Road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite (Routes, Pitstops, Things to Do)

Road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite

Are you ready to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and embark on an unforgettable adventure? Well, it’s time to bid farewell to the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles and say hello to the jaw-dropping beauty of Yosemite National Park! This epic road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite is the perfect blend of awe-inspiring landscapes, quirky pit stops, and memory-making moments you won’t want to miss.

Picture this: you’re cruising along California’s scenic routes with the wind in your hair, a playlist filled with your favorite tunes, and your trusty camera in hand, ready to capture every picturesque moment. From charming coastal towns to the majestic beauty of Yosemite, this journey has it all. And we’re here to guide you through every twist and turn, with insider tips on the best routes, pit stops, and things to do along the way.

Can’t wait to hit the road? We feel you! So, let’s start by answering the burning question: How far is it from Los Angeles to Yosemite? Well, buckle up, folks, because it’s a 270-mile trek that will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery California has to offer.

So, pack your bags, grab your adventure buddies, and get ready to hit the road, because this Los Angeles to Yosemite journey is about to take you on the ride of your life!

Distance and Route

There are two main routes that you can take, and both offer their own unique experiences.

Yosemite highway

The first route is the direct route, which is about 310 miles and takes approximately 5-6 hours of driving time. You’ll start on I-5 North and then take CA-99 North to CA-41 North, which will take you straight into the park.

This route is perfect for those who want to get to Yosemite National Park as quickly as possible and don’t mind missing out on some of the scenic stops along the way.

The Pacific Coast Highway

If you’re looking for a more scenic and adventurous route, then the second option is the one for you. The second route takes you along the Pacific Coast Highway, which is also known as Highway 1.

Pacific Coast Highway

This route is longer, at around 400 miles, and can take up to 8 hours of driving time. However, the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and charming coastal towns along the way make the journey well worth it.

To take this route, you’ll start on I-10 West and then take US-101 North towards Santa Barbara. From there, you’ll get on the Pacific Coast Highway and follow it all the way up to Monterey, where you can stop and explore the famous Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium. From Monterey, you can take CA-140 East into Yosemite National Park.

No matter which route you choose, be sure to plan for some stops along the way to break up the driving and take in the breathtaking scenery.

And don’t forget to check for road closures and weather conditions before you go, as these can affect your travel time and route options.

The shortest route though most mountainous

The shortest of the three routes is US Highway 395 via Lone Pine, but it’s also the most mountainous. The route starts out in the lowlands of Los Angeles, but after leaving town and heading north on Route 14 through Santa Clarita and Castaic Junction, you’ll soon reach a high country landscape characterized by rugged hillsides dotted with sagebrush and pine trees. 

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Along this stretch of highway are many off-road trails for mountain bikers; if you’re inclined to try one out yourself, just be sure to check its difficulty level before setting off so you don’t get stuck in more than your share of mud holes!

The journey now continues through the Owens Valley, where cattle ranching still thrives despite attempts by environmentalists to keep development at bay by securing protective land designations such as wilderness status. 

These efforts have been successful enough that US Highway 395 passes through some very wild areas indeed: within an hour or so of leaving Independence (or Bishop) there are few signs whatsoever that humans even exist anywhere nearby – only rocks and dirt roads leading up into mountains so tall they seem like giant stone walls rising from nowhere into infinity itself!

How to rent a car in California

When planning a road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park, renting a car is a great option for flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace. One of the best rental car companies out there is Discover Cars.

Discover Cars offers a variety of vehicles and packages to choose from, including options for fuel, insurance, and support. By opting for a package, you can ensure that you have everything you need for a stress-free trip. Plus, their website is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making the booking process a breeze.

One of the biggest advantages of using Discover Cars is that they offer insurance coverage, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected in the event of an accident or theft. They also have 24/7 customer support, so if you run into any issues during your trip, they’re just a phone call away.

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When booking your rental car, be sure to consider the type of vehicle that will best suit your needs. If you’re planning on doing a lot of off-road driving, a four-wheel drive vehicle might be necessary. If you’re traveling with a group or have a lot of luggage, consider renting a larger vehicle like a SUV or a van.

