A Visit to Yosemite National Park is Just Part of a Stay At Yosemite Pines
View a Gallery of Yosemite National Park Activities!
Let Yosemite Pines be your base camp for exploring the beautiful area, exciting towns and activities around Yosemite National Park. Gold Rush towns, Festivals, River Rafting, Horseback Riding or Golf. The Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau located in Sonora is a great resource for the most current events and information about the area.
Another resource for information is The Highway 120 Adventure. You will find information on all of the adventures along HWY 120. Stop at these towns as you make the trip to Yosemite Pines.
Groveland is a short drive from Yosemite Pines. Groveland is home to a great "downtown" with a park, shops, restaurants and the famous/infamous Iron Door Saloon — said to be California's oldest continuously-operating saloon.
The nearby Gold Rush Town of Columbia is a State Park and has many events throughout the year. Located in the heart of the California Mother Lode, Columbia State Historic Park is a living gold rush town featuring the largest single collection of existing gold rush-era structures in the state. Pan for gold, explore exhibits, ride the stagecoach, discover unique shops, and learn about the rich history of the California gold rush on a guided town tour.
Golf - Pine Mountain Lake Country Club is an 18 hole semi-private golf course located in Groveland, Call 209/962-8620 for more information and to make tee time reservations.
River Rafting - Begin or end your river rafting trip on the Tuolumne with a stay at Yosemite Pines. Zrafting is a magical Tuolumne River Rafting trip along an 18-mile corridor, boasting long, tantalizing class IV rapids, wondrous side creeks and wide, sandy beaches for camping. Class IV River rafting can also be found nearby. Those looking for more affordable family-friendly rafting trips can check out Sunshine Rafting in Knights Ferry, about a 45-minute drive from Yosemite Pines. All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting has over 50 years of experience as whitewater river guides, and offers rafting on the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers as well as the North Fork of the Stanislaus River.
Yosemite Rafting Trips with Sierra Mac (http://www.sierramac.com) offers "mild to wild" whitewater adventures on nearby Merced and Tuolumne Rivers and also a leisurely Yosemite Valley Float. Arta Raft Trips (http://www.arta.org) lets you choose the rafting trip that suits you interests best, offering trips for exciting rapids, or trips focused on scenery, photography or to view wildlife.
Hiking near Groveland - In the Groveland area, there are several popular hikes for beginning to advanced hikers. Find reviews and other information on Everytrail.com, including details on day hikes on the Big Creek Trail and to Wapama Falls. You can also search the trails of the Groveland Ranger District on the USDA's Stanislaus National Forest site.
Horseback Riding - Pine Mountain Lake Stables offers trail rides 7 days a week during the summer, Wednesday through Sunday spring through fall and Friday through Sunday during the winter. Please call in advance to book trail rides - (209) 962-8667. Aspen Meadow Pack Station Located near Pinecrest, historic Aspen Meadow is the gateway to one of California’s most breathtaking wilderness areas and is a great choice to view towering granite peaks, long alpine meadows, stunning lakes and abundant wildlife – from the back of a horse!
Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum - If you want to learn about the history of the Groveland and Yosemite Gateway area, the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum covers the colorful people and stories of the past.
Fishing - For Yosemite Pines guests who desire to get a line in the water near the resort, the Groveland area has many great spots to try your luck. Visit the Hook and Bullet website for detailed information on all area fishing opportunities.
Swimming Holes - Taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters of nearby rivers sounds like a great day trip outing from Yosemite Pines, and one of the highest rated spots is Rainbow Falls, located 15 miles east of Groveland. Swimming is best in summer, July through September, but fishing and hiking is good all year long at this location.
Yosemite National Park is open 365 days a year, 24 hours each day. Upon payment of an entrance fee, visitors are permitted to drive in and through Yosemite Valley without any requirement for reservations.The official Yosemite National Park website has plenty of great information.
Black Oak Casino Resort in Tuolumne offers 1,300 of your favorite slots, 26 friendly table games, nine bars & restaurants, live music, bowling, and more!
Spelunking Cave Adventures - Mercer Caverns in nearby Murphys has been "The Showplace of the Sierra" since 1885. Mercer Caverns and is world famous for the rare Aragonite flos ferri. It is the longest continually operating commercial caverns in the state of California. California Cavern State Historic Landmark in Vallecito, CA has the largest vertical chamber in a public cavern that you can see in California. In fact, it's so big, it could hold the entire Statue of Liberty! And California Cavern State Historic Landmark in Mountain Ranch was the very first cave in the state to be opened to the public for guided tours in 1850, when visitors began enjoying the unique delicate beauty of the cavern's crystalline formations. Besides two fun walking tours, there is also the opportunity to participate in professionally-guided wild cavern spelunking trips like their Mammoth Cave Expedition and Middle Earth Expedition.
