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Yosemite National Park - General Park Information

Yosemite National Park is one of the United States' oldest national parks. Well known for its gorgeous waterfalls, valleys, meadows and wilderness, it's a popular destination for serious backpackers and family-style camping.

History of the Yosemite Museum

The Yosemite Museum opened on May 29, 1926, and was the first museum in all of the country's national parks. The museum's focus on education inspired other parks to open similar museums across the country. The Yosemite Museum is still standing and functions much like it did when it was first instituted. Many exhibits showcase the Native American occupation of the Yosemite Valley area.

Before You Visit

There are some things that you should be educated on and prepared for before you make the trip to Yosemite:

  1. Different ways to get around Yosemite. Shuttle buses are available. You may need tire chains if you plan on visiting from October to April. It's allowed that you drive your car into and around Yosemite if you wish.
  2. Basic safety information.
  3. Information regarding pets being brought to Yosemite.
  4. Accessibility if you're traveling with someone with a disability.
  5. Food storage to keep bears away as well as precautionary measures if you do come in contact with a bear.
  6. Internet access for your electronic devices.
  7. You don't need a reservation to visit Yosemite. However, if you're staying overnight, it's recommended that you make a lodging or campsite reservation.

Camping in Yosemite National Park

In order to plan your trip, you'll have to visit Yosemite's website to check opening and closing dates. It's recommended that you make reservations and they're required between April and September. Some campsites have vault toilets while others have traditional restrooms. Showers are available at the Housekeeping Camp and the Curry Village. If you're traveling with an RV, you can plan on staying in one of Yosemite's RV-specific campsites. Horse campsites are available as well.

Things to Do in Yosemite

There are tons of ways to stay busy while in Yosemite National Park. Hiking and biking trails, bus tours and volunteer programs are all accessible. If you want to learn about Yosemite, spend a few hours on a tour with a park ranger. Visit the website to access the Yosemite Guide and view all upcoming, scheduled events. Attractions and activities vary by season, so be sure you know when you're visiting in order to plan your trip accordingly. Horsetail Fall, one of Yosemite's most popular waterfall attractions, is viewable in the winter and early spring.