Yosemite National Park
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK is a formidable experience if your enjoy hiking in the summer, snow-Boarding during the winter, canoeing, rafting, cycling, camping, rock climbing, trail walking or simply communing with nature in all its splendor any of the twelve months of the year (provided the roads are open). There’s also a lot to discover if local museums, historical sites and folk lore are your thing. Yosemite a 3 1/2 hr. drive from San Francisco.
The park is maintained by the National Park Service. It is served by the DNC Parks & amp and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc, who manage the hotels, concessions and transportation throughout the year. The Yosemite Lodge at the Falls with its GreenPath program and eco-friendly guest rooms is one of them. Another resort is the Yosemite View Lodge situated on the Merced River in El Portal with 335 convenient rooms less than 5 miles from the park. The Yosemite View Lodge is where we stayed for two nights. And in the park you’ll find the Ahwahnee, Yosemite’s AAA Four-Diamond national historic landmark hotel. It is frequented by celebrities and heads of state world-wide–it has a big reputation.
To get there from San Francisco we recommend US Highway 120, the main road through Coulterville and Groveland, a very scenic town, to the East Gate. From Fresno, US Highway 61 will get you to the South Gate. Fresno is only 2 hours away.
The major city straddling the park is Mariposa on Rt. 140, a short 30 minute ride from the park’s East Gate, and through breathtaking scenery. Mariposa is Yosemite’s back yard. The First Friday Art Hop took place on May 4th, where you can meet the local artists. On May 5th there was the annual Butterfly Parade–it was a spectacle. And since the town has had gold fever these last 150 years, the Mariposa State Mining & Mineral Museum was a find, not to mention the Yosemite Museum and History Center, all within walking distance of Main Street. More so, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad was most inviting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for us to take advantage of it, but you should! It gave us a chance to read into the town’s down-home roots. In late September they celebrate their annual Tomato Fest. For us, though, the nature and beauty of Yosemite was the grand prize. For more on Mariposa County go to: www. HomeOfYosemite.com
Yosemite has it all. It’s been a national institution since 1863 when President Lincoln declared it a protected area. In 1890 it was declared a national park covering 1,189 square miles. In 2011, 3-4 million people visited the park! It’s most popular destinations include Yosemite Falls at 1,430′ , 675′, and 320′, is one of the tallest in North America and the fifth largest in the world!
For more info on Yosemite Park go to: www.Yosemite Park.com.