There’s Golden Opportunities for FUN and ADVENTURE in Yosemite National Park!
In the middle of California’s Gold Country, near the scenic foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging, one of the best Yosemite vacation and Yosemite lodging locations in the Yosemite area. It’s conveniently situated near Yosemite National Park and all of Yosemite ‘s attractions.
A Yosemite vacation is the entrance to an unparalleled world of natural treasures and scenic wonders. Almost every visitor to Yosemite National Park is first drawn to the incomparable Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite National Park is not only the oldest park, but also the most unique of its kind in the United States. Located in California’s western Sierra Nevada, its scenic grandeur and natural mystery remain unrivalled in the world. Even backpackers heading out on Yosemite ‘s hiking trails begin their Yosemite vacation in the valley. And it is to the valley to which they return on their way home. The best of Yosemite National Park is first discovered from this vantage point.
From the portals of Yosemite Valley, you enter into the unfolding drama of mile-wide natural wonders surrounded by walls of white granite, sheer cliffs and craggy mountains. On your left you’ll see El Capitan, Three Brothers, Yosemite Falls, Royal Arches, Washington Column, North Dome. On your right you’ll find Cathedral Rock, Cathedral Spires, Sentinel Rock, Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point and Half Dome.
A magical sense of splendor is evoked by the gossamer clouds that periodically conceal the high cliffs and towering mountains above Yosemite Valley. The fading light of day paints Horsetail Fall’s one thousand-foot rush of plummeting water with the golden colors of a Yosemite Park sunset. El Capitan stands guard in the distance with its crown of burnished clouds.
A fiery sunset lights the serrated edges of Cathedral Rocks at the edge of the Yosemite Valley. Behind the summit of Half Dome, a summer storm shrouds the trackless wilderness of Yosemite’s High Sierra. Shimmering lakes, craggy mountains, and glorious skies, luxuriant forests perfect the drama of nature that is Yosemite National Park.
Tioga Pass, at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet, is the highest road for vehicles in the Sierra. During the summer season, thousands of visitors cross the Pass in Yosemite to see the splendid peaks of the rugged High Sierra, Tenaya Lake (also known as the “Lake of Shining Rocks”), and the variety of greens and grasses in the Tuolumne Meadow.
Visitors taking this route into Yosemite National Park can enjoy a 39-mile scenic drive between Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows. This route will take you through forests and give you a beautiful panoramic view of sparkling lakes, alpine meadows and spectacular granite domes.
More than one hundred thousand people cycle through the park, walk on the Yosemite hiking trails or ride horseback through the wilderness backcountry each year. Yosemite cycling is limited to paved roads in Yosemite National Park and to the twelve miles of paved bike paths in the Valley.
No matter the method of travel, Yosemite National Park offers endless opportunities to experience spectacular waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs and unusual rock formations.
The starting point for Yosemite hiking is at the Tuolumne Meadows, a large, open sub-alpine meadow circled by awe-inspiring mountains. The Tuolumne River glides through the meadow’s carpet of waving grasses and wild Yosemite flowers. At an elevation of more than 8,000 feet, the meadow is a popular starting point for day hikes. It’s also great place to start for longer treks through the High Sierra.
The Hetch Hetchy Valley, home to the Tuolumne River and equally spectacular scenery, has relatively unknown and little-used Yosemite hiking trails. These are great for those who prefer solitude and tranquility on their Yosemite vacation. One mountaineer described his experience in the Hetch Hetchy Valley like this. “Below me was the valley floor but with no roads, buildings, campfires, or smoke. I heard no horns, motors or voices.”
If serenity and tranquility are necessary for you to truly enjoy your Yosemite vacation, then this twin valley to Yosemite is a wonderful place to go. Here the traveller to Yosemite will find enjoyment, rest and relaxation.
The second major river in Yosemite Park is the Merced River. It sparkles through ancient channels sculpted by Ice Age glaciers. In the spring, the Merced’s waters swell with snowmelt from the mountains and feed the cascades of waterfalls in Yosemite. These waterfalls have enthralled and captivated visitors since the early days of Yosemite National Park.
Among the most spectacular of the waterfalls are Bridalveil Fall, Nevada Fall, Wildcat Falls, Vernal Fall, Ribbon Fall, Horsetail Fall and the splendid Yosemite Falls. The Yosemite Falls are the world’s fifth tallest falls, and are made of a series of three cascades starting at more than 1,400 feet above the valley floor. In the spring numerous unnamed creeks and streams cascade down the cliffs and mountainsides.
Thick stands of trees and grasses attract many bird species to the lower banks of the Tuolumne and Merced’s freshwater marshes. In the low meadows, flowers of Yosemite like the lupines, bloom in thick batches with the arrival of spring. Early summer in the foothill meadows brings out the blue-violet brodiaea lilies as they reach their peak of bloom.
Thirty-five miles to the south of Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove of the Giant Sequoias has attracted large numbers of visitors since the early 1850s. In the cathedral quiet of the grove, these centuries-old 300-foot sequoias are the largest living things on the earth.
There are actually three sequoia groves in Yosemite. The other two are smaller, somewhat more difficult to reach and not as well known. They are the Tuolumne and Merced Groves near Crane Flat.
But these are not the only indigenous trees in Yosemite National Park. There are stands of black oak, forests of red firs, groves of pine and incense cedars, and languid willows along the banks of rivers and streams.
At the higher elevations, other plants and flowers of Yosemite grow. Sierra Primroses, fiery snow plants, and the resilient monkey flowers flourish in the naturally sheltered hollows and crevices of their rocky environment.
When you reach 11,000 feet in Yosemite National Park, the trees disappear. The region above the timberline is a harsher terrain. The only plants and trees that flourish are the hardy dwarf shrubs, low-lying heather and alpine flowers. Above Yosemite National Park ‘s timberline is also home to the alpine chipmunk, the marmot and the coney.
Here the Yosemite hiking trails often switch back through gargantuan boulders, and at each turn whole new vistas are opened up. Visitors who hike along the popular John Muir Trail can enjoy the sight of rocky splendors and the shimmering mirror of Upper Cathedral Lake. This area of Yosemite is beautiful, but it is mostly barren, silver-fretted rock.
When winter quiet enfolds the park in its soft embrace, snow drifts over the Yosemite hiking trails. Roads become inaccessible and most Yosemite campgrounds recede into stillness. In Yosemite Valley, the average winter snowfall is around 30 inches. In the High Sierra, the totals are often more than 100 inches per year. This heavy mantle of snow puts Yosemite under the spell of solitude and silence.
Winter brings to Yosemite a special gift of tranquility. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snow shoeing through the parks powdery snow are popular winter Yosemite vacation experiences.
After more than a century as a world-renowned natural wonder, Yosemite National Park camping, either by RV or tenting, still remains the most popular way to experience the remarkable beauty of this natural wonder. So, the next time you think about experiencing the splendors of beautiful Yosemite National Park, why not consider staying at Yosemite Pines RV Park and Campground? It’s located just minutes from the entrance of Yosemite Park and near all of Yosemite’s attractions.