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Top Tours

 
Private Guided Hiking Tour in Yosemite
"You’ll meet your experienced guide at the trail and set out to see Yosemite from a different perspective. Every tour is designed to take advantage of the best locations available at the time of your visit with an effort to avoid the crowds even at the height of the summer season. Travel along less-visited trails with your expert guide getting an incredible experience of the forest waterfalls and meadows around Yosemite Valley. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Yosemite wilderness while your expert guide provides security and safety on the trail. Your guide will also be available to take photos of your group so that you hav either a magnificent vista point or alongside a meadow lake
From $156.00
 
Experience Yosemite: Beginner or Advanced Photography Lesson
"People have been photographing Yosemite since 1859 when Charles Weed took the first salt print photo of Yosemite Falls. Since then artists like Ansel Adams Carlton Watkins and Edward Weston have produced stunning unforgettable photographs of the Yosemite Valley and High Sierra. Choose a basic or advanced photography lesson depending on your skill level and preferences. Your photography adventure starts at 3:30pm and your exact trailhead departure point will be confirmed after booking. Follow your guide in your car or on foot through Yosemite National Park to your photo locations. Along with your own camera be sure to bring along any other equipment you'll need such as a sturdy tripod
From $281.00
 
Private Tour: Yosemite Hike with Naturalist Guide
"Meet at a prearranged location in Yosemite National Park in the morning for your 5-hour private tour which can be customized to suit your fitness level and interests. You’ll be greeted by your guide a local expert in the region’s natural history with more than two decades of experience leading tours in the Sierra Nevada. 
Camera in hand walk with your guide through Yosemite’s meadows whose diverse wildflowers attract pollinators and nature lovers alike or hop in your own car and follow your guide in search of prime bird habitat. Along the way your guide shares knowledge of favorite places and connects you with Yosemite’s ecosystems. (See tour options below.)Stop frequently to rest
From $156.00

Valley Tips (58)

Yosemite Valley Drive

This is a must do, even if there is traffic. The views are amazing and there are plenty of parking along side the road if there is a view you would like to see a little longer.Coming into the valley, the southside drive is one way into the valley and the north side drive is one way out. In most place in this area the road is two lanes But be careful if you pull off the side of the road. The cars that are still drive are also looking at the views and may not be paying 100% attention to the road.

I've driven into the valley early in the morning and in the afternoon and I have never had a problem finding parking. There is a great shuttle system on the canyon floor to see all without worrying about parking.

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blueskyjohn
Aug 07, 2012

Enjoy the Peacefulness

Our visit to Yosemite was toward the end of October which was really a great time to visit. There were not very many people at all the major park attractions and if you walked just a little ways away from the main waterfalls you could almost feel that you had the entire park to yourself.

From what I've read the summer months are a mass of people on vacation and I know that I really wouldn't enjoy the supposedly bumper to bumper traffic on the main Yosemite roads. For us we didn't even have to wait at the parks entrance to get in. We just paid our $20, got the park information and away we went. Since it was so uncrowded we probably saw as much in our 1 1/2 days in a couple of sections of the park then most people during the summer could see in twice as much time.

Words themselves and even the pictures you see don't do the park justice. I will post mine here for you to see a glimpse of the magnificence, but if you really want to be awed obviously you must go there go for yourself and immerse all your senses in viewing, hearing, touching, smelling and feeling the park.

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riorich55
Jan 20, 2011

Ranger Stroll - Bears

After a morning hiking the Mist Trail, we were in the mood for a sit down. My wife has a special soft spot for anything to do with bears and so when we saw this ranger activity, during our initial planning of the holiday, it was quickly put down as a thing to do when we were in Yosemite.

The hour and a half ranger talk was quite fun and the ranger told all the stories of the bears activities in the campground and park, and how important it was to keep food in the proper containers and to also dispose of rubbish correctly. I suppose the the safety aspects of the talk is mainly aimed at people camping in the park, but they were helpful to us nonetheless. The pictures he showed us of bears in cars and bins were also quite funny.

"Bear" in mind that the ranger told us that he once saw a bear on a Geology Stroll and landslide on a Bear Stroll.

