Visit Yosemite: Best things to see for a road trip

Are you planning your road trip to Yosemite National Park?

Want to make the most out of your ONE DAY trip to Yosemite National Park?

How do you get into Yosemite?

In this blog I’ll share my personal experience visiting Yosemite attractions during both spring and winter seasons!

About Yosemite National Park

First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, and much more.

Yosemite  National Park truly is one of the most beautiful places on the planet! It’s one of the very first national parks I visited in the United States (I took a road trip on the west coast to visit a few national parks along the way since they’re close to each other). 

Yosemite National Park, USA

Before you go

A reservation will be required to drive into or through Yosemite National Park from May 20 through September 30, 2022, for those driving into the park between 6 am and 4 pm.

Book your reservation here

The non-refundable reservation fee is $2 (this does not include the $35-per-car park entrance fee).

via Yosemite National Park website

Official Yosemite National Park Map Website

Download the official map for Yosemite Valley

Download the official park map

If you visit Yosemite National Park only for ONE DAY and want to make the most of your time, visiting Yosemite Valley is the most popular and concentrated route. It’s a loop circle to drive in and out. I said it’s perfect for a one-day visit because the traffic to go into Yosemite Valley can be really bad, especially after noon. Yosemite is one of most popular national parks in the United States, the traffic can be as bad as one of the Disney Parks! 

When to visit?

Yosemite National Park is amazingly beautiful all year-round for all the seasons as you might already see pictures on the internet. Just be aware some attractions or roads might not be open during winter because of snow and road safety. Check their official website for the newest updates.

Yosemite National Park, USA

Best things to see for a road trip

Tunnel View

The Tunnel View is a wonderful photographic spot and an absolute must-see in Yosemite National Park. It’s so beautiful and almost like a painting in front of you. 

Tunnel View is on the way to the Valley by car and there’s a small temporary parking area for visitors to stop and enjoy the view.

Yosemite National Park, USA

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall is often the first waterfall visitors see when entering Yosemite Valley. In spring, it thunders; during the rest of the year, look for its characteristic light, swaying flow.

Yosemite National Park, USA

Yosemite Falls

You can see Yosemite Falls from numerous places around Yosemite Valley, especially around Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge. A one-mile loop trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall. 

Yosemite National Park, USA

El Capitan

El Capitan, rising over 3,000 feet above the floor of Yosemite Valley, is opposite Bridalveil Fall and is best seen from the roads in western Yosemite Valley, including Tunnel View, Bridalveil Fall area, and El Capitan Meadow.

Yosemite National Park, USA

Glacier Point

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, and is accessible by car from approximately late May through October or November.

Yosemite National Park, USA

There are many short trails along the way, depending on which attractions you want to go to. The trail I highly recommend is The Four-Mile Trail, a 9.4 mile round trip trail from the Valley to the famous Glacier Point. It has amazing top mountain views  facing Half Dome and a perfect spot to wait for sunset!

Half Dome

Half Dome is perhaps the most recognized symbol of Yosemite. Rising nearly 5,000 feet above the Valley floor, magnificent creation from Mother Nature!

Final Thoughts

I hope you find this blog helpful for your visit to Yosemite National Park. It’s absolutely one of the must-see national parks in the United States. However, there’s also a lot of tourists visiting all year-round. Do you have a favorite hidden spot in the park? Please feel free to comment below to let me know what you think! 


Check out my other post Tips for traveling alone as a woman !

Happy Adventure Soul 🙂

My name is Kaya and I'm the storyteller and content creator behind this blog. The purpose of this blog is to inspire adventurous spirits like me to experience and see the world in a different way. And see what the world has to offer!
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