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Yosemite National Park Map

by Aakash singh

The following content on Yosemite National Park is licenced from National Geographic's Guide to National Parks of the United States (9th Edition).

GRANDEUR. NOBILITY. MAJESTY. These are the sorts of words that spill from the lips of nearly every visitor to Yosemite National Park, for it truly is a realm of jaw-dropping beauty. Spectacular natural wonders abound. Granite monoliths and domes, towering sequoia groves, sweeping grassy meadows, plunging waterfalls, and rampaging creeks and rivers merge in one of America’s most treasured parks.

Established October 1, 1890
761,748 Acres
Yosemite National Park Map

“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter,” naturalist and conservationist John Muir wrote of Yosemite. From the remote rocky crags of the High Sierra Nevada at the western perimeter of the park to the sinuous meanders of the placid Merced River in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite is a symphony of contrasts: the percussion of cascading waterfalls, the hum of breezes through cedar and pine, the thrum of a sudden rainfall. The abundant wildlife adds its own pageant of sound—the chattering of a western gray squirrel, the screech of a Steller’s jay, the lonely howl of a coyote, the squeak of a tiny pika high in its rocky home.

Yosemite National Park Map

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In addition to sounds, Yosemite is also a contrast of sights and experiences. On a busy summer weekend, more than 20,000 visitors can throng Yosemite Valley, with resulting crowds, noise, and traffic jams. Just a mile or two along a trail, though, can place a hiker in welcome seclusion, with the opportunity to truly appreciate the park.

But no matter how crowded, the park continues to serve up its treasures. Sights and sounds remain thrilling no matter how many people are experiencing them. And whatever the time of year, you can pretty well depend on having sunrise all to yourself.

An overnight or weeklong backpacking trip into the high country can be transformational. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings,” encouraged John Muir

The protection of Yosemite lands had its beginnings during the Civil War. On June 30, 1864, answering the vigorous campaign of early conservationists, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill protecting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of sequoias, granting their oversight to the state of California. Never before had a government set aside wilderness lands to be preserved forever.

In the late 1880s, John Muir and others spoke convincingly to protect more of the Yosemite region by establishing it as a national park— following the example of Yellowstone. In 1890, Congress set aside 1,500 square miles as Yosemite National Park; Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove became part of the national park in 1906.

How to Visit

Yosemite is extensive. A one-day tour of Yosemite Valley reveals exceptional natural beauty and geology but shortchanges visitors when it comes to the diverse nature of the park. An itinerary of three to four days gives you a chance to visit more than just the high points.

In addition to a day’s hiking and sightseeing in Yosemite Valley, a one-day drive to the inspiring vistas of Glacier Point, on the way to the Wawona area and Mariposa Grove of sequoias, adds dimension to your visit. Or choose to take a full day to drive along the Tioga Road to the wondrous Tuolumne Meadows, high in the Sierra. Or drive to Hetch Hetchy to see a canyon that once rivaled Yosemite Valley.


How to get there

From Oakhurst (about 15 miles south) take Calif. 41 to the South Entrance. From Mariposa (about 25 miles west) take Calif. 140 to the Arch Rock Entrance. From Groveland (about 25 miles northwest) take Calif. 120 to the Big Oak Flat Entrance. From Lee Vining (about 10 miles east) take Calif. 120 to the Tioga Pass Entrance. The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) offers bus service from Fresno, Merced, Sonora, and Mammoth Lakes.

When to go

Yosemite is open year-round, although the Glacier Point Road from Badger Pass Ski Area to Glacier Point and the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows can be closed mid-Nov. to late May, depending on weather. In general, avoid holiday weekends and expect crowded conditions in Yosemite Valley during late spring, summer, and early fall. Winter can bring heavy snows to the high country and light to moderate snows at lower elevations.

Visitor Centers And Museum

The Valley Visitor Center is next to the Yosemite Museum, which focuses on the Miwok and Paiute peoples’ cultural history. The Happy Isles Art and Nature Center and the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center are open in summer. Big Oak Flat Welcome Center Complex and Wawona Visitor Center are open spring to fall.


9039 Village Drive Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 209-372-0200


There are 13 campgrounds in the park (total of 1,445 sites).


A wide variety of accommodations are available, from hotels to cabins. For lodging information, visit

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About the Guide

 National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States 9th Edition
Bask in the spectacular beauty, thrilling terrain, and quiet peacefulness of the country’s finest state parks, hand- picked by park directors and National Geographic editors. This fully updated fifth edition includes 750 additional off- the-beaten track destinations. Beautifully written descriptions tell the stories of the parks, from their wildlife, natural features, and history to their most popular current activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, water sports, and rock climbing. Vivid images inspire your next getaway, while detailed information–including 32 detailed maps highlighting sites, trails, campgrounds, and more– helps you plan your next excursion. From free to low-cost, from Florida to Alaska, from the six-acre lao Valley to the 204,000-acre Baxter, use this essential guide to plan a day visit or a weekend escape.
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