Map from the National Parks Service.

Yesterday was day 8 of our 4,500 mile, 10 National Park, 2 week, Epic Road Trip- Our Late Start to Summer.

John Muir, the well known naturalist and advocate for preservation of land in the United States said:

“No temple made with human hands can compare to Yosemite.”

You can see God’s creativity and awesome ability to create natural beauty when you visit Yosemite National Park. We spent the day there yesterday. We were not sure if we would have time to come back another day, so I researched the best highlights to see, if you only have one day at Yosemite. We plan to go back to see more tomorrow, but I wasn’t sure of our future

plans, as of yesterday, so we crammed a lot of activity and sight seeing into one day.

Yosemite is everything you think it is and more! Abraham Lincoln was the first to sign documents to preserve this land and then later in 1890 it was declared an official National Park. Native American Indians lived here for thousands of years and then new settlers arrived as early a summer 1827. The gold rush of 1848 brought even more people to Yosemite. By the late 1800’s and into the 1900’s it was becoming a tourist destination, but a remote and hard to reach destination with dirt trails going for miles on end.

Yosemite National Park covers 1,200 square mile and is located in the Sierra Neveda of California. With it being such an expansive National Park I recommend setting aside 4-7 days to see this Park. I do understand that it is not always feasible though, so here are the top 3 tips I have if you only have a day to visit this magnificent land.

1. Go to Glacier Point. Glacier Point has some of the most iconic views of the park since it is where the Glacier Point Hotel once existed and it has full panoramic views of the Half Dome and mountains surrounding it. Below are pics from our stop at this point. We were fortunate enough to make it to the 2:00 ranger presentation, where we learned all about Glacier Point history.  

2. Go to Yosemite Valley. Some of the most popular tourist destinations exist in the Valley area of Yosemite. This is also where a Visitor’s center, cafe, grill, art center, and shops can also be found. It is a loop within the center of Yosemite that has shuttle bus tours that are free! You can get on and off, as shuttles are running continuously during the daytime, and see over a dozen sites! There are also lots of trails to hike in this area as well. 

3. Stop to hike and see Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall. Bridalveil Fall is a 620 foot waterfall. The views here are amazing! The stop for this waterfall is one of the first when you enter the Yosemite Valley. The main area of the Yosemite has lots of shops and restaurants; it is also where you can hike to see the upper and lower Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in the United States at 2450 feet. It is also 5th largest in the world.  Here are some photos below of our time in Yosemite Valley: 

Yosemite Valley- Also a view of their shuttle stops (the shuttle is free).