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Yosemite National Park

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Overview

Yosemite National Park encompasses nearly 1,200 square miles of incredible scenery, ranging from deep valleys, high cliffs, ancient giant sequoias, tall waterfalls, and expansive wilderness. First protected in 1864, the park is a testament to the power of the glaciers, the strength of granite, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. Millions of people visit Yosemite each year to experience its beauty and its many opportunities for recreation. 

Explore Yosemite National Park in 3D with onX Backcountry

To learn more about Yosemite National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers: 
Visitor center hours vary by season. For current hours of operation, call the public information office which is open from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time at (209)-372-0200. For more information about amenities offered by the various visitor centers and museums, visit the park's website

  • Yosemite Valley Visitor Center: Open year round.
  • Valley Wilderness Center: Open May to October.
  • Yosemite Museum: Open year round.
  • Nature Center at Happy Isles: Open May to October.
  • Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center: Open late May to early September.
  • Indian Village of Ahwahnee: Open year round.
  • LeConte Memorial Lodge: Open summers only.
  • Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center: Open summer only.
  • Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center: Open summer only.
  • Wawona Visitor Center: Open summer only.
  • Big Oak Flat Information Station: Hours vary. Open from spring to fall.
  • Wawona Information Station: Hours vary. Open from spring to fall.
  • Pioneer Yosemite History Center in Wawona: Open year round.
  • Mariposa Grove Museum: Open summer only.

Visiting Tips

Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station is open only during daylight hours (approximately) and some roads are closed due to snow from around November through May or June. Visit the park's website to see current closures, conditions, and other park alerts. 

Visitors have their choice of recreation and sights to see depending on the season. Summer is the peak season in the park, and spring is the best season for the park's iconic waterfalls. The waterfalls reach their peak flow near the end of May and by August most waterfalls have little water or may be dry until after the next snowfall which is usually by November. Visitation tapers off in the fall and into the winter when the weather is consistently snowy and cold. Learn more about Yosemite in summer, fall, winter, or spring to help plan the best time to visit the park. 

Fees & Passes: 
To learn more about park fees, click here

Camping & Lodging

Camping: 
Yosemite National Park has thirteen campgrounds; some are reservable while others operate on a first come, first served basis. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777. From about April through October, reservations can be very difficult to get, and the first come, first served campgrounds often fill up early each day. Please note that sleeping in your car or RV is not permitted within Yosemite except in individual campsites. To learn more about camping in the park as well as to see specific information for each of the campgrounds, visit the park's website

  • Upper Pines: 238 sites. Reservations available from February 11 to November 30. Open year round.
  • Lower Pines: 60 sites. Reservations available. Open late March to early November.
  • North Pines: 81 sites. Reservations available. Open early April to early November.
  • Camp 4: 35 sites. First come, first served. No RVs or trailers. Open year round.
  • Wawona: 93 sites. Reservations available from April 11 to October 10. Open year round.
  • Bridalveil Creek: 110 sites. First come, first served. Open July through mid September.
  • Hodgdon Meadow: 105 sites. Reservations available from April 11 to October 10. Open year round.
  • Crane Flate: 166 sites. Reservations available. Open mid July to mid October.
  • Tamarack Flat: 52 sites. First come, first served. No RVs or trailers. Open July to mid October.
  • White Wolf: 74 sites. First come, first served. Open July to late September.
  • Yosemite Creek: 75 sites. First come, first served. No RVs or trailers. Open July to early September.
  • Porcupine Flat: 52 sites. First come, first served. Open July to mid October.
  • Tuolumne Meadows: 304 sites. Half of the sites are reservable. Open mid July to late September.

Backcountry Camping: 
With nearly 95% of Yosemite National Park designated as wilderness, backpacking and backcountry camping is also popular. A wilderness permit is required and can be obtained in advance with a reservation up to 24 weeks in advance. A limited number of permits can also be obtained on a first come, first served basis. For more information on wilderness permits and other backcountry camping regulations, visit the park's website

Lodging: 
Lodging options in Yosemite National Park range from simple tent cabins at the High Sierra Camps to deluxe rooms at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Visit the Travel Yosemite website for full descriptions, prices, and online reservations. Reservations are available 365 days in advance and are strongly recommended, especially from spring through fall and during holidays. 

A variety of lodging options are available in the gateway communities surrounding, and on private land within, Yosemite. In these areas, options range from luxurious to affordable, including hotels and motels, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, hostels, and tent cabins.

Food & Drink

Yosemite has a variety of restaurants and other dining options available year round in Yosemite Valley and seasonally at Wawona, Badger Pass, Glacier Point, White Wolf, and Tuolumne Meadows. Groceries are also available all year in Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Crane Flat, and El Portal, and seasonally at Tuolumne Meadows. Visitors are also invited to use the picnic areas throughout the park which are available on a first come, first served basis. Most picnic areas have a picnic table, vault toilets, and garbage and recycling bins.

Other Activities

Yosemite National Park is a "mecca" for rock climbers. Known for its unrivaled sheer and towering granite domes, Yosemite is home to many of the most classic rock climbing routes in the world. Check out Mountain Project for all of the climbing beta on over 1,300 routes in Yosemite. Other great ways to enjoy the park include camping, birdwatching, fishing, horseback riding, and auto touring. In the warmer weather, visitors can also go swimming, boating, or rafting. Winter recreation is just as varied with cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating all being popular winter activities. For those looking to extend their adventure outside of the park, opportunities for mountain biking abound, including at the nearby town of Mammoth Lakes and up the road at Buck Meadows.

