Advice Travel

Yosemite National Park – a guide to exploring the park in summer

Why Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite National Park is in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s famous for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, and for Tunnel View, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of Half Dome and El Capitan. In Yosemite valley are shops, restaurants, lodging, camping and the Yosemite Museum including the Ansel Adams Gallery, with prints of the photographer’s renowned black-and-white landscapes of the area. Here is my guide to exploring Yosemite National Park during summer.

Why did we choose Yosemite National Park?

So if you have been reading my blog you know I start this Kelly Luvs journey with an epic trip to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park last summer.  So this year my group of friends and I took on Yosemite National Park (plus Kings Canyon — Sequoia National Park, read more here).

I love our National Park system and the beauty behind it.  Tackling Yosemite during the summer takes patience but it is completely worth it.  This trip was my 6th or 7th time visiting Yosemite National Park during summer. (One day I want to see the valley covered in snow… ). My friends really wanted to see it and as you know by know I am always up for a new adventure. Plus since I live in Arizona now, its not as easy as it used to be.

Lets start with a video

So I just happened to be watching my favorite morning show: CBS this morning and saw this amazing video of: Yosemite National Park while I was planning our trip.  Outstanding, right?  Did you see the bear?  The beauty of Yosemite National Park is breathtaking!

Driving into the Park

During our trip in July we entered the park through the South Entrance.  You will enter this way if you have passed through Oakhurst and Fish Camp.  During previous trips, I have also Arch Rock, Merced Rock and Tioga Pass.  All ways into the park are beautiful and provide a different vantage point. From my experience entering through Tioga Pass is the most diverse.  You can see the back country side of the park which is amazing. From the South Entrance we drove through Wawona and past the newly renovated Mariposa Grove. We didnt stop since we were coming from the Kings Canyon – Sequoia National Park.

Top Sites to See in Yosemite National Park

  • Half Dome
    • I hiked Half Dome many years ago with my friend Kristin and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I loved it but my body was so sore after.  However it was completely worth it.  Seeing it with my family and friends this time, they thought I was absolutely crazy for doing it.  I do recommend giving it a try. ⇒ If you don’t make it all the way, its still an amazing hike with beautiful water falls.  Comment below if you have made the trek up Half Dome 🙂
  • Yosemite Falls
    • Easy to get to.  We spent a day during our adventure on bikes and rode to the Falls.
    • It was one of my favorite days.
  • Tuolumne Meadows
    • I’ve seen it before when I entered the part through Tioga Pass
  • El Capitan
    • Stunning granite wall with lots of climbers.
    • Fun to use binoculars to watch the climbers trek up the wall.  Amazing!
  • Tunnel View
    • Great spot for pictures!
  • Glacier Point (See awesome pictures below)
  • Bridalviel Falls
    • Just as you enter the Yosemite Valley floor on your right side.
  • Vernal and Nevada Falls
    • A great hike on the way to Half Dome.
      • You can stop at the foot bridge too if you are hiking with kids.
  • Mirror Lake
    • This trip Mirror Lake was almost completely dried up.  It is still a great hike with kids.  The trail was EASY and not very long.
  • Mariposa Grove
    • Which was just re-opened.
  • Ansel Adams Gallery
    • If you love photography, it is a must see.  I didn’t get to visit on this trip but had seen it a few times before during previous visits!

OK!  I know you want to see my pictures so here you go:

  • Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

    My family at Tunnel View

  • Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

    Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls

    Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

    Mirror Lake (in 2011)

    Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs. Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs. Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs. Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

Yosemite Falls from the Merced River

Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and subscribe to my blog.  Check out my next post on bike riding, hiking and rafting in Yosemite National Park.  Also follow me on social media to see the latest updates!  As always, thank you! ♥

Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

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