One of the last stops of our road trip through California was the Yosemite National Park. We were so excited about it and we didn’t get disappointed. Our trip to Yosemite was definitely my highlight of our travel month, that I will never forget.
The Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and stretches over 3100 square kilometers. The national park is known for its fascinating mountain landscape, the many waterfalls and lakes and for its mammoth forests. Yosemite is very easy to reach from Los Angeles and San Francisco. We came from Santa Cruz and drove about 3 hours to the park. The ride was beautiful, since you’re not on the typical highway. The biggest part of the route goes through beautiful vineyards and past typical American farms, that really look like in the movies. It was super exciting to see this other side in contrast to the big city life in L.A.
The great thing about Yosemite is that there are many different hiking trails in different difficult levels. There are easy trails that are great for a nice walk, but there are also heavier trips for advanced hikers. Long story short: There is something for everyone, whether it’s a professional hiker or just a nature lover who want to do a nice walk.
Today I want to share this incredible experience with you. I teamed up with Tatonka and put together a Travel Guide for your trip to the Yosemite National Park. I will tell you all about our trip, where we stayed, what to bring and where to go. We also made a video for you. Hope you like it!
Where to stay
The easiest way is to stay in the Yosemite Valley. It’s located in the middle of the park so you don’t have to drive up the park every day. Unfortunately, the accommodations are almost always booked out and pretty expensive.
Roman and I stayed in Oakhurst, which is about 40miles from the Yosemite National Park entrance. Actually, we enjoyed the daily drive to the park since the way up there is simply amazing! Oakhurst is a small town that has everything you need: supermarket, pharmacies, hotels, gas stations and many Airbnb’s!
What to bring
The most important thing to bring to the park is definitely a good backpack. The one we took with us is from Tatonka and I simply love how comfy it is to wear. It has about 30l space which is perfect for day trips- It also has a back ventilation.
We also took a first aid kit with us in our backpack which is very light and handy.
Food: There are some food lodges at the Yosemite Valley but since they are a little expensive and doesn’t serve the food we like, we took our own lunch and snacks with us in our food containers: Avocado Toast, Berries, Grapes and some crackers. Easy and delicious!
Don’t forget a little blanket. Perfect for a cozy picnic in the mountains 🙂
You should also bring a credit card and your ID. On the park entrance, you can buy your pass which costs 30 Dollar per car and is valid for 7 days.
Since it can get a little chilly in the mountains (especially at night) you should bring a jacket or pullover. I wore my grey jacket from Tatonka every night, which is super cozy and kept me warm.
Tunnel View: As you drive up the park towards Yosemite Valley, you’ll enter a tunnel shortly before. Brace yourself! As soon as you see the end of the tunnel, you will be greeted with a breathtaking view. There is also a small place where you can park.
Bridalveil Falls: Shortly after the tunnel, there is another stop you should take. On one side you will see a beautiful landscape of mountains, on the other a huge waterfall that falls dramatically down the mountain and is surrounded by rocks. A great scenery and absolutely worth seeing!
Yosemite Falls: In the middle of the Valley, you’ll find Yosemite Falls, which are within walking distance. They fall 739m into the depth. Totally fascinating!
Glacier Point: The Glacier Point is on the way to Yosemite Valley. Just follow the signs and turn off the main road (Wawona Road) into Glacier Point Road. At the top, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the mountains, the valleys, waterfalls and the Half Dome. Definitely one of my favorite stops in Yosemite!
Mirror Lake: The Mirror Lake is located at the eastern end of the Yosemite Valley, almost next to the Half Dome. The mountain landscape is reflected in this fairy-tale lake and looks like a painting!
Taft Point: My absolute recommendation and the most breathtaking view I’ve ever seen is 3 miles below the Glacier Point. The Taft Point, which you may already know from many famous photos, is the must-do stop, which you should definitely put on your bucket list. We have looked at the sunset here and were completely overwhelmed. From the parking lot you walk about one mile (1.6km) to Taft Point.The path goes through the forest, with beautiful trees, plants, bright moss and some rocks. Tip: Do not forget the picnic blanket and provisions and make yourself comfortable on a rock to watch the sunset.
And now I have a small flood of impressions for you, which we took in our time in the Yosemite National Park. So many special moments, to which I look back to with pleasure.