Here are some specific points of interest:

  • Yosemite Valley, essentially the center of the Park is where you will find many of the water falls as well as the dramatic granite cliffs, including Half Dome and El Capitan. The Valley is extremely popular, and deservedly so, consequently it is very busy most of the year, but always spectacular. There are several lovely short walks along the Valley floor to Mirror Lake, the base of Yosemite Falls, and along the Merced River. The most popular trail in the park, and usually a bit crowded goes to Vernal & Nevada Falls, worth braving the crowds. Go early and you may have it to yourselves, at least somewhat.

  • Glacier Point has dramatic views overlooking Yosemite Valley. The Glacier Point road is generally open May through October. If it's not open, or if you are inclined for some strenuous exercise, you can do it on foot. The Four Mile Trail is a great hike, actually about 9 miles round trip.

  • Giant Sequoia Groves: Of the three groves in Yosemite, the main one, Mariposa Grove is located at the south entrance to the park, about an hour and a half drive from us, has about 500 mature trees, and because you can drive right to the grove there are usually hundreds of people. The parking is limited and it is best to take the free shuttle from the Wawona Store where there is plenty of parking. The alternative we suggest is to visit either, or both of the two other lovely groves conveniently located in our area, trail heads are just 10 to 15 miles from us, with the same amazing giant Sequoias, but only a handful of them. You have to hike 2 or 3 miles round trip to get to these groves and consequently there are far fewer visitors. The short hike to either of these groves, the Tuolumne, or the Merced Grove, is easy and highly recommended.

  • The high country, Highway 120 east- Tioga Pass Road (generally open Memorial Day, till the snow flies in October/November): White Wolf, Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, & Tioga Pass. This drive takes you up through and above tree-line where the vast expanse of the Sierra really opens up. The views are spectacular! Far more peaceful than Yosemite Valley, you will find summer and fall hiking in this region outstanding!

  • Winter, early spring, and the fall are great times to visit the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite, and it is just 20 miles from us. It is a valley like Yosemite Valley, with the granite cliffs and waterfalls, but, sadly was dammed in 1919. It is a beautiful area, particularly appealing in the spring with the waterfalls and wildflowers, as well as the fall with beautiful autumn colors. And since it is a little out of the way, it is not 'touristy' like Yosemite Valley.

  • The Eastern Sierra: a world apart from the lush valley, waterfalls and granite cliffs, the 'east side' is spectacular in it's own right...Mono Lake is a fascinating and incredibly beautiful huge alkaline lake with mineral deposit Tufa towers protruding toward the sky, in a high desert basin. Truly magnificent! The east side also allows access to varied trails into breathtaking Sierra canyons and ridges. A popular attraction is a bit of a drive to the classic Gold Rush ghost town of Bodie State Park.

*See our "Yosemite Hikes" Page for Hiking Ideas

For further advance planning, you might check out the book: 'Moon Handbook- Yosemite', by Ann Marie Brown (click here for link to book). You may be able to get this at your local library. It is such a comprehensive guide to the Park that we keep a copy in each of our cabins for your use.