How To Plan A Vacation To Yosemite
to Help You Plan a Perfect Vacation
Yosemite National Park is a large
and beautiful wilderness with many attractions and
activities. It is located in the Sierra Nevada, which
means mountain conditions and unpredictable weather.
And with over 3 million visitors each year, it can
be a busy place with rooms and campsites booking up
weeks or months in advance. Those of a more spontaneous
nature may just decide to pack up and wing it when
they get to the park, but others prefer a bit of planning
to help ensure their Yosemite vacation goes smoothly.
Planning a Yosemite vacation starts
with asking yourself a few questions to assess your
interests, needs, time frame and other considerations
that will affect your decisions and planning.
What is your budget for your Yosemite vacation?
How much money you have to spend on
your visit will impact many other decisions, such as
how long you can stay, what type of accommodations
you select, and what Yosemite vacation tours and activities
you want to try.
Traveling can be expensive, especially
with children. It is a good idea to research lodging,
meals, tours and other Yosemite information to get
a realistic view of the costs involved. There are ways
to save on expenses, such as selecting lodging that
lets kids stay for free or that allows you to cook
meals to save on restaurant bills.
Will you have the funds to stay first
class or do you need to shop around for affordable
lodging? Can you afford to participate in all activities
and tours that interest you, or will you have to skip
the rafting excursion. Maybe you will have to rely
on public transit in the area rather than rent a car.
All of these financial considerations are important
to consider when planning your Yosemite vacation.
When do you want to take your vacation in
This question is important because
there are things to do in Yosemite year round. Winter
offers activities such as skiing while spring is ideal
for viewing waterfalls. Summer is the peak tourist
season, and it is also when the roads are at their
best and all facilities are open.
Driving in Yosemite during the winter
can be quite treacherous and tire chains are often
required before entering the park. Unprepared tourists
can be forced to turn around or try and locate tire
chains on their own before proceeding.
Even spring and fall months in Yosemite
can be quite cool and swimming and hiking activities
may be limited. Some of the tent style lodging can
be uncomfortable at night without sleeping bags or
other heavy bedding.
How much time do you have to spend exploring
There is so much to see in Yosemite
and the surrounding area that even those who have lived
there for years learn new things about the park and
find areas they have not visited before. Are you just
passing through and want to hit the highlights or do
you have a bit more time to spend? Either way, it's
a good idea to make a list of those must see attractions
and sights that you want to be sure and visit on your
If you are planning a quick trip or
a stop on the way through to other destinations, it
is best to call ahead or check park websites to be
sure the activities of interest are available on the
days you plan to visit. For some activities, such as
horseback riding, rafting tours, and workshops, reservations
will help ensure availability.
What type of activities do you want to do
on your Yosemite vacation?
There is a large list of things to
do in Yosemite and deciding what you want to do will
help identify where you will stay and what you can
fit in. Do you want to fish, ride horse, take photographs,
go rock climbing, see the giant Sequoias, or hike the
High Country? Perhaps there are attractions outside
the park that appeal to you, such as Chukchansi Resort
and Casino or a tour of a local winery.
What type of accommodations do you prefer?
Yosemite offers every kind of lodging
from camping under the stars on the face of a mountain
or nearby a stream and eating trail rations, to Yosemite
luxury vacation rentals with fine restaurants, heated
pools, and cable TV.
You will also need to consider whether
you want to stay inside the park or not. Either option
has its benefits, with those inside the park providing
immediate access to areas of the park without waiting
in entrance lines. Locations outside the park are often
less expensive, have more facilities nearby, and offer
more flexibility for reaching other areas around Yosemite.
These are some of the basic questions
to ask yourself when you begin planning your Yosemite
vacation. Research websites, read travel reviews, speak
to people who have traveled to the park and request
additional Yosemite information and brochures if needed.
Yosemite can be a spontaneous destination, but weather,
heavy tourism, and the expensive nature of some last
minute services can take the fun out of a trip to the
park or even result in unsafe travel. A bit of planning
ahead of time can help avoid surprises and ensure that
you get to experience the sights and activities you
have heard so much about.
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