Gems in Yosemite National Park - 24

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite A lovely summer day at Glacier Point.

Glacier Point

(103) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.

Vernal Falls

(120) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Watch your step!

Half Dome

(78) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Yosemite Valley

Tunnel View

(96) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite The Lower Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

(92) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Such an incredible spot in Yosemite. Clouds Rest is appropriately named with 360 views of the park including Half Dome.

Clouds Rest

(51) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite A giant in the Mariposa Grove.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees

(37) Oakhurst, CA
gem Favorite Sentinel Dome Summit

Sentinel Dome

(32) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite On top of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park.

El Capitan

(21) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Artist Point Winter Sunset

Artist Point

(19) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite View of Clouds Rest, Quarter Dome, Half Dome, and Mount Starr King from North Dome.

North Dome

(11) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Cathedral Lake w/ Cathedral Peak.

Lower Cathedral Lake

(12) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Tuolumne Meadows and the Cathedral range in early November.

Lembert Dome

(14) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Lower Ottoway Lake as seen from the Red Peak Pass trail.

Lower Ottaway Lake

(4) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Slack-liner Shows Off 3'000ft Above The Ground At Taft Point.

Taft Point

(8) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite More views along the Tuolumne River.

Tuolumne River

(10) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Half Dome at Sunset.

Snow Creek Viewpoint

(4) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Valley View of Yosemite Valley - El Capitan and Three Brothers.

Source of Life

(12) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Upper Granite Lake

Granite Lakes

(3) Bridgeport, CA
gem Favorite Half Dome and Glacier Point are just two of the highlights from Yosemite Point.

Lost Arrow

(1) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite Looking up from the bottom of Foresta Falls.

Foresta Falls

(5) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite View of Lukens Lake from the far side of the lake.

Lukens Lake View

(1) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite The view east from Sunrise High Sierra Camp

Sunrise High Sierra Campsite

(4) Yosemit…, CA
gem Favorite No Photos

Hidden Falls

(5) Yosemit…, CA

Recommended Routes in Yosemite National Park - 36

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Favorite Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
Difficult Difficult

Half Dome

14.5 mi 23.4 km 4,457' Up 1358.42 m Up 4,457' Down 1358.36 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite The top of Nevada Falls is the best place on earth.
Difficult Difficult

Vernal and Nevada Falls Loop

6.2 mi 10.0 km 1,999' Up 609.27 m Up 1,998' Down 608.87 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite Yosemite Falls with Half Dome in the background.
Difficult Difficult

Upper Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point Hike

8.0 mi 12.8 km 3,374' Up 1028.33 m Up 3,374' Down 1028.39 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite Such an incredible spot in Yosemite. Clouds Rest is appropriately named with 360 views of the park including Half Dome.
Difficult Difficult

Clouds Rest Viewpoint Trail

12.4 mi 20.0 km 2,129' Up 649.04 m Up 2,130' Down 649.17 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite Yosemite Falls
Easy Easy

Lower Yosemite Fall Trail

1.0 mi 1.6 km 75' Up 22.74 m Up 84' Down 25.55 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite Sentinel Dome Summit
Intermediate Intermediate

Sentinel Dome

2.1 mi 3.4 km 350' Up 106.59 m Up 349' Down 106.51 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite Bridalveil Waterfall, Yosemite
Easy Easy

Bridalveil Falls Trail

0.4 mi 0.7 km 98' Up 29.98 m Up 98' Down 29.86 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite Half Dome towering above Mirror Lake/Meadow
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

Mirror Lake Loop

4.7 mi 7.6 km 290' Up 88.29 m Up 289' Down 88.22 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D
Favorite A lovely summer day at Glacier Point.
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

Glacier Point

0.5 mi 0.9 km 135' Up 41.21 m Up 135' Down 41.29 m Down

Yosemit…, CA
Explore in 3D

Yosemite National Park Running

  • 947 Miles 1,524 Kilometers of Trail
  • 36 Recommended Routes
  • 24 Gems Gems
  • 70 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 168 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 63 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Share what you know about this area!

Areas Within Yosemite National Park

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Trails in Yosemite National Park - 265

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1.6 mi 2.6 km #1Mist Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 81 
3.0 mi 4.9 km #2Upper Yosemite Falls
Difficult Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 137 
4.2 mi 6.8 km #3Four Mile Trail
Difficult Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 108 
5.6 mi 9.0 km #4Panorama Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 31 
2.1 mi 3.4 km #5Half Dome Trail
Very Difficult Very Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Very Difficult Very Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 23 
12.9 mi 20.7 km #6Pohono Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 22 
9.2 mi 14.9 km #7Clouds Rest Trail
Difficult Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficult Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 25 
7.0 mi 11.2 km #8Chilnualna Falls Trail
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Midpines, CA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Midpines, CA 22 
22.5 mi 36.2 km #9JMT: Segment 1 - Happy Isles to Tuolomne Meadows
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Yosemite Valley, CA 13 
4.0 mi 6.4 km #10Mirror Lake Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Yosemite Valley, CA
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Yosemite Valley, CA 24 

Photos of Yosemite National Park - 1,229

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Photos

The mighty Merced River.
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Valley View of Yosemite Valley - El Capitan and Three Brothers
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Falls with Half Dome in the background.
Jun 2, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Valley
Aug 25, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
September sunset over Lake Tenaya in Yosemite National Park.
Apr 12, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Valley as seen from Tunnel View.
Oct 26, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The top of Nevada Falls is the best place on earth.
Mar 31, 2017 near Yosemit…, CA
Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
Aug 11, 2017 near Yosemit…, CA
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