- By Dannie
- On Sep 12, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
Planning your day trip to Yosemite by our tips on visiting Yosemite National Park. Millions of people have visited the 1,200-square-mile park (in 2015, more than 4.1 million people visited), with its cascading waterfalls, deep valleys, soaring rock walls, sweeping meadows, giant sequoias, vast wilderness areas, hiking and horseback riding trails, rivers and streams for fishing, and so much more. With so much to see and do, we checked in with Luke Holderfield, outdoor recreation manager with Evergreen Lodge, for tips (in no particular order) to make the most of your visit. Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Go early: The park never closes (except the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station, which is open only during daylight hours), and parking and traffic are usually only an issue mid-day during the summer months. So go early and (seemingly) have the park to yourself before others get out of bed.
Go late: According to Holderfield, half the park is after dark and when the sun sets and the moon rises, you’ll see just what he means. Miles from the nearest big city, Yosemite enjoys a very dark night sky, making stargazing nothing short of spectacular. Through August, park ranger-led programs include “Starry Night Skies Over Yosemite,” a one-hour program to help you discover the stories of the night sky; naturalist-led night hikes are also offered (advanced reservations are required for both).
Go into the backcountry: Nearly all of the park’s visitors (95%, in fact) go to Yosemite Valley exclusively, which is less than 1% of the parkland area. Leave the crowds behind by getting away from roads and finding solitude in other parts of the park.