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vichatherly
Aug 24, 2010

Yosemite Valley Bus Tour

I really enjoyed this tour. You catch the tour bus at the Lodge at Yosemite. Our guide was excellent. He knew a lot about the park and he was funny. We made several stops for photographs and to walk around a little bit. This would be a great way start your vacation and get orientated with the park. The only downside is it doesn't take you to Half Dome. But overall I highly recommend this tour.

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newsphotogirl
Jan 22, 2008
 
 
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Yosemite Valley, 9005 Southside Dr., , California, 95389, United States
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9010 Curry Village Drive, , California, 95389, United States
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9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, California, 95389, United States
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The Valley drive.

This is a mouthwatering drive to do, I say drive because like many people I would love to walk it but there are far too many cars out there. Perhaps one day it'll become like Zion N.P. and you could leave your car at certain strategic points and then walk or take the shuttle. With El Capitan ,a sheer rock face rising up to around 1000 metres on one side and Bridal Veil falls on the other it is a wonderful spot.

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pfsmalo
Jan 19, 2008

Yosemite Valley

The Yosemite Valley has been hosting visitors for more than a hundred years. It is seven miles long and nearly one mile wide, 3,000 feet deep and holds some of the most intriguing rock formations in the world! Here are some interesting statistics...

Some of its more familiar formations are:
Half Dome--8,842 feet,the youngest creation
Sentinel Rock--7,038 feet
El Capitan--3,593 feet
Mt. Lyell--13,114 feet, the tallest peak
Mt. Gibbs--12, 764 feet
Matterhorn Peak--12,264
Glacier Point-sits 3,214 above the valley floor

Glaciers helped to carve out this wondrous place, but it was "plutonic" rocks which cooled millions of years ago below the earth's surface that created the material. *Geologists think the last glacier departed Yosemite 15,000 years ago.

*For more information see: The Geologic Story of Yosemite Valley by N.King Huber

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VeronicaG
Aug 27, 2007

Yosemite Village

Yosemite Village happened along at an opportune moment, just as that gnawing feeling in our stomachs was growing!

Here you'll find the Yosemite Lodge or pick up the road to the Ahwahnee Hotel. You'll also find a walkway leading to Yosemite Falls (see my tip).

A large food court provides various food options:

Degnan's Cafe-baked goods, smoothies
Degnan's Deli-sandwiches, fresh salads
Degnan's Loft-pizza, salad, soups and appetizers
Serving at 12 noon-10pm daily (Spring-Fall)

Village Grill-cheeseburgers, salmon burgers, veggie burgers, fries, milkshakes
Serving 11am-5pm daily (Spring-Fall)

I was dreaming of Pizza and a few minutes later had it in my hungry little hands. My husband and grandson wanted something from the grill and this line took a while longer. There was no problem finding a table, although most were filled.

FYI: The food court has restrooms on the side of its building, but those off the lobby at the Yosemite Lodge check-in area seemed to be cleaner.

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VeronicaG
Aug 21, 2007

Yosemite Valley Meadows

The meadows of Yosemite Valley are former lakes of the lazy Merced river. Overtime, the lakes silted up, and then grasses began to thrive in the wetland areas. Over longer periods of time, the forests move in and cover the meadows. During unusually stormy winter rains, flooding and erosion serve to knock down some trees, and as was documented by the 1996 rock slide near Happy Isles, trees are also felled by brief stronger than hurricane force gusts of wind. Naturally, thunderstorm started fires can also reduce a forest, returning the soil to a state where winter rains can wash out and create a new lake. For the most part though, the meadows remain a constant within the valley, being dormant during winter, having a brief bloom of colorful wildflowers, and then staying mostly green during the summer months. See my tips for local customs about how to appreciate meadows, but basically hikers and picnickers are not welcome to wander through the meadows. Enjoy them from a distance, and hope to see wildlife grazing there. Most of the meadows are under restoration after many years of being trampled by tourists, but conditions have improved considerably over the past decade or so.

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atufft
Jun 03, 2007

Top 5 Yosemite National Park Writers

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chewy3326

"The Incomparable Valley (and Park)"
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goingsolo

"Yosemite in a day"
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richiecdisc

"On Becoming Part of the Food Chain: Yosemite"
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acemj

"Yosemite National Park"
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atufft

"Yosemite is Perhaps the Prettiest Park in the USA"
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Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley is the heart of the park. Drained by the Merced River, this valley is just seven miles long and one mile wide, but is flanked by some of the world's tallest waterfalls alongside towering granite peaks. The valley was formed by molten magma that solidified below the surface then was lifted and carved by glacial activity.

