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Yosemite National Park Holidays

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Yosemite National Park? Tick.

One of California’s most popular locations, Yosemite National Park is an awe-inspiring place to be. It’s the crowning glory in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, loved for its spectacular vistas and abundant wildlife.

Carved out by glaciers, the valley is home to some of the world’s most famous rock formations, including Half Dome. Everywhere you turn you’ll see gigantic sheets of granite, alpine trees and sparkling waterfalls, one of which glows orange in the February sun while others create moonbows at night. The Merced River also flows through the valley, adding to the picture-postcard views.

There’s no doubt about it – Yosemite holidays are fantastic for adventurers. Hiking, rafting, cycling and rock-climbing are all on the activity list. Although some of the hikes are pretty challenging, you’ll find lots of easier routes that still offer great photo opportunities. And there are spas, museums and horseback rides for those looking for a calmer retreat to nature. It’s also an inspiring landscape for any keen artists, and there are galleries dotted about the park and in Mariposa County nearby.

Yosemite never hibernates. Visit in summer and you can expect to be wandering the valley floor in shorts and a t-shirt. Choose winter and you can try out snowboarding, skiing or snow-tubing. And, depending on when you plan your Yosemite holiday, you might spot some unique wildlife. Yosemite is home to black bears, bobcats and bighorn sheep. There are beautiful birds and elegant deer aplenty too.

Accommodation around Yosemite varies. You’ll find hotels within and just outside the park, some of which offer a luxurious stay with spas and celebrated restaurants on-site. There are rustic lodges with more space to relax, making them perfect for families. Some people choose to camp, making the most of the park’s clear night skies. Whatever you're looking for, speak to our experts – we'll help you choose the perfect option for you.

Things to do

Wildlife

Hikes

Best time to go

Things to do in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is full of activities, especially for the adventure hungry. Hiking is particularly popular with trails across the park leading to magnificent views of the valley and its waterfalls. Some trails are more strenuous than others, and you should be able to find one to suit most fitness levels.  

Cycling routes offer a quicker way to see parts of the park without needing to be in the car. You could also take to the Merced River in a raft, saddle up and explore on horseback or try rock-climbing to see the landscape in a totally different perspective.

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But it’s not all adrenaline and gear – there are more peaceful activities on offer too. You could try a painting workshop, bird watching or totally unwind at a spa, tucked away among the trees. Those into fishing can choose from one of 58 streams, home to rainbow and brown trout.

 

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Show Less

Yosemite’s wildlife

Lurking among all the granite walls, trees and waterfalls are some charming creatures. You’re bound to see deer in Yosemite, as these roam around the valley floor and are often right by the road. Settler’s jays are frequently seen flitting past. And cute golden-mantled ground squirrels are always seen climbing in the trees.

Show More
Show Less

But animal sightings in Yosemite get way more exciting. Visit in spring and you could see black bears when they’re just coming out of hibernation and are on the lookout for food. There are also bobcats and coyotes, which are often spotted hunting for small prey. Striking birds such as tanagers, goshawks, woodpeckers and owls are regularly seen darting about or having a rest, while pretty butterflies drift around the wildflowers in summer.

Sit quietly near the open meadows to see the animals in their usual hunting grounds. Or join a wildlife tour so you an expert can find them for you.

Show More
Show Less

The best hikes in Yosemite

Yosemite is a dream for hikers and those you want to do at least one good walk on their holiday. If you’re up for a challenge, try the North Dome Trail to catch the best views of Half Dome. The trail is around 10.5 miles long, so give yourself lots of time and take plenty of food and water. Eagle Peak is the one to do if you want to feel like you’ve reached the very top of the park. The views are incredible but be prepared to climb pretty high.

Show More
Show Less

For a more relaxing exploration, why not do part of the Valley Floor Loop? It’s 13 miles in total, but you can just take in a portion to walk. Cook’s Meadow Trail and the Mist Trail are much shorter, and you’ll still get to see the lovely waterfalls.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Yosemite

Yosemite holidays are most popular in summer, from June to early September, when the temperatures are balmy, the roads are all open and activities like rafting are going ahead. But this is also, understandably, a very busy time in Yosemite. If you’d prefer a more serene trip, early autumn and late spring can be a great compromise. A number of activities are likely to be running and you can expect to be hiking in pleasant temperatures around the mid-twenties.

Show More
Show Less

Roads such as Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Road are generally closed from November to the end of May due to snow, so visiting during the colder months can see you missing out on some of Yosemite’s best sights.

But the park remains open in winter and the Badger Pass area becomes a hive for snow sports between December and March. You can go cross-country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding or tubing.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is full of activities, especially for the adventure hungry. Hiking is particularly popular with trails across the park leading to magnificent views of the valley and its waterfalls. Some trails are more strenuous than others, and you should be able to find one to suit most fitness levels.  

Cycling routes offer a quicker way to see parts of the park without needing to be in the car. You could also take to the Merced River in a raft, saddle up and explore on horseback or try rock-climbing to see the landscape in a totally different perspective.

Show More
Show Less

But it’s not all adrenaline and gear – there are more peaceful activities on offer too. You could try a painting workshop, bird watching or totally unwind at a spa, tucked away among the trees. Those into fishing can choose from one of 58 streams, home to rainbow and brown trout.

 

Show More
Show Less

Wildlife

Yosemite’s wildlife

Lurking among all the granite walls, trees and waterfalls are some charming creatures. You’re bound to see deer in Yosemite, as these roam around the valley floor and are often right by the road. Settler’s jays are frequently seen flitting past. And cute golden-mantled ground squirrels are always seen climbing in the trees.

Show More
Show Less

But animal sightings in Yosemite get way more exciting. Visit in spring and you could see black bears when they’re just coming out of hibernation and are on the lookout for food. There are also bobcats and coyotes, which are often spotted hunting for small prey. Striking birds such as tanagers, goshawks, woodpeckers and owls are regularly seen darting about or having a rest, while pretty butterflies drift around the wildflowers in summer.

Sit quietly near the open meadows to see the animals in their usual hunting grounds. Or join a wildlife tour so you an expert can find them for you.

Show More
Show Less

Hikes

The best hikes in Yosemite

Yosemite is a dream for hikers and those you want to do at least one good walk on their holiday. If you’re up for a challenge, try the North Dome Trail to catch the best views of Half Dome. The trail is around 10.5 miles long, so give yourself lots of time and take plenty of food and water. Eagle Peak is the one to do if you want to feel like you’ve reached the very top of the park. The views are incredible but be prepared to climb pretty high.

Show More
Show Less

For a more relaxing exploration, why not do part of the Valley Floor Loop? It’s 13 miles in total, but you can just take in a portion to walk. Cook’s Meadow Trail and the Mist Trail are much shorter, and you’ll still get to see the lovely waterfalls.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Yosemite

Yosemite holidays are most popular in summer, from June to early September, when the temperatures are balmy, the roads are all open and activities like rafting are going ahead. But this is also, understandably, a very busy time in Yosemite. If you’d prefer a more serene trip, early autumn and late spring can be a great compromise. A number of activities are likely to be running and you can expect to be hiking in pleasant temperatures around the mid-twenties.

Show More
Show Less

Roads such as Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Road are generally closed from November to the end of May due to snow, so visiting during the colder months can see you missing out on some of Yosemite’s best sights.

But the park remains open in winter and the Badger Pass area becomes a hive for snow sports between December and March. You can go cross-country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding or tubing.

Show More
Show Less

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Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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