Visiting Yosemite for the first time is something everyone remembers. Even if all you have is a day, the reward of seeing the crown jewel of the National Park Service is worth the effort to get there.
Visiting Yosemite National Parkcan be the experience of a lifetime. Yosemite is huge, about the size of the state of Rhode Island, and most visitors only see a small sliver of the park by visiting Yosemite Valley and not straying far from their cars. Reading guide books, studying maps, and giving yourself plenty of time to enjoy the Yosemite experience can better your chances of having a trip that exceeds your expectations.
There are many ways to see Yosemite, the park makes every travel preference possible. From wheel chair ramps to back country trails, the facilities are there for the kind of travel you prefer.
The following are our tips for saving money and having a great time visiting Yosemite.
Gas and Groceries
Fuel can also be had at better prices in Merced as well. If you need to fill up in Mariposa, the Darrah Road Market in Bootjack is where the locals fill up. It’s between Meadow Creek Ranch and the town of Mariposa and is usually worth the trip for the savings. There are two grocery stores in the town of Mariposa. There is a large store in Yosemite Valley, selection is good, but the prices are higher.
Gas is not available in Yosemite Valley, but is available at Crane Flats, Wawona, and Tuolomne Meadows, too far away if you get to the park close to empty. The last station before you reach the park entrance is the Chevron in El Portal where gas can run $1 or more higher than the prices charged elsewhere in Mariposa county. Here is a map to gas stations in the Mariposa and Yosemite area. Oakhurst gas stations are numerous and easy to find.
What to bring
Bring a set of well-fitting tire chains if you are traveling during the winter months. Find out more about what other travelers are saying about tire chain use in Yosemite. This is another Yosemite specific site for learning about tire chains.
The Merced River slows down and gets warmer toward late summer, making swimming a part of most local’s plans. There are many swimming spots in and out of the Park. Just ask around and someone will tell you a good spot — the great ones are usually kept as well-guarded secrets. Be careful though, the Merced River can be very dangerous.
Bring a flashlight: it gets very dark at night without the ghostly glow of urban light pollution, unless it is a full moon, of course.
Sunblock before a hike will protect you from sun and, should you get into poison oak, it will slow the effects of the poison oak oils on the skin. Tecnu is a good product to have with you. If you wait to buy it after you get into poison oak you might be too late.
www.yosemitefun.com – very informative