What to pack for Yosemite National Park

  • What to Pack
    by vichatherly
  • we needed new boots after this trip
    we needed new boots after this trip
    by richiecdisc
  • D looking on as Half Dome does the same
    D looking on as Half Dome does the same
    by richiecdisc

Most Viewed What to Pack in Yosemite National Park

  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Photography

    by acemj Updated Jun 18, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Photo Equipment: I would guess that many visitors to the park are motivated by some of the spectacular photos of Ansel Adams and other famous photographers, but in my opinion, there's no way to truly grasp the scale of this place without seeing it in person. However, in an attempt to capture on film what is truly spectacular to see with the naked eye, I'd suggest placing objects in the foreground of your picture when you are composing it. Whether it's a sign, a person or a tree, using this technique will give the viewer a reference point to judge the relative size of the objects being photographed.

    I'd also suggest (obviously) shooting the park during the early morning or late afternoon hours when the light is at its best. A polarizing filter is helpful to created contrast between the stone and the blue skies. Also, you'll want a telephoto lens of at least 300 mm to capture some of the park's elusive wildlife from a safe distance.

    Was this review helpful?

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo

    Snow Boots and Chains!

    by karenincalifornia Written Jan 6, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are coming here in winter, bring your most heavy duty winter boots. I brought my Sorels this year and was very happy I did.

    Miscellaneous: Do not forget to carry chains in winter! We failed to bring them and it almost caused us major problems. See my Warnings and Dangers tip.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • acemj's Profile Photo

    The great outdoors

    by acemj Updated Jun 18, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Traveling light is usually the way to go, especially if you plan to do extensive exploring of the park on foot. There's nothing worse than a burdensome backpack when your hiking up steep hills at high elevations. Just bring the essential items that you know you'll need and leave the rest at home (or at camp).

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hiking shoes are a plus, but I navigated the moderately difficult Mist Trail in cross-training shoes with no porblem. The weather varies greatly depending on the season, but in the spring and summer months, it's usually extremely pleasant with plenty of sunshine. In early June when we were here, the evenings were gorgeous (cool, in the mid 60s) and the daytime highs were in the low to mid 80s with low humidity.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Definitely bring mosquito spray!

    Was this review helpful?

  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Potable water filter and mosquito repellent

    by atufft Written Aug 12, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Good comfortable packpacks are required here. No need to spend a fortune, but the daypack won't do for an overnighter. I prefer down filled sleeping backs, but in any case don't neglect to pack warm sleeping bags.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good sturdy shoes and socks. Bring long pants and long sleeved shirts. It get cold up in the alpine region at night and if the mosquitoes become a nuisance, it will make life more bearable.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellant and a potable water filter. The water tastes as good as spring water gets, but you'll want to clear out the possibliity of gerardia. A pumping water filter is nice to have. The mosquitoes aren't always bad, but with a good wet winter they can be a torture as late as July. No concern about diseases with these critters though as far as I know. Just a nuisance buzzing about the head and a small welt to scratch; that's all.

    Photo Equipment: Don't forget the macro lenses. The alpine flowers are a tiny world of beauty that can't be appreciated without a close-up inspection.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Tent really isn't necessary, but bring a tarp in case of a surprise summer thunderstorm. I lay my bag on the tarp and tie the mummy around my face a night. I love the complex of celestial bodies viewed up there.

    Miscellaneous: Pace yourself, and bring a friend. Individuals get hurt or lost in the mountains all the time. Having a friend with common sense is the best way to go.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • IceBear7's Profile Photo

    Based on a visit in October

    by IceBear7 Written Oct 24, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: - binoculars - to watch the climbers
    - warm blanket or sleeping bag, if you're staying at Curry Village
    - food for during the day, and water - it's very expensive if you have to buy it in the stores in yosemite village, you'll get enough storage room in the bear lockers
    - torch - to find your way from the bus to your tent
    - book - if you've watched the film and the stars (see nightlife tip)

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • annk's Profile Photo

    The Official Guide to Yosemite - free

    by annk Updated Jun 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: Yosemite Guide - At your hotel or around Yosemite Village pick up a complimentary Yosemite guide published by the National Park Foundation. It lists the rules and regulations, maps, lodging and camping, visitor's services, dining, activities, programs, sights, history, hiking and best bests. An invaluable tool for visitors. I used this guide while planning out each day.