Los Angeles to Yosemite Road Trip: Stops on the Pacific Coast Highway

Pismo Beach (175 miles, approximately 3 hours from Los Angeles)

Pismo Beach, a classic California beach town on the Central Coast, is known for its wide, sandy beaches and a plethora of outdoor activities. 

From surfing and fishing to hiking and wildlife spotting, there’s something for everyone in Pismo Beach.

What to do and see:

Pismo Beach Pier: Stroll along this 1,200-foot-long pier and enjoy stunning ocean views, fishing opportunities, and a lively atmosphere.

Monarch Butterfly Grove: Witness thousands of Monarch butterflies as they migrate to this eucalyptus grove between late October and February.

Oceano Dunes: Explore this unique coastal dune ecosystem by renting an ATV or joining a guided tour. Off-roading, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities abound.

Dinosaur Caves Park: This 11-acre park features a playground, walking trails, and dramatic coastal views. Perfect for picnicking, whale watching, or simply soaking in the scenery.

Where to eat:

Splash Café: Savor their award-winning clam chowder or other seafood dishes, like fish tacos and clam strips, at this local favorite.

Old West Cinnamon Rolls: Indulge in freshly baked, gooey cinnamon rolls with various toppings at this Pismo Beach staple.

Cracked Crab: Enjoy a seafood feast at this casual eatery, with dishes like their signature “Bucket for Two” featuring an assortment of crab, shrimp, clams, and more.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (115 miles, approximately 2 hours from Pismo Beach)

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, located along the Big Sur coast, offers breathtaking views, scenic hiking trails, and the mesmerizing McWay Falls.

What to do and see:

McWay Falls: This 80-foot waterfall cascades directly onto the beach and into the ocean. A short trail leads to a viewpoint offering the perfect vantage point for photos.

Ewoldsen Trail: This 4.5-mile round-trip hike takes you through redwood groves, offering stunning coastal and canyon views.

Partington Cove Trail: A short, moderate hike that takes you through a historic tunnel and leads to a beautiful cove.

Where to eat:

Nepenthe: This legendary cliffside restaurant, located just north of the park, offers breathtaking ocean views and California cuisine. Enjoy lunch or dinner or grab a drink on their outdoor terrace.

Big Sur Bakery: Located a bit further north, this rustic bakery and café serves delicious pastries, wood-fired pizzas, and hearty sandwiches.

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Restaurant: Savor a candlelit dinner or a homemade breakfast in a charming, historic inn setting.

Carmel-by-the-Sea (38 miles, approximately 1 hour from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park)

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming coastal town known for its enchanting architecture, beautiful white-sand beach, and vibrant arts scene. 

The village-like atmosphere and fairy-tale cottages make it a magical stop on your road trip.

What to do and see:

Carmel Beach: Enjoy sunbathing, surfing, or watching a stunning sunset at this picturesque crescent-shaped beach.

Ocean Avenue: Wander along the main shopping street, lined with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Explore the hidden courtyards and passageways throughout the charming town.

Carmel Mission: Visit this historic mission, founded in 1771, featuring a basilica, museum, and peaceful gardens. Learn about the life of Father Junipero Serra, the founder of the California missions, and the region’s history.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve: Just south of Carmel, this stunning park offers hiking trails, dramatic coastal views, and abundant wildlife. Explore the diverse landscapes, including rocky headlands, cypress groves, and tide pools.

Where to eat:

Dametra Café: A cozy Mediterranean restaurant offering dishes from Greece, Italy, and the Middle East. Enjoy live music while dining on their signature lamb souvlaki or seafood paella.

The Tuck Box: Located in a historic, fairy-tale cottage, this charming tearoom serves a selection of sandwiches, salads, and traditional English scones with Devonshire cream.

La Bicyclette: This European-inspired bistro features rustic, wood-fired cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients. Try their wood-fired pizza or indulge in their daily-changing seasonal menu.

Monterey (4 miles, approximately 10 minutes from Carmel-by-the-Sea)

Monterey is a historic coastal city with a rich maritime history and an impressive array of attractions, including the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium.

What to do and see:

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Discover over 35,000 creatures representing 550 species, from playful sea otters to mesmerizing jellyfish. The aquarium is a must-visit for all ages.

Cannery Row: Stroll along this historic waterfront district, once the center of the sardine-packing industry, now filled with shops, restaurants, and beautiful ocean views.

