Explore Yosemite National Park: its hiking, natural setting, lake views, and more!

Yosemite National Park is an area of extraordinary natural beauty in the center of California. It has abundant flora and fauna in addition to majestic mountains, giant trees, vast valleys and peaceful lakes. Every year, millions of travelers visit the park, which stretches across 747,956 acres (302,687 hectares). Glaciers formed the fascinating landscape about 1 million years ago.

See Yosemite Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the United States. The 2,425-foot (739.1-meter) attraction is one of the park’s most visited sites. Enjoy a picnic on a grassy area nearby while listening to the flowing water.

Get a permit in advance to make the arduous 8.5-mile (13.7-kilometer) hike up Half Dome. Steel cables help hikers climb the steep final section. Some attempt this trek overnight to watch the sunrise from the summit and avoid the afternoon heat. Plan for more than 10 hours for the round trip.

While views from Yosemite Falls and Half Dome are impressive, Glacier Point may be the park’s most spectacular spot. Access the area by car or on foot or skis in winter. Capture photos of the panoramic vista incorporating sparkling granite mountains and tree-covered valleys.

Descend into Yosemite Valley to explore lakes and vegetation. Paddle in the chilly waters of the Merced River.

Investigate some of the world’s largest trees in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Grizzly Giant has a 27 foot (8.2 meter) diameter. Walk through carefully carved gaps for the bizarre experience of standing inside a tree.

Look for many types of wildlife, from spotted owls and white-headed woodpeckers to king snakes and American black bears.

Amtrak trains and tour buses arrive in Yosemite Valley from Los Angeles and San Francisco, which are respectively 300 miles (482.8 kilometers) and 200 miles (321.9 kilometers) from the park. Be sure to make an advance reservation if you plan to stay overnight.

Yosemite National Park is so vast and diverse that you can spend weeks exploring the picturesque region.

Known for

Hiking, Nature and Scenery

Top Hotels in Yosemite National Park

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Yosemite Scenic Wonders - Wawona Area
Yosemite Scenic Wonders - Wawona Area
3.5 out of 5
2669 Spelt Road Wawona, Yosemite National Park, CA
¥35,903/night
Sep 12 - Sep 13
4.8/5Exceptional! (61 reviews)

"Conveniently located, near south entrance. House is big with comfortable setting. Good for family visiting."…"

Reviewed on Aug 17, 2019

Yosemite Scenic Wonders - Wawona Area
Image for Bordentown West
Bordentown West
3.5 out of 5
8041 Chilnualna Falls Road, Yosemite National Park, CA
Bordentown West
Image for Sequoia House
Sequoia House
3.5 out of 5
2614 Larke St., Yosemite National Park, CA
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)

"Everything was nice at this property, location, space, comfort, accessibility, cozy, eveything"…"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2019

Sequoia House

Popular things to do in Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point
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Glacier Point

Witness a superb panorama of the Yosemite Valley from this viewing point and spot soaring canyons, plunging falls and granite cliffs along the rugged valley skyline.

Yosemite Falls
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Yosemite Falls

You may hear these thundering falls, which are among the top 10 tallest in the world, before you see them in California’s Yosemite National Park.

El Capitan
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El Capitan

Experience the enormity of Yosemite Valley’s glacially carved granite peaks when you gaze upon this distinctive formation and rock-climbing landmark.

Mariposa Grove
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Mariposa Grove

Explore Mariposa Grove, a favorite green space in Fish Camp, and also enjoy the area's hiking trails. Amble around this family-friendly area's lush forest and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Vernal Falls
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Vernal Falls

The first tier of the Merced River’s magnificent waterfall plunges from a jagged granite precipice in a cloud-like curtain and is surrounded by pines.

Yosemite Valley
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Yosemite Valley

From Yosemite Falls to Half Dome and El Capitan, you can see some of the most stunning scenery in the world from Yosemite National Park’s central valley.

Top activities in Yosemite National Park

Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias
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Total Yosemite Experience with Giant Sequoias

¥20,320

Spend a day soaking up the natural splendor and breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park on this full-day excursion from San Francisco. Trek to a grove of giant sequoias, marvel at features like El Capitan, and enjoy free time to explore the park's outdoor wonders and historic lodges on your own.

Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Image for Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco

Yosemite National Park - Full Day Tour from San Francisco

¥18,169

Experience the majesty of this world famous National Park and join us as we take you on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Yosemite Valley. Take in some of the most breathtaking sights California has to offer in this one day tour departing San Francisco to Yosemite National Park.

3-Day Yosemite Escape Camping Tour
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3-Day Yosemite Escape Camping Tour

¥52,743

Over 3 days, explore the breathtaking scenery of Yosemite National Park and sleep under the stars. Embark on a journey with your knowledgeable guide and admire towering trees, cascading waterfalls, and cliffs rising 3,000 feet (914 m) from the valley floor.

Yosemite National Park Valley Highlights Tour
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Yosemite National Park Valley Highlights Tour

¥17,149

Enjoy a small-group tour of Yosemite, hailed as the crown jewel of the National Park system. Watch as climbers scale Half Dome and the granite monolith of El Capitan.

Yosemite One Way from San Francisco by Train and Bus
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Yosemite One Way from San Francisco by Train and Bus

¥7,008

Getting to Yosemite by train and bus is a relaxing experience. On the train you can take a nap, have a snack, walk around and see the countryside through large windows. The seats are wider than those on a bus or in the business class of an airplane.

Yosemite National Park Tour
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Yosemite National Park Tour

¥20,888

The stunning sights of Yosemite National Park make this tour an unforgettable adventure in the great outdoors. Travel by climate controlled coach, just 200 miles east of San Francisco, and enjoy a wide array of photo opportunities along the scenic drive to Yosemite National Park.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Yosemite National Park

Instagram family fun in Yosemite
Image for Instagram family fun in Yosemite

Instagram family fun in Yosemite

Spotlighting the best of a multigenerational family trip to Yosemite National Park

Yosemite, daughter-style
Image for Yosemite, daughter-style

Yosemite, daughter-style

Experiencing Yosemite National Park through the words of a 7-year-old