The following waterfalls enter the valley: Yosemite Falls (2,425 ft drop), Snow Creek Falls (2,140 ft), Sentinel Falls (1,920 ft), Ribbon Fall (1,612 ft), Royal Arch Cascade (1,250 ft), Lehamite Falls (1,180 ft), Staircase Falls (1,020 ft), Bridalveil Fall (620 ft). (Bridalveil Creek), and Silver Strand Falls (574 ft).

The main mountainous features along the valley include El Capitan (7569 feet above sea level), Cathedral Rocks, Sentinel Rock, Three Brothers, North Dome, Glacier Point (7,214 feet), Half Dome, and Cloud's Rest (9926 feet).

For visitors the valley offers various camp grounds, cabins, hotels, restaurants, and shops. We stayed in the Upper Pines campground and hiked the nearby Happy Isles trail entrance, shopped and showered at Camp Curry, and stopped by the Ahwahnee Hotel for drinks one evening.

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Ewingjr98
Apr 29, 2007

Yosemite Valley Hike

Perhaps you've worn yourself out on the Yosemite Falls or Vernal/Nevada Falls hikes. Or maybe you're looking for something a little easier, without the ardous climbing. Yosemite Valley offers some fine hikes along the valley floor. The views of the canyon walls are superb.

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Tom_Fields
Apr 11, 2007

Everybody stands in awe for the shown beauty.

Yosemite National Park was established by an act of Congress on the 1st of October 1890, and has since become one of the best-known parks in the world. Yosemite Valley is the heart of the National Park and is a kind of a natural sculpture at a very large scale. The Valley was formed during 6 key geologic stages that took place over the span of millions of years.

Ever since the middle of the 19th century, when the first non-indians came here, everybody stands in awe for the shown beauty. We did enjoy a show of colours during the fall and the brilliant mountain light. We could also imagine the fields of flowers in the spring or summer. It's open all year.

Along the Northside Drive, past El Capitan Meadow, we found a turnout that looks back to El Capitan. This serene spot, besides the Merced River, offers one of the most picturesque views of El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Yosemite Valley.

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Jerelis
Nov 12, 2006

If you haven't been to Yosemite Valley, you ...

What better way to enjoy the beauty of Yosemite National Park than on footh? Whether you're interested in an easy stroll or a challenging hike, there's always a trail to hike. During our visit at Yosemite National Park we did hike on Tuolumne Meadows and the Sequoia Grove. But everytime after our hikes we ended up in Yosemite Valley and we can state that if you haven't been to Yosemite Valley, you haven't been to Yosemite National Park. Therefore it's not strange that it is the most visited section of Yosemite National Park.

This valley is only 11 km long and is 3079 km2 large, but right here you'll see the famous sights of Yosemite like El Capitan, Glacier Point and Upper Yosemite Fall. We also witnessed the Half Dome. The Half Dome is Ysemite's most distinctive monument, as it dominates most Valley views. A must visit!

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Jerelis
Nov 12, 2006

Things to Do Near Valley

Things to Do

Glacier Point

Okay, they say a photo is worth a thousand words, so I have, by way of the photos here ALREADY written 5,000 words ^O^. But if you have the time, take the road up to Glacier Point, it is one of those...
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Ahwahnee Hotel

We didn't stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel, so I can't comment on its lodging attributes, but we did have a few rounds at the bar after a long day of hiking, and we spent about 30-40 minutes walking around...
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Things to Do

Sentinel Dome

This is a hiking trail that you MUST take when you visit yosemite. The ease vs the reward comparison is unmatched in the whole park. Located just two to three miles before the end of Glacier Point...
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Falls

We went to Yosemite in July, it was perfect, the weather is not too hot then. We went on a hike, an easy one, passing by the Yosemite Falls, it's really beautiful. It's at 2,425 ft. There are several...
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Vernal Falls

The trail up to Vernal falls was very nice and you can tell they keep up with it. It was a hard hike to the bridge which is just a view of the falls and the incline was pretty much straight up the...
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Half Dome

The half dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite. At over 400 feet incline, it is a difficult hike. The trail runs 12 miles; 6 miles each way. It is a seven hour hike in all. Since I was...
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Getting to Valley

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Yosemite National Park

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