Wine Tasting in Jamestown - Visit Gianelli Vineyards and Tasting Room to sample free tastings of their award-winning premium Italian wines. Inner Sanctum Cellars hand-pickeds grapes from small private vineyards located thoughtout the Sierra Foothills and Tuolumne County. and their wines are processed with old world passion and new world innovation.
Train Museum Tour - Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown devotes 26 acres to the preservation of the roundhouse and shops for the Sierra Railway, a shortline that was built in 1897 to bring goods into the foothills, and lumber, gold and marble out of the foothills. Beginning in 1919, the railroad furnished the equipment and locations for hundreds of motion pictures, television productions and commercials, among them "High Noon", "Back to the Future III" and Petticoat Junction". The "Movie Star Locomotive" the Sierra No. 3 now pulls the train most Saturdays.
There are five main entrances to the Park:
1. The South Entrance - Highway 41 North from Fresno.
2. Arch Rock Entrance - Highway 140 West from Merced.
3. Big Oak Flat Entrance - Highway 120 West from Modesto and Manteca.
4. Tioga Pass Entrance - Highway 120 East from Lee Vining and Highway 395.
5. Hetch Hetchy Entrance - Hetch Hetchy Road from Evergreen Road west of the Big Oak Flat Entrance.
Current road conditions should be checked prior to traveling and visitors are advised that chains may be required anytime from October through April. Public transportation to the national park is also available. Check commercial airlines, bus and train services for schedules.
The spring season (April and May) is the best time to view the park's spectacular waterfalls. As warmer weather begins to melt the snow, creeks and streams are rushing with water, and many unnamed waterfalls and cascades can be seen all along the rim of Yosemite Valley. Roads closed during the winter season remain inaccessible.
The summer season (June through September) is the peak Yosemite vacation period. Some of the more popular places to visit include the large, open sub-alpine Tuolumne Meadows along the winding Tuolumne River, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the breath-taking outlook at Glacier Point and the Half-Dome, and the silvery mists of Bridalveil Fall. The Yosemite Valley offers endless opportunities to explore its world-renowned spectacular waterfalls, granite cliffs, and unusual rock formations. Hetch Hetchy, the lesser-known twin to Yosemite Valley, is home to equally magnificent scenery, as well as the starting point for many of the less-used wilderness trails.
The fall season (October and November) has fewer visitors, but still permits access to large areas of the park during the month of October, and sometimes into November. Since most of the trees in Yosemite are evergreens, the park is not known for its spectacular fall colors. However, if the weather remains seasonable, a Yosemite vacation still presents ample opportunity to explore the Park's exquisite scenery at greater leisure. Short-term closures may occur because of weather conditions although Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain open all year.
The winter season (December through March) is a Yosemite vacation opportunity for those who enjoy skiing and solitude. While Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain accessible year-round, the Tioga Road and roads between Crane Flat and Tioga Pass, including the Tuolumne Meadows are closed. From mid-December through early April, the Glacier Point/Badger Pass Road is plowed to permit access to the popular downhill and cross-country skiing areas.
About 95 percent of Yosemite National Park was designated as wilderness in 1984. Wilderness camping is a viable alternative Yosemite vacation. Camping permits are required year-round for all overnight trips into the park's wilderness country. However, unlike other Yosemite campgrounds and lodging facilities, these wilderness camping permits are free. For those who prefer to spend a Yosemite vacation day-hiking along some of the park's 800 miles of trails (without an overnight stay), no permits are needed. A trailhead quota system limits the number of hikers beginning from each trailhead per day.
If you need to find professionally guided hiking tours and photography workshops in Yosemite National Park, a great place to start is Yexplore.com.
New information is available and updated regularly on the park's web site at www.nps.gov/yose. For more detailed information about different areas of the park, consult the Yosemite Guide newspaper. For schedules of current activities, facilities, fees and services check Yosemite Today. Both publications are free and can be obtained at the park's entrance stations, at visitor centers, and are also posted on the park's Web site.
While Yosemite National Park offers world-renowned beauty, there are many other nearby attractions to consider when planning your vacation. These include Don Pedro Lake, Rainbow Pools, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, along with many things to do in Jamestown.