Inspiring artists, naturalists, and poets for centuries, the beauty of Yosemite Valley is legendary. Thanks to the unflagging efforts of Scottish naturalist John Muir, Yosemite National Park was founded in 1890, adding momentum to a country-wide campaign for a national park system. Today, Yosemite's towering waterfalls, signature granite-rock formations, rushing rivers, and alpine lakes are safeguarded for future generations. No matter which season you take your Yosemite vacation in, there's an endless parade of wonders for nature lovers and budding naturalists to explore.
What to Do in Yosemite:
Camping | Hiking | Fishing | Wildlife | Waterfalls | Rock Climbing
Campgrounds in Yosemite
Reserve Your Campsite Today
beats sleeping under the stars in Yosemite National Park, especially if
you're looking for a little family togetherness.
campgrounds scattered throughout the park are a perfect place to
introduce your kids to the joys of tent camping, or alternatively to
park your RV for a few nights or a week.
Some park campgrounds are available by reservation, while others are first-come, first served, especially during the off-season (fall through spring). During the busiest months in the park (May through September), campgrounds fill up every night--either make campsite reservations up to five months in advance, or show up early in the morning to check for last-minute availability or to secure a first-come, first-served site. For reservations, visit www.ReserveAmerica.com.
Day Hikes: With over 800 miles of trails, Yosemite National Park is a prime destination for hikers. Although too many visitors fail to leave their cars behind for very long, you should hit the trail during your Yosemite vacation. Take a stroll right up to a mighty waterfall or a panoramic viewpoint, a gentle nature walk around Tuolumne Meadows in the Sierra Nevada high country, or an all-day hike to the summit of Half Dome.
Backpacking: If you're an experienced backpacker, or even if it's just your first time sleeping in the wilderness overnight, Yosemite National Park has a bewildering variety of trails. Many of the classic backpacking routes start off Tioga Road, in the Sierra Nevada high country near Tuolumne Meadows. One unforgettable trip leads over Clouds Rest vista point down to Sunrise Lakes, from where you can make an early-morning assault on Half Dome. Some other popular backpacking destinations, including Cathedral Lakes, Vogelsang, and Glen Aulin, lie along a loop route defined by the High Sierra Camps, where overnight beds and meals are available by lottery in advance. For hard-core, long-distance backpackers, Yosemite is the start of the 211-mile John Muir Trail (JMT), which finishes at Mt Whitney in the eastern Sierra Nevada. The JMT follows a section of the marathon Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which stretches over 2650 miles from the Mexican border up to British Columbia, Canada.