Tourist attractions and places of interest
Yosemite National Park, California
On the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains,
some considerable distance east of San Francisco.
The park can be accessed from both the east and the west during the summer,
but only from the west during the winter.
The Tioga Pass road is closed in winter and sometimes doesn't reopen
until as late as May.
I-80 remains open year round, and I think all the other passes north
of Yosemite (US50, California State Road 88, California State Road 4 and
California State Road 108 - the Sonora Pass) do as well except perhaps
during and immediately after a heavy snowfall.
1,189 square miles. For comparison, the English county of Lancashire has
an area of 1,185 square miles.
What to See and Do
View the beautiful steep sided Yosemite valley.
After parking at Curry Village, take the free shuttle bus to the various
Valley areas including Happy Isles, Mirror Lake and Yosemite Falls. Picture
Drive up to Glacier Point for magnificent views of Half Dome and the valley
floor far below.
From Happy Isles there's a fairly steep trail up to good views of Nevada
From Mirror Lake Junction, where the shuttle bus drops you, there's a paved
gently sloping road to walk up to Mirror Lake itself, with good views of
Half Dome. Picture (32KB)
The shuttle bus drops you only a short walk from the impressive Yosemite
Falls. Picture (27KB)
Drive the highly scenic Tioga Pass Road over the Sierras,
stopping to admire Tuolumne Meadows.
Plan to Ban Private Vehicles
The following news story appeared in the Daily Brief on 26-Nov-97: "Interior
Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced plans yesterday to ban most automobile
traffic from Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion national parks by 2000. The
measure was reportedly prompted by the overcrowding and polluting of the
Access to the park for visitors will presumably be provided by buses.
There have been plans to ban cars from Yosemite Valley for many years.
While this would be both highly desirable and quite feasible for day use
visitors, it doesn't seem to me to be a realistic proposition for people
staying in the camp sites.
There have also been plans to introduce reservations for day use during
the summer. Apparently this was tried during the summer of 1997 but was
withdrawn due to general public objection to it.
Some Ideas for Places to Stay
Merced, California (west of the park) The
scenic drive from Merced to Yosemite is a fascinating lesson in geography
as you observe the change from the flat valley of the San Joaquin to the
foothills of the Sierras, passing through
the little towns of Midpines and Mariposa.
Bishop, California (east of the park)
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