    Yosemite Today - A free monthly newspaper published by the park service. Has detailed maps, shuttle bus routes, schduled events, sights and services. Another useful source of information.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • vichatherly's Profile Photo

    A Decent Water Bottle

    by vichatherly Updated Dec 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: One if the most important items that you can buy, bring and use, in Yosemite is a decent water bottle. You'll need plenty of water on your summer hikes.

    The thin plastic shop bought bottles are okay for small hikes, but if you’re driving around the park, you'll find that because of the change in pressure, when you go from the valley floor to Glacier Point they’ll not be strong enough and they will eventually pop burst.

    A decent water bottle will be a godsend, along with some trail nuts.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Bring a good map

    by sim1 Updated Mar 10, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags:
    Also don't forget to bring a good map. When you go early in the season like I did, there is a good chance that the Tioga Pass is still closed. I had good use of my map, figuring out what alternative routes there were to get to the other side of the Sierra Nevada.

    This page is part of my roundtrip through the USA. I made an awesome trip through the Western part of the USA. Take a look at my USA page to read about the rest of this roundtrip.

    I devided this travelstory into several chapters. The previous (chapter 5) is about Sequoia National Park
    The next chapter (chapter 7) is about the Ghosttown of Bodie. An absolute 'off the beaten path' location, but very worth while going there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Fewf's Profile Photo

    Don't forget a towel

    by Fewf Written Oct 6, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: If you're going on any of the remotely serious hikes, bring a comfortable pack. Even if you go with only a canteen, having it hang asymmetrically will make you twice as tired.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Temperatures vary at different altitudes and at different times of day. In the early morning, you'll want a lot of layers on, which you'll shed as it gets warmer, and put back on as you climb higher. You'll probably shed them again as you descend, and if you're descending late enough to be going by moonlight, you'll don the layers again as it gets colder.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: The usual.

    Photo Equipment: Any photo equipment is a big plus. You're likely to be using it.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you want to pay less and stay at a more central location (or less central, but closer to where you want to be), definitely consider camping. Just make sure you're equipped for rain.

    Miscellaneous: If you're camping at one of the Pines, the nearest showers are in Curry Village and cost $5. If you have your own towel however (SO PACK IT!), you can skip checking in and go straight to the showers, avoiding the fee.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sunshinejo's Profile Photo

    Things To Pack For A Day Hike

    by sunshinejo Written Jun 4, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Decent sized backpack that's comfortable to carry, not too big, but large enough to hold a sweater/jacket in case it gets cold (or warm and you want to take it off!)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Although there are some walks that are suitable for trainers, I'd advise having a comfortable pair of walking boots, preferably ones that are waterproof - be sure to have good socks to go with them! I'd also take a light jumper in case it gets chilly, a hat, and a waterproof jacket. Oh, and sunglasses!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun screen and insect repellant are an absolute must - don't even consider leaving home without them!

    Photo Equipment: Extra film or plenty of memory space!!! If you have fancy camera equipment with zooms etc then bring those along. I'm not a big fan of tripods, so unless you're a REALLY keen photographer then I'd leave them at home! Personally I could never be bothered to carry them.

    Miscellaneous: Other things to remember are PLENTY of water, and food too if you're going to be gone all day (I like to take little snacks such as fruit, nuts or muesli bars to boost my energy along the way as well as a packed lunch)

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Bring your camera!

    by sim1 Updated Mar 10, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags:
    One thing you really need here is a camera and a lot of film! Because you are going to make more photos than you would have imagined. And these days your digital camera as well!!! (Hahaha, I didn't have one at that time, but I couldn't live without one these days).

    I also took a tripod with me, a lightweight model, so it isn't too have to take with me on a short hike. A tripod is ideal when there is not a lot of light. But it also perfect when you make pictures of streams and waterfalls and you want to get a 'frozen' effect.

