Yosemite National Park Tours
Park embraces a spectacular tract of mountain-and-valley scenery
in the Sierra Nevada, which was set aside as a national park in
1890. The park harbors a grand collection of waterfalls, meadows,
and forests that include groves of giant sequoias, the world's largest
living things. There are numerous Yosemite
Hikes, so many you may wish to stay a bit longer. The best way is to find lodging close to Mammoth Mountain and see the entire Eastern Sierra.
Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows
is a favorite day trip for Mammoth
vacationers. Its eastern entrance at Tioga Pass is just 45-minutes
from Mammoth. Tioga Pass is typically closed due to snow from mid-November
through May. The inspiring scenery in Yosemite
is overwhelming with tremendous mountain peaks, a series of gigantic
granite domes, lakes and glistening waterfalls. It offers a 39 mile
scenic drive between Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows through forests
and past meadows, lakes, and granite domes. Many turnouts offer
broad and beautiful vistas. Tuolumne Meadows is a large, open sub-alpine
meadow graced by the winding Tuolumne River. From sometime in November
through late May or early June, this area is only accessible by
cross-country skis or snowshoes.
Yosemite ValleyThe trip through Yosemite Valley is approximately 70 miles,
one way from Tioga Pass. Take U.S. 395 North from Mammoth Lakes
about 30 miles to Hwy. 120 West. Turn left and wind your way up
Lee Vining Canyon to Tioga Pass (10,000 ft.), the eastern entrance
to Yosemite National Park. Watch for bighorn sheep on the rocky
cliffs above Tioga Pass as you drive.
Receive a free Park map with your entrance fee and follow Hwy. 120
through the magnificent Yosemite high country, past the immense granite
domes of Tuolumne Meadows and scenic Tenaya Lake. Be sure to take
advantage of the breathtaking views of Olmstead Point Overlook as
you descend the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.
Your route will intersect with Hwy. 41 at Crane Flat. Turn left and continue to Yosemite Valley, home of Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and The Ahwahnee Hotel. Enjoy a picnic or dine in one of the Valley's several restaurants and cafeterias. Stretch your legs on a forested trail and keep an eye out for deer, squirrels and coyote. In summer, you might also opt for a cool dip in the Merced River. Bring binoculars along as well, so that you can watch climbers scale the sheer rock face of El Capitan. Please remember to pull well off the main highway into turnouts or scenic viewpoints, and bring lots of film. In addition, be prepared for the warm summer temperatures of Yosemite Valley.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
The Mariposa Grove is located 36 miles (one hour) south of Yosemite Valley, near the park's South Entrance. The Mariposa Grove is the largest stand of giant sequoias (also known as Sierra redwoods or big trees) in Yosemite. The road to the Mariposa Grove is not plowed in winter and is often closed from sometime in November through March. If you're into the BIG TREES think about including more of the Sequoia National Park on your vacation.
Wawona is the home to dating from the late nineteenth century. The Pioneer Yosemite History Center, a collection of historic buildings, is located just over the covered bridge from the hotel. Wawona is accessible by car year-round. Wawona Hotel a National Historic Landmark rests upon verdant meadows and beside rushing streams. The tranquility of this Victorian-style lodge in Yosemite makes it a favorite of those who prefer a relaxed environment and the gracious charm of a bygone era.
Glacier Point & Badger Pass
Glacier Point, an overlook with a commanding view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierra is located 30 miles (one hour) from Yosemite Valley. The road ends at Glacier Point and it is a short walk to the viewpoint. The road is closed from sometime in November through early May or late June. From mid-December through early April the road is plowed only as far as the Badger Pass ski area and Glacier Point can be reached via skis or snowshoes only. Both downhill and cross-country skiing are available at Badger Pass from mid-December through early April.
For More Information
Yosemite National Park: (209) 372-0200
Wilderness Office: (209) 372-0740