One thing important to know is while in the national park you will have little to no reliable cell service. This is something that may seem small but could end up being a very big deal for you in certain circumstances.. So I will repeat it.. There is pretty much no cell service or Wi-Fi.
The camp site does offer Wi-Fi but it is poorly connected in nearly never usable.. Except during the day .. at one specific location.. Which is a small Wi-Fi hut near the information desk.
You will also need to lock up your food and drinks in the bear lockers provided. Bring your own lock.
There is a public transportation bus system that runs the length of the park.
It basically makes a giant circle with stops along the way.
There is a link for the bus route here: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/valleyshuttle.pdf
You should know this is a double-edged sword. The transportation is great only if you are not in a rush and willing to wait. Often the buses are full and fighting ensues over who is getting on or off. There is no organization and there are no well defined waiting lines and the bus drivers do not care.
But it can save you the hassle of overcrowded parking lots and driving in circles in an area you’re not familiar with.
Not to mention the buses have the right of way and their own lane so bus transport can be quicker than driving.
What you may not know on your trip to Yosemite is that there are several packages available for purchase.
From sightseeing to hiking there is a package to be purchased.
We purchased the full-day Yosemite Grand Tour- which combines Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias into one tour.
When we say all day, literally the tour is 8 hours long and you’re starting time is 8:45 in the morning. This tour does come with a launch and very knowledgeable tour guide.
This tour is perfect for someone who wants to see the major attractions and wants to be handheld through some walking highlights.. This tour alone will give you enough to feel like you really saw the Valley.
The downside is that some of the locations you don’t have as much time as you would like we felt as little rushed at times.
Not ideal if you want to take it slow.
Total cost for the tour is $102 for adults and $64 for children ages 5- 12.
Most of the pictures in this blog were taken on this grand tour, so picture taking can happen with great results even under the slight pressure of feeling rushed from time to time.
For $28.50 per person you can take a 3 mile float down the Merced River in a raft that holds 2 to 4 people. The river is slow and lazy and requires very little work. The view is spectacular and definitely camera worthy.
The pros are: the ability to have amazing views without having to climb up the mountain to get them.
The cons are: they don’t tell you there is a 20 minute walk with your raft in hand (which is quite heavy) to get to the area where you can enter the river. This is inconvenient and a definite downer. Everyone is required to wear a life vest and there is no drinking allowed. Once you get past the walk carrying the heavy raft.. it’s all worth it from there.
Here are a few other hikes that are worth their weight in gold.
Vernal falls. A long, winding, narrow hike that has multiple travelers on its path.
But when you reach midway you are greeted by an amazing waterfall and sometimes a special rainbow.
The path to Mirror Lake was also a long hike through the woods over steep rocks that felt like they had been laid there to purposely deter us from reaching our goal. But once we made it to the end the lake rewarded us.
So grab your boots, your gear, some water, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime wrapped in the amazingness of serenity views and peaceful nature.
And when you’re done, sit back, relax and reminisce the adventure over a tall beer.. because you will have earned it my friend.
There are occasional signs along the way to let you know how far you’ve come.. and how far you have to go.
This can be a glass half empty or half full scenario you choose which one you like.
Reservations & Customer Service Toll-Free Number
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm MST (AZ Time)
Weekends: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm MST (AZ Time)
Lost and Found
If you have lost a personal item during your stay at Yosemite National Park, please be sure to fill out the Lost & Found Form.