Giant waterfalls, majestic peaks and epic hiking trails – Yosemite National Park will have you California dreamin’, that’s for sure.
Yosemite (yow·seh·muh·tee) National Park is bursting with bucket list-worthy adventures. With dramatic mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes, pristine alpine valleys and some of the world's best hiking trails, you’ll get a hearty serving of nature and adventure. Our local guides will help you discover the best bits of Yosemite as well as some hidden trails and secret spots along the way. Marvel at the ancient sequoia trees (the tallest trees on earth), go rock climbing up the famous El Capitan, follow the Mist Trail to the thundering Vernal Falls, and watch the sky turn spectacular shades of pink and purple as the sun sets over Glacier Point. With so much to see and do, one trip to Yosemite will never be enough.
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Yosemite National Park FAQs
Everyone traveling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travelers are required to produce:
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
- All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
- If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
Yosemite is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California, USA.
It takes about four hours to drive to Yosemite from San Francisco and three hours from Sacramento. Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) provides a public bus service with various pickup and drop off points. You can also catch a train from San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento to Merced/Riverbank which connects with the YARTS bus service directly to Yosemite Valley.
The closest airport to Yosemite is the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT). Other airports within driving distance of the park are San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Oakland International Airport (OAK).
As Yosemite is so big, the best way to get around the park and access the main trails is by car. There is a free daily shuttle bus every 10-20 mins with 19 stops throughout the Yosemite Valley, but having a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace.
Yosemite has a huge number of visitors during the summer months with the peak season from June and August. The best time to visit is late spring, later summer and early fall when the park isn’t too crowded. Winter is also a great time to visit with fewer visitors, great hiking opportunities and stunning views of the snow-capped mountains.
You can expect to see many different animal species in Yosemite including American Black Bears, Mule Deer, Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, Coyotes, Bobcats, Sierra Fence Lizards, Garter Snakes, Northern Pygmy Owls and more. Keep an eye out for animal tracks when you’re out hiking.
The weather in Yosemite is seasonal but it can vary greatly from year to year. Spring is generally quite cool with sunny skies and the occasional downpour of rain; summer is consistently sunny with warm to hot temperatures; fall is still warm with cool nights; and winter is cold with frost, ice and snow.
If you go during the summer make sure to bring t-shirts, shorts/skirts, hiking socks and boots, hiking trousers, a waterproof/windproof jacket, sunhat, sunglasses, daypack, a water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellent.
For winter trips bring light layers, warm clothes, a fleece, thermal underwear/leggings, a waterproof winter coat, waterproof hiking boots/shoes, gloves, a hat, a daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen and a water bottle.
Cell phones work near major tourist hubs such as Yosemite Valley, but the service can be weak and unreliable. There is limited or no cell phone service in more remote areas of the park such as hiking trails and high-altitude viewpoints.
Yosemite is very accessible for people with disabilities with disabled parking and wheelchair accessible trails for most sites. They can also arrange American Sign Language interpretation for ranger talks during the summer months. Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.