Fisherman’s Wharf: Enjoy fresh seafood, browse souvenir shops, or take a whale-watching tour from this bustling wharf.

17-Mile Drive: This scenic route offers stunning views of the Pacific coastline, beautiful beaches, and the famous Lone Cypress tree.

Where to eat:

Old Fisherman’s Grotto: Enjoy fresh seafood and stunning ocean views at this iconic restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf.

Rosine’s Restaurant: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a slice of homemade cake or indulge in comfort food classics at this family-owned eatery.

Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill: Sample craft beers and enjoy pub fare with a twist at this popular brewery in downtown Monterey.

Los Banos (128 miles, approximately 2 hours from Monterey)

Los Banos is a small agricultural town located in the San Joaquin Valley. 

It’s a convenient stop on the way to Yosemite, offering a chance to experience a slice of Central California’s farming community.

What to do and see:

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge: Explore this wildlife sanctuary, home to tule elk, waterfowl, and other native species. Enjoy hiking trails, birdwatching, and scenic drives.

Los Banos Creek Reservoir: Visit this reservoir for a relaxing day of fishing, boating, or picnicking.

Where to eat:

Wool Growers Restaurant: Established in 1957, this Basque restaurant serves hearty family-style meals, including roast lamb and oxtail stew.

Espana’s Southwest Grill: Enjoy Mexican and Southwestern dishes, like fajitas and carne asada, in a casual setting.

Merced (42 miles, approximately 45 minutes from Los Banos)

Merced, known as the “Gateway to Yosemite,” is a bustling city with a rich agricultural history. It’s an ideal stop to explore local attractions and replenish supplies before continuing to Yosemite.

What to do and see:

Merced National Wildlife Refuge: Discover this haven for migratory birds and other wildlife. Enjoy birdwatching, hiking trails, and scenic drives through the refuge.

Merced County Courthouse Museum: Learn about the history of Merced County in this beautifully restored courthouse, featuring exhibits on local history and culture.

Applegate Park and Zoo: Visit this family-friendly park, home to a small zoo, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Where to eat:

J&R Tacos: Savor authentic Mexican cuisine, including tacos, burritos, and tortas, at this local favorite.

The Partisan: Enjoy a selection of craft beers, artisanal cocktails, and delicious pub fare at this popular gastropub.

Toni’s Courtyard Café & Bakery: Indulge in homemade pastries, sandwiches, and salads at this charming café and bakery.

Mariposa (49 miles, approximately 1 hour from Merced)

Mariposa, a historic Gold Rush town, offers a glimpse into California’s past while serving as a convenient stop before reaching Yosemite National Park.

What to do and see:

Mariposa Museum and History Center: Explore the town’s Gold Rush history through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum: Discover the state’s rich mining heritage and view a collection of minerals and gemstones, including the impressive Fricot Nugget.

Historic Downtown Mariposa: Wander the charming streets, filled with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.

Where to eat:

Sugar Pine Café: Enjoy classic American comfort food, like homemade pot pies and meatloaf, at this cozy café.

Savoury’s: Savor fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere, featuring a menu of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes.

1850 Restaurant: Sample craft beers and dine on upscale pub fare at this popular restaurant and brewery.

Oakhurst (25 miles, approximately 30 minutes from Mariposa)

Oakhurst is the last major town before entering Yosemite National Park and offers a range of amenities and attractions.


What to do and see:

Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park: Step back in time at this living history museum, showcasing restored buildings and artifacts from the late 1800s.

Sierra Vista Scenic Byway: Take a scenic drive along this 100-mile route, offering stunning vistas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Where to eat:

South Gate Brewing Company: Enjoy craft beers and a menu of elevated pub fare at this popular brewery.

Cool Bean Café: Fuel up with a cup of coffee and a pastry at this cozy café.

Crab Cakes Restaurant: Savor seafood dishes and other American classics in a relaxed setting.

Yosemite National Park (15 miles, approximately 30 minutes from Oakhurst)

Upon arriving in Yosemite National Park, explore the park’s majestic landscapes, including towering granite cliffs, roaring waterfalls, and serene meadows. 

From hiking and rock climbing to stargazing and wildlife spotting, Yosemite offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Don’t miss highlights like Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, and the iconic Half Dome. 

