yosemite Park, best way to experience Yosemite

  1. By Dannie
  2. On Sep 11, 2018
  3. North America
  4. Travel Tips

The best way to experience trip from San Francisco to Yosemite Park is to get on the trail. With more than 800 miles of world-class trails, Yosemite is truly a paradise for any hiker. But you don’t have to be amazingly fit to enjoy Yosemite’s Trails. Explore easy trails such as Lower Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall if you are looking for a short walk that will bring you close to these wonders. Both trails a fully paved, pet-friendly, and wheel-chair accessible, so they truly are perfect for anyone. If you are looking for more of an adventure, seek out the Mist Trail.


One of Yosemite’s most popular trails, it is a little more difficult, but has several options depending on the length of hiking you want to do. Hike to the base of Vernal Fall (about 2 miles roundtrip) or bring a sack lunch and continue on to the top of Vernal Fall. A little more difficult but worth it for the views of rainbows and the refreshing spray you feel as you wander up beside this waterfall. The trail is usually fully accessible starting in early spring and offers some of the best views in the Valley.

If you are very fit, you will want to continue on to Nevada Fall with its lovely views of Liberty Cap. If you were to continue the trail all the way you would find yourself on the top of Half Dome, but this is about a 12-hour that requires tons of endurance, and of course, advanced permits.

Other good options for a first time visitor would be (in order of difficulty): Lower Yosemite Fall, Vernal Fall, or Four Mile Trail (great options year round, typically) or Panorama Trail (late spring- fall). Lower Yosemite Fall is the easiest, even for those who require wheel-chair assistance, but the other three offer more sweeping views of Yosemite’s iconic valley that can only be viewed by hiking.

If this seems like a lot of action for two days – you are right! There is so much to explore in Yosemite and Mariposa County. Since you surely have decided to come back to explore more (we didn’t even mention the High Country and Hetch Hetchy!) next time you will choose a different season so that you can see how the park changes all year round. See you on the trail!