Exploring Yosemite National Park

National parks provide an excellent opportunity for individuals and families alike to revel in the splendor and wonder of the natural world. Yosemite is just one of these parks in California, and is a perfect place to visit with the family.

Yosemite National Park is just more than 60 miles north of Fresno, California. You can make the drive in about 80 minutes and spend a day, or more, exploring the park. If you are traveling from Nevada, there is another park access point on the west of the park.

To get in, like many other national parks, you will have to pay a fee depending on how you access the park. The entrance fee for non-commercial vehicles is $35 per. The fee is good for a seven-day pass, allowing visitors to stay at a nearby hotel and come back to enjoy the park multiple days in a row.

Like any large national park, Yosemite offers visitors the chance to explore largely untouched nature. It is home to 90 different mammal species, 262 species of bird, reptiles, fish and various insects. Native and non-native animals now call Yosemite home, including trout who live throughout the park, especially at higher elevation points. Botanical lovers will find five different vegetation zones to explore throughout the park, giving visitors the chance to view and revere countless species of flora.

Yosemite National Park, California © Anna Dudko | Dreamstime.com

Yosemite National Park, California © Anna Dudko | Dreamstime.com

Yosemite is not only a bastion of untouched wilderness, but is the center of hundreds of years of history. If nature isn’t really your family’s favorite, but you have a history buff or two, Yosemite will be sure to satisfy.

If your family is big into camping, there are 11 separate campgrounds. Some are open all year, while others are open seasonally, depending on the regular weather for the season. Most of the grounds have accessible tap water, while others require guests to boil creek water.

It is impossible to run through every possible attraction the park offers. Between hundreds of miles of hiking trails, several waterfalls and multiple points of interest, it is impossible to see the entirety of the park in one day, or even one multiday visit. Make sure you research the specific times when you plan to visit the park. Available trails and sites differ depending on the time of year, so make sure you look into this before you make the journey excited for a specific view.

Finally, make sure you are always on the lookout for bears. Bears are intensely interesting, but it is important to keep aware and keep your distance. The park offers bear-proof food lockers and storage lockers.