Yosemite National Park Itinerary & Best Campsites
- Start your Yosemite adventure with a Valley Floor Tour. This guided bus tour will introduce you to the main highlights of the Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, and more. It's an excellent way to get an overview of the park's famous landmarks.
Day 2: Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome
- Head to Glacier Point (accessible by car in the summer and by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in winter, if available). The drive offers stunning views, but the area is usually closed from late fall to early spring due to snow.
- From Glacier Point, take the 1-mile round trip hike to Sentinel Dome. This hike offers breathtaking panoramic views of the entire Yosemite Valley, including iconic landmarks like Half Dome and Clouds Rest.
- Optionally, visit Taft Point, another beautiful viewpoint located near Glacier Point.
Day 3: Mist Trail and Vernal Fall
- Start your day early to beat the crowds and embark on the Mist Trail hike. This trail leads to two waterfalls, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. The hike to Vernal Fall is approximately 1.5 miles one way and offers great views of the waterfall and the surrounding scenery.
- If you're up for a more challenging hike, you can continue on to the top of Nevada Fall, adding an additional 1.5 miles one way to your trek.
- Take in the magnificent views and enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful surroundings.
Day 4: Mariposa Grove and Departure
- On your last day, visit Mariposa Grove, home to over 500 mature giant sequoias, including the famous Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree. This area is closed to private vehicles, so you'll need to take the free shuttle from the Wawona area (or hike, if you prefer).
- Take your time exploring the grove and consider taking the Grizzly Giant Loop Trail (about 2 miles) for a more immersive experience among the giant sequoias.
- Depart Yosemite National Park and head to your next destination.
Remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, and appropriate clothing for the hikes. Also, make any necessary reservations well in advance, as Yosemite can get busy, especially during peak seasons. Always follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the park's natural beauty for future generations. Enjoy your trip to Yosemite!
Before your trip, make sure to grab your
Yosemite National Park offers a variety of campsites for visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor experiences the park has to offer. Here are some campsites are particularly popular and highly regarded by visitors due to their scenic locations and facilities. Here are a few of the best campsites in Yosemite National Park:
Upper Pines Campground: Located in Yosemite Valley, this campground offers stunning views and easy access to iconic landmarks like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point. It's open year-round and is a great option for a central location.
Tuolumne Meadows Campground: Situated in the high country of Yosemite, this campground provides a more remote and peaceful experience. It's a great base for exploring Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, and nearby hiking trails.
North Pines Campground: This campground is also in Yosemite Valley, offering a serene setting along the Merced River and close proximity to many of the valley's main attractions.
Wawona Campground: Nestled in the Wawona area near the South Entrance, this campground is ideal for those seeking a quieter setting while still being within driving distance of Yosemite Valley
Bridalveil Creek Campground: Located near Glacier Point Road, this campground offers a more secluded experience while still being within reach of popular spots like Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome
White Wolf Campground: Situated along Tioga Road, this campground provides a rustic and tranquil setting in the high country. It's an excellent choice for those exploring the less crowded areas of Yosemite.
Camp 4: If you're an avid rock climber, Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley is famous for its historical significance and its proximity to world-class climbing routes.
Keep in mind that Yosemite's campgrounds can fill up quickly, so it's essential to make reservations well in advance, especially for the peak seasons. Please note that some campgrounds are available by reservation only, while others have a mix of reservations and first-come, first-served sites. Additionally, camping in Yosemite is subject to specific regulations and bear safety measures. Be sure to check the National Park Service website for the latest information on camping reservations and campground details before planning your trip. Also, note that some campgrounds are only open seasonally, and facilities may vary depending on the time of year.
Ultimately, the best campsite for you will depend on your preferences, whether you prefer a more central location, a remote high-country experience, or proximity to specific activities. Regardless of where you camp in Yosemite, you'll be surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and an unforgettable outdoor experience.