As you marvel at the breathtaking vistas and immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness, you’ll know that this unforgettable journey through Central California was truly the adventure of a lifetime.

Los Angeles to Yosemite Road Trip: Stops on Highway 395 via Lone Pine and Bishop

Discover the stunning beauty of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains as you embark on a memorable road trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park along Highway 395. 

Bakersfield (110 miles, approximately 2 hours from Los Angeles)

Bakersfield, located in the southern San Joaquin Valley, offers a glimpse into California’s agricultural heritage, and serves as a convenient first stop on your journey.

What to do and see:

Kern County Museum: Explore the region’s history through exhibits, historic buildings, and interactive displays, including the popular Pioneer Village.

California Living Museum (CALM): Discover native California plants and animals at this educational wildlife center, featuring exhibits, walking trails, and a reptile house.

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace: Pay homage to country music legend Buck Owens at this iconic music venue, museum, and restaurant.

Where to eat:

Luigi’s Restaurant & Delicatessen: Savor delicious Italian dishes, from pasta and pizza to hearty sandwiches, at this family-owned eatery.

24th Street Café: Enjoy classic American breakfast and lunch favorites at this local favorite.

Lengthwise Brewing Company: Sample craft beers and enjoy pub fare in a casual atmosphere at this popular brewery.

Sequoia National Forest (115 miles, approximately 2 hours from Bakersfield)

Sequoia National Forest, home to the towering sequoia trees, offers breathtaking landscapes, scenic hiking trails, and a variety of outdoor activities.

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What to do and see:

Trail of 100 Giants: Wander through a grove of massive sequoia trees on this accessible, 1.3-mile loop trail.

Dome Rock: Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys from this popular viewpoint. A short, easy hike leads to the summit.

Kern River: Experience white-water rafting, fishing, or simply enjoy a peaceful riverside picnic.

Where to eat:

Kern River Brewing Company: Refuel with craft beers and pub fare at this riverside brewery in the nearby town of Kernville.

The Pizza Barn: Satisfy your pizza cravings at this local pizzeria, offering a variety of toppings and styles.

Cheryl’s Diner: Enjoy classic diner fare, from burgers to milkshakes, at this nostalgic eatery in Kernville.

Lone Pine (125 miles, approximately 2 hours from Sequoia National Forest)

Lone Pine, a small town nestled at the base of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, serves as the gateway to several stunning natural attractions.

What to do and see:

Alabama Hills: Explore the striking rock formations and arches, featured in countless Hollywood films, with a scenic drive or hike.

Mt. Whitney Portal: Visit the starting point for the hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the contiguous United States.

Eastern California Museum: Learn about the region’s history, including the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, at this small but informative museum.

Where to eat:

Alabama Hills Café: Enjoy hearty breakfast and lunch options, such as omelettes, burgers, and sandwiches, at this cozy café.

The Grill: Savor American and Mexican dishes, from steaks and ribs to enchiladas and burritos, at this local favorite.

Bonanza Mexican Restaurant: Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine, including tacos, fajitas, and margaritas, at this casual eatery.

Inyo National Forest (60 miles, approximately 1 hour from Lone Pine)

Inyo National Forest offers diverse landscapes, including towering peaks, ancient bristlecone pines, and sparkling lakes. It’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

What to do and see:

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest: Hike among the oldest living trees on Earth, some over 4,000 years old, in this unique forest.

Convict Lake: Enjoy a serene picnic or hike the 3-mile loop trail around this picturesque alpine lake.

Hot Creek Geological Site: Observe the fascinating geothermal activity and bubbling hot springs at this geological wonder.

Where to eat:

Erick Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop: A must-visit bakery, famous for its original sheepherder bread and mouthwatering pastries.

Copper Top BBQ: Satisfy your barbecue cravings with delicious slow-cooked meats and classic sides at this popular spot in Big Pine.

Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ: Enjoy authentic Texas-style barbecue in the heart of the Eastern Sierra in Bishop.

Bishop (43 miles, approximately 45 minutes from Inyo National Forest)

Bishop, the largest town in the Eastern Sierra, offers a variety of amenities and attractions, making it a convenient stop on your journey.

