DAY 3 at YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
The majestic beauty of Yosemite is cherished by many visitors for many years. Here are our "One Day" suggestions for the highlights of Yosemite National Park. We have also listed suggestions if you can stay longer...
Stop 1 - Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias - before July 6, 2015
Now's the time to see the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia. Beginning July 6, 2015, the grove will be closed for a major restoration for about 2 years. We will keep you posted....see below for an alternative Stop 1 that you will enjoy..
Meet the star of Mariposa Grove, the Grizzly Giant, the largest giant sequoia in the grove with a diameter of 31 feet and a circumference of nearly 100 feet. Mariposa Grove has 470 of these behemoths, many of which are nearly 2,000 years old. Marvel at these masterpieces of nature by walking a short distance or take the five-mile tram tour that provides excellent access for viewing and photography. The road into Mariposa Grove remains open in the winter as long as conditions permit. If the road closes you can take an amazing 2-mile snowy snowshoe walk into the grove.
Alternative Stop 1 - Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (March thru November - weather permitting)
All aboard for an exciting four-mile scenic excursion through the Sierra national Forest on the restored railroad used for the Madera Sugar Pine's logging trains. Ride the Logger and century-old Shay Locomotive. Take a 30-minute journey aboard a Jenny Railcar; explore the Thornberry Museum, Depot Gift Shop, and Sugar Pine Trading Company. Have lunch at the Station Sandwich Shop or have the ultimate adventure on the Moonlight Special with dinner, entertainment & train ride. Go to www.ymsprr.com for schedules, pricing and more information.
Stop 2 - Wawona Pioneer Village
Travel back to the 19th century at the Pioneer History Center, where you will be greeted by hosts and hostesses dressed in costumes for that era. Guided tours describing important periods of Yosemite's development take place from the Fourth of July until Labor Day. The Pioneer History Center is open year round as a self-guided tour.
Stop 3 - Glacier Point
Walk to the edge for one of the most spectacular overlooks on earth. From this perch, 3,214 feet above the Valley floor, is an eagle's view of many popular landmarks of Yosemite. The turn-off is at Chinquapin, between Mariposa Grove and the Wawona Tunnel. Glacier Point is closed during the winter, but you can cross country ski to this fabulous overlook from Badger Pass Ski Resort!
Stop 4 - Tunnel View
On Highway 41 is one of the most photographed vistas in the world. It provides a panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, and Bridalveil Falls. Be prepared to pull into the parking area to the right or left immediately past the tunnel. Open year round.
Stop 5 - Yosemite Valley
Park your car here in Day Parking or at the Yosemite Lodge and hop on the Yosemite Valley Shuttle. See Yosemite Falls, Ansel Adams Gallery, Indian Museum, the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Lodge, gift stores & eateries, Curry Village, Happy Isles with access to Vernal & Nevada Falls and Mirror Lake.
For the best experience during peak season (summer and holidays), it is best to go into Yosemite Valley before 10 am and after 2 pm, when there is less traffic congestion.
Lodging – YosemiteThisYear.com/where-to-stay
Dining – YosemiteThisYear.com/where-to-eat
Things to Do – YosemiteThisYear.com/what-to-do
Download Summer-Fall Itineraries
Download Winter-Spring Itineraries
Download - Yosemite Map
Download Yosemite Hiking Information
Visalia Visitors Center
86724 Highway 180
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN LOOP MAP
Extend your stay & visit other Yosemite and Southern Area "must sees":
Experience the Fossils to Falls Journey thru the southern gate of Yosemite - *click here for full itinerary.* Go back in time over 500,000 years and visit the Fossil Discovery Center, taste delicious wines along the Madera Wine Trail, visit the many are museums and art galleries, spend the day at beautiful Bass Lake, ride an historic steam train, and see the majestic falls in Yosemite. For a complete list of Things To Do go to YosemiteThisYear.com
More of our favorite Yosemite adventures:
Experience the place the Yosemite Indians (Ahwahneechee) called “Pohono”, or spirit of the puffing wind. Take the easy walk and see windy swirls blow Bridalveil Falls sideways. Although small in comparison to the surrounding canyon walls, Bridalveil Falls is the height of a 62-story building.
Rising nearly 4,000 feet from the base to the summit, El Capitan is the largest single granite rock on earth. Rock climbers from around the world converge to face the challenge of this massive monolith. From spring to fall, they can be seen inching their way up the sheer wall. Be sure to bring binoculars!
Oldest building still in use in Yosemite Valley (dating from 1879) with spectacular views of Yosemite Falls and the valley from outside the Chapel.
Taft Point & Sentinel Dome
Wawona Hotel, Chilnualna Falls & Golf Course
The East Side of Yosemite
Begin with an easy walk through the forest past a wildflower-filled meadow (seasonal), the trail leads to an expanse on the south rim of Yosemite Valley. Taft Point (2 mile round trip) is marked by a small railing at the cliff's edge. Enjoy magnificent views of Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. Near Taft Point, you'll see the Fissures (2 mile round trip) - narrow fractures in the granite called joints. Watch out for drops near these fractures of up to 2,000 feet!
Wawona has lots to see and do. There is the historic Wawona Hotel & Restaurant, walk the Meadow Loop, Hike Chilnualna Falls (moderate to each to the 1st cascade-2 mile round trip, then strenuous to the upper cascades-8 mile round trip). You can also play a round of golf at Wawona Golf Course.
Features Olmstead Point, Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake. If you have the time, this is a beautiful 90 minute drive from the Valley and well worth it!