    Was this review helpful?

  • joits's Profile Photo

    Thngs to bring

    by joits Written Jul 10, 2004

    Luggage and bags: Depending on where you are staying, you can pretty much bring everything including the kitchen sink if you want, it depends on your vehicle.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good hiking shoes. Probably the main thing as you will be doing a lot of walking. And if you go in the summer, well bring summer clothes obviously although be prepared just in case it rains as it most certainly will.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Again, this depends on where you are staying. I stayed at Housekeeping camp and so I brought pretty much all the necessary toiletries: shampoo, soap, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, contact lens solution, etc. There's a grocery store in the camp if you forgot anything.

    Photo Equipment: How can you go to Yosemite and not bring any photo equipment? Its a must as you'll get breathtaking views on a constant basis.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring your own folding chairs, lamps, and even a gas cooker if you don't want to use the fireplace provided at Housekeeping camp. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate around camp when it gets dark. Bring charcoal, or you can just buy the necessary items for a fire at the grocery store.

    Miscellaneous: Instead of renting their linens, bring your own bed sheets, pillows and blankets. Bring all the necessary cooking items and cutlery. Oh, and leave the electronics at home people. You won't die if you don't have internet access or if you don't watch a movie. Bring a radio, but leave the laptops and portable tvs at home. The whole point is to get away from it all. My friend brought his and it almost got soaked in the rain. Oh and if you play an instrument that's portable... i.e. a guitar or harmonica, bring it. And don't forget them marshmallows.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Foam bed pad

    by LAURAKP2002 Written Sep 1, 2004

    Luggage and bags: You will have a hard time getting sleep if you only bring a sleeping bag. Try to gt or borrow a foam/inflatable pad to go under your sleeping bag. The ground honestly feels like cement and the foam pads easily roll up, for convienient carrying.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: sunscreen

    Miscellaneous: Flashlight!

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • ddbleu's Profile Photo

    Bring munchies

    by ddbleu Updated Oct 17, 2010

    Luggage and bags: A backpack of course, and water bottles. Curry Village has a cold filtered drinking water spigot inside by the buffet and you can refill free. There is ice by the coffee shop. I have an insulated water bottle and it would keep ice water cold for hours.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Hat for the sun

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Flip flops for the showers at Curry Village, soap

    Photo Equipment: Recharging outlets are limited at the lodge at Curry
    Village. Bring a book so you can hang out while your stuff is plugged in and charging.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Keens or other water shoes if you're going river rafting.

    Miscellaneous: Nuts, trail mix, dried fruit. You'll need snacks for during the day. There is a microwave in the coffee shop that they let you use too. If you're staying in a tent cabin, bring ear plugs as there is a lot of noise and snoring going on. Sunscreen.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Hot hot hot

    by goingsolo Written Sep 7, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Its hot in the summer. Over 100 degrees by midday. Lighweight breathable clothing is a must, along with a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellent is another necessity

    Photo Equipment: Definitely

    Was this review helpful?

Yosemite National Park Hotels

Latest Yosemite National Park Hotel Reviews

Yosemite Lodge At The Falls
1377 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Wawona Hotel
646 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 26, 2014
Housekeeping Camp
184 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 24, 2014
Curry Village
993 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
The Ahwahnee
974 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
E. C. Yosemite Motel
63 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort
268 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Crane Flat Campground
33 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 26, 2013
North Pines Campground
23 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 30, 2013
The Redwoods In Yosemite
4 Reviews & Opinions
Hodgdon Meadow Campground
28 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 12, 2013
Yosemite Foresta Hilltop Cabins
25 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 31, 2013
Upper Pines Campground
52 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 14, 2014
White Wolf Lodge
35 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 9, 2013
Tuolumne Meadows Campground
66 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 18, 2013

Instant Answers: Yosemite National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

71 travelers online now

Comments

Yosemite National Park What to Pack

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Yosemite National Park locals.
Map of Yosemite National Park
Other What to Pack in Yosemite National Park