What to do and see:

Laws Railroad Museum: Discover the region’s railroad history through exhibits, artifacts, and a historic train ride at this outdoor museum.

Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center: Learn about the local Native American tribes, their history, and culture at this informative museum and cultural center.

Keough’s Hot Springs: Relax and rejuvenate in the mineral-rich waters of these natural hot springs.

Where to eat:

Jack’s Restaurant: Enjoy comfort food classics, like fried chicken and homemade pie, at this family-friendly restaurant.

Mountain Rambler Brewery: Sample craft beers and dine on a menu of elevated pub fare at this popular brewery.

Yamatani Japanese Restaurant: Savor sushi, tempura, and other Japanese favorites at this local favorite.

Mammoth Lakes (44 miles, approximately 50 minutes from Bishop)

Mammoth Lakes, a popular resort town, offers year-round outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and fishing.

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What to do and see:

Mammoth Mountain: Hit the slopes at this world-class ski resort or explore the scenic hiking trails during the warmer months.

Devils Postpile National Monument: Marvel at the unique basalt columns and the impressive Rainbow Falls at this geological attraction.

Mono Lake: Discover the otherworldly tufa towers and diverse birdlife at this ancient saline lake.

Where to eat:

The Stove Restaurant: Enjoy hearty breakfast and lunch options, like pancakes and burgers, at this cozy eatery.

The Restaurant at Convict Lake: Savor fine dining in a rustic setting, featuring a menu of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes.

Giovanni’s Pizzeria: Indulge in a variety of pizza, pasta, and Italian dishes at this popular pizzeria.

Tuolumne Meadows (100 miles, approximately 2 hours from Mammoth Lakes)

Tuolumne Meadows, located within Yosemite National Park, offers stunning alpine scenery, serene meadows, and granite domes.

What to do and see:

Lembert Dome: Hike to the summit of this granite dome for panoramic views of Tuolumne Meadows and the surrounding peaks.

Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge: Discover the bubbling mineral springs and historic Parsons Lodge on this easy, 1.5-mile roundtrip hike.

Glen Aulin Trail: Follow the scenic trail along the Tuolumne River to the picturesque Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp and its cascading waterfalls.

Where to eat:

Tuolumne Meadows Grill: Refuel with burgers, sandwiches, and other casual fare at this seasonal outdoor grill.

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge: Enjoy family-style dining in a rustic setting at this seasonal lodge, offering a rotating menu of hearty dishes.

High Sierra Camps: Savor hot meals and sack lunches at these seasonal camps, accessible only by foot or on horseback.

Upon arriving in Yosemite National Park, explore the park’s majestic landscapes, including towering granite cliffs, roaring waterfalls, and serene meadows. 

From hiking and rock climbing to stargazing and wildlife spotting, Yosemite offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Don’t miss highlights like Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, and the iconic Half Dome. 

As you marvel at the breathtaking vistas and immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness, you’ll know that this unforgettable journey along Highway 395 and through the Eastern Sierra was truly the adventure of a lifetime.

Places to see in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a stunning National Park located in California. The park spans nearly 1,200 square miles and offers visitors the chance to enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in all of America. Yosemite National Park is the third oldest National Park in America. When you visit this famous park, there are many things that you can do to ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake is a lake in Yosemite National Park, California, that is most notable for its high altitude (7,200 feet (2,200 m)), which gives it a deep blue color. The lake gets its name from the way its surface reflects the sky. It’s ideal for swimming and sunbathing during summer months when temperatures soar above 90 degrees Farenheit.

Tunnel View

Tunnel View is a great place to stop and take photos. It’s the view from the tunnel, so you can get a good look at Yosemite Valley as well as Half Dome. This is also a great place to see how big and awesome Yosemite National Park is!

Bridalveil Fall

One of the most iconic sights in Yosemite National Park, Bridalveil Fall is a waterfall that drops over 1,000 feet into a dramatic display of mist. Located near the southern end of Yosemite Valley (at the intersection of highways 140 and 41), it’s one of several waterfalls that make this area so special.

Yosemite Falls

How tall is it?

The waterfalls in Yosemite National Park are the tallest in North America, so they’re definitely worth seeing. The three main ones are Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Fall and Vernal Fall (the latter two being much shorter).

How do I get there?

