Yosemite National Park

I lost count on the number of times I have been to Yosemite National Park. I have been there in Winter, Summer, Falls and Spring. I have been there with family and friends and so much great memories.   There are plenty of lodging options inside the park and outside the park. Most people stay inside the park since it convenient but I prefer to stay at Cabin with kitchen so we can cook and prepare meal.

Getting There

It is 3-4 hrs drive from Bay Area and there are multiple route to get to the park. Our favorite is via highway 120 in summer and there is a short option via the Old Priest Grade Road which will save you 30-45 minutes instead of the new road. 120 is a popular route but it is winding. Another option is Highway 140 and we used that for winter travel to Yosemite.

Must see

The Yosemite Valley – Both Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. You can hike to lower Yosemite Hike. Bridalveil fall is accessible easily from the car park. Must stop at the Visitor center to get maps and read the history of the park. If you staying longer, I highly recommend renting a bike or hike to Mirror Lake or even up to Vernal Falls. Our favorite place to explore is Tioga Pass which lead to the east entrance (open in summer), Tenaya Lake,  Tuolumne Meadows  and Tioga Lake. The drive to Glacier Point is very long and winding but the view is worth it.

Best place for photography

Everywhere and tons of nice places. Must stop is Tunnel View (sunrise) and Yosemite Valley View (Sunset). You can get a best shot of Half Dome from Sentinel bridge. Other great place is The El Capitan and the meadows in the valley. If you are hiking to Mirror Lake, you can get reflections of the rocks.

Summary

Anytime is great for Yosemite but it is very crowded on July 4th holidays and in summer holiday. Curry Village and Camp site provide affordable lodging with very basic bed and shelter. There are plenty of hotels and lodging in the park but you must book in advance.