Yosemite National Park offers visitor's jaw-dropping views, endless trails, stunning waterfalls, eerie steaming pools, backcountry camping, tent cabins and a luxury resort. No wonder Yosemite is one of the most visited national parks. Yosemite appeals to dedicated rockclimbers, naturalists, photographers, geologists and other experts but this national park captures the heart of every single visitor, even if you are just seeing it for the first time.
Print this free map of Yosemite National Park to help plan your travel.
Yosemite, California 95389
Established October 12, 1890
761,757 acres. Open all year. Fee.
 372-0200 www.nps.gov/yose
HIGHLIGHTS: Yosemite’s magnificent landscape is the result of erosion by water and glaciers. Famous for a stunning valley that is surrounded by towering cliffs, sheer walls, and marvelous granite domes, features like El Capitan and Half Dome are slowly peeling away in layers. Yosemite Valley is full of waterfalls: Bridalveil, Yosemite, Nevada, and Vernal falls are easily accessible. Free buses provide transport to famous spots such as Mirror Lake and Happy Isles.
Sequoia trees can be seen in all their grandeur at Mariposa Grove in the southern part of the park. Some 500 trees remain, among them Yosemite Sequoia, the fifth largest and oldest of the sequoias - about 3,000 years. In the high country, accessible by California 120, is Tuolumne Meadows, the largest in the Sierra. It is a mecca for campers and backpackers, seeking the famous John Muir or Pacific Crest trails, or any of the dozens of day hikes in the area.
ACTIVITIES: Backcountry camping (permit required), mountain climbing, rock climbing, horseback riding, swimming, boating, fishing, biking, and cross-country skiing.
WILDLIFE: Yosemite toad, band-tailed pigeon, acorn woodpecker, great gray owl, Steller’s jay, perigrine falcon, mule deer, bighorn sheep, coyote, California sister butterfly, black bear, mountain lion, pocket gopher, and California ground squirrel.
PLANT LIFE: Sequoia, incense cedar, western juniper, Jeffrey and ponderosa pines, white fir, California black and canyon live oaks, mountain dogwood, mountain azalea, black-eyed susan, bull thistle, cow parsnip, mountain goldenrod, bleeding heart, pussy paws, monkshood, fireweed, blue penstemon, sulphur flower, red columbine, groundsel, mistletoe, thimbleberry, snow plant, and meadow, scarlet, and pink monkeyflowers.
TRAVEL TIPS: California 120 westbound from Lee Vining is closed during the winter. There are five entrances to the park. Carry tire chains for travel October - April. To avoid bear damage, observe regulations on food storage; never leave food in parked cars.
DIRECTIONS: From Fresno, use California 41; from Merced, use 140 and from Reno, take 395 to Lee Vining and follow signs to the Tioga Pass. Nearest airport: Fresno.