There are several trail options that take you to different areas of the falls. The Mist Trail offers spectacular views of Lower Yosemite Fall and Nevada Fall, as well as passing through a tunnel carved into granite rock by early park visitors.

Another popular spot for viewing all three falls is Columbia Rock—a giant slab of granite that provides an impressive vantage point from which to see Upper Yosemite Fall, Middle Cascade Falls and Lower Cascade Falls. You can also hike down to Nevada Fall from here if you’re up for an adventure (just beware of rockslides!).

Another great trail option is Olmsted Point/Mirror Lake Loop; this hike takes you past Mirror Lake—which reflects Half Dome beautifully—and offers a unique perspective on Half Dome itself before continuing on toward Yosemite Valley with fantastic views all along its path! There are plenty more trails where those came from too!

Half Dome

Half Dome, a granite mountain that soars above Yosemite Valley and is one of the most famous landmarks in the park, is a great place to watch the sunset. The cables are only open from late May to early October so it’s important that you pay attention to their schedule when planning your visit. The hike up this rock formation can be done in two ways:

  • by hiking up the backside (which means you’ll hike down from the top), or
  • by taking a cable car from Happy Isles station at Happy Valley; both routes take about 8-9 hours round trip with an elevation gain of about 4,000 feet.

Glacier Point

When you’re in Yosemite National Park and want to get a good view, go to Glacier Point. This is the highest point in Yosemite Valley, so it’s easy to find. It also offers fantastic views of Half Dome and El Capitan as well as the High Sierra Mountains.

Little Yosemite valley Upper Pines Campground to Half Dome

If you want to see Glacier Point but don’t want to hike there or drive there, you can take the shuttle bus that runs between Yosemite Valley Lodge (where most visitors stay) and Badger Pass Ski Area. The ride takes about thirty minutes each way on this scenic route which crosses over several bridges before winding its way through forested hillsides dotted with pine trees.

Visitors who are interested in camping at one of the park’s campsites can also access Glacier Point via another trailhead near Camp 4; however this route takes about four hours round trip by foot instead of just half an hour by car!

Upper Pines Campground

For those seeking a true wilderness experience, the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite National Park is the perfect destination. This campground offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is located just minutes from the iconic Yosemite Valley.

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The Upper Pines Campground features over 238 individual campsites, each offering a unique and peaceful setting for camping. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot for a solo trip or a large, family-friendly site for a group gathering, there’s something for everyone at Upper Pines.

If you’re planning a trip to Upper Pines Campground, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to the “10 Best Campsites at Upper Pines,” which includes detailed information on the best sites for tent camping, RV camping, and more. With this information, you’ll be able to choose the perfect spot for your next camping adventure.


Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Yosemite National Park. This unique area is home to some of the largest and oldest trees on the planet, and offers a range of experiences for visitors of all ages and abilities.


For those who prefer a leisurely experience, a drive through the Mariposa Grove is an excellent way to see the giant sequoias. This option is free and allows you to take in the beauty of the trees at your own pace.

For those looking for a more active experience, there are plenty of hiking opportunities in the Mariposa Grove. The trails are well marked and offer a range of lengths and difficulties, from easy walks to more challenging hikes.

The starting point for your hiking adventure is the parking lot on Panorama Drive, which is easily recognizable by the many cars parked there on weekends or holidays.

From there, you can choose from four different hikes: one that takes you through the middle of the trees, one that leads down towards Yosemite Creek, and two shorter trails that offer stunning views of the Mariposa Grove itself.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature lover just looking for a peaceful walk, these trails are sure to be a highlight of your visit to Yosemite National Park.

Wawona Meadow Loop [Open May to November]

  • The Wawona Meadow Loop is a 9.5 mile trail that accesses the south end of Yosemite Valley. It’s a great way to see the park in one day, and you can hike as far as you want at your own pace!
  • From May until November, this loop is open for hikers looking to explore Yosemite Valley from above (it starts at the Wawona Visitors Center).
  • If you visit in late summer or fall months—when crowds are less likely—you may spot deer grazing on meadow grasses along this trail.

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You are now armed with distance, routes, pitstops, places of interests and what to do in Yosemite. Escape right away and we hope you enjoy your trip to Yosemite National Park!

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