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Top 5 Must Have Experiences at Yosemite National Park

Being 9096 feet above sea level, you'll experience some of the best views in California all year long.

View of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley Floor from Glacier Point

Our favorite experiences while staying in Yosemite National Park:

Per "The Glacier Point Road is normally open to vehicles from sometime in May to sometime in November. NOTE: Glacier Point Road will be closed to all traffic in 2022 to rehabilitate and improve the road. The only access to Glacier Point will be via the Four Mile, Panorama, and Pohono Trails, all of which are strenuous hikes."

  • Take a night hike through Yosemite Valley to our favorite stargazing spot.

Bring a blanket, water, some snacks, & flashlight/headlamps. Red light headlamps work the best, however sometimes the moon is so bright in the valley that once your eyes adjust to the natural lighting, sometimes you don't even need extra illumination. Still it is always a smart idea to bring a flashlight with you on any night hike/walk. The path outlined below is quite flat and very easy at around 4 miles round trip. One of my favorite parts about this night hike is the half way point when you get to Happy Isle Loop Road (currently closed to through traffic). You can lay down on the ground (or road), feel the earth beneath you, gaze up at the stars and be one with nature. Please remember to stay on the trails when exploring the Valley at night. Wildlife is very active (this is their home) and we want to preserve our national parks as best as we can, always.

My other favorite part about this night hike is if you get to the Ahwahnee Hotel before 9PM you can indulge in their cocktail and Hors d'oeuvre menu.

  • Experience the Firefall at Horetails Falls (Mid to late Februrary)

Photo of Yosemite's Firefall - A waterfall that looks like fire
Photo Credit: KQED

You must see this for yourself! The Firefall is an incredible natural phenomenon that happens only at sunset in February for about 10 minutes. When you get to witness it, the setting sun hits Yosemite Valley just right and illuminates Horsetail Fall with its rays of light - amazing isn't even enough description or metaphor here because nothing can truly capture how stunningly beautiful this really feels like being there when these things happen.

  • Experience the Moonbow at Yosemite Falls (May/June) - Watch the video below to learn all about Moonbows in Yosemite National Park:

  • Go swimming at the Swinging Bridge Picnic Area (July - Early September)

Depending on the time of year, late spring to late summer usually has the perfect weather for taking a dip in the Merced River. Bring a floaty, towel, and refreshments with you to spent a few hours or up to the entire day relaxing at the Swinging Bridge Picnic area. This spot not only offers a retreat from the heat, but is another one of Yosemite Valley's best picture spots.

Yosemite National Park is open 365 days per year, check out the seasons here:

Spring: April -May

Summer: June - Sept

Autumn: Oct-Dec

Winter: Dec-March

Explore everything that this national treasure has to offer by booking your stay today! Want to know more about Yosemite Valley? View our last blog posted on October 25, 2021 featuring a 360 tour showcasing the inside of the Historic Ahwahnee Hotel - including a glimpse of one of their 97 hotel rooms.

Share your experience with us on social media using #YosemiteInVR

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