Once in a lifetime

Visiting Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite National Park
Are you planning on visiting Yosemite National Park one day? If the answer is yes, then it's a good idea to have a plan ahead of time of what you want to see since it is such a vast park. Some of the park can be accessed by car while other areas can only be gotten to on foot by way of hiking trails. Having a strategy ahead of time will really help you to see as much of the park as possible, depending upon the amount of time you have allowed for your visit.

Accessing Yosemite National Park via Highway 41 will lead you through a tunnel where you will be greeted by a spectacular view of the park and valley. There is a parking lot where you can get out of your car and take pictures and enjoy the beautiful panorama.

Continuing by car down to the valley floor you will travel through tall trees and beside huge granite peaks. The Merced River can be seen from many locations as you meander through this splendor. Take time to stop at viewpoints to take pictures and view the falls.

Depending upon the time of year you visit, Upper and Lower Yosemite Fall will be flowing freely or down to a trickle. The time of year when Yosemite Fall has its heaviest flow is typically at the end of May. In addition to Yosemite Fall there is also Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall and several other smaller falls.

The Yosemite Valley Shuttle is a good way to get around parts of the valley floor as well as walking or cycling. The Valley Floor Tour is a popular way to explore Yosemite and allows you to relax and look around without having to concentrate on driving. Another well-liked tour that is offered will take you to Glacier Point and is usually available from late May to sometime in November, depending upon weather conditions.

Be sure to stop by the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for maps, souvenirs and food. The Ansel Adams Gallery offers works by renowned photographer Ansel Adams as well as photo supplies, books and gifts.

Bring clothing for sudden changes in the weather. It can be sunny in the morning and then an afternoon thunderstorm can move across the valley catching you by surprise. Make sure to also pack binoculars to view the wildlife including deers, coyotes, bears and raccoons. Use the binoculars to search for rock climbers as they scale the face of El Capitan. It's an amazing experience!

With so much to see and do while visiting Yosemite National Park, it's easy to get too busy trying to see it all. It really requires several visits to explore all it has to offer, so take the time to just sit still, relax and take in the magnificence that is Yosemite National Park.

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