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With this ultimate weekend guide to Yosemite National Park, I hope you’ll be inspired to visit one of my favorite places in California. It’s truly a wonderful place and the breathtaking views of places like Half Dome and Glacier Point are one of a kind. It’s a place you could easily spend a weekend exploring the back country or more popular spots like Vernal Falls. Be sure to reserve accommodations in advance or make an easy day trip from Northern California! The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park
The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

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What to Know Before Visiting Yosemite National Park

  • The park is accessibly by car and is needed to explore the valley.
  • Be sure to have gas before entering the park.
  • During the winter months, the park has limited accessibility so be sure to visit the website for latest updates.
  • Cell service is limited so I would suggest unplugging for the weekend.
  • There are plenty of amenities when it comes to dining should you want to eat out.
  • A full weekend will allow to explore the whole park.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

I would suggest staying in the park to have easy access to the trails and to beat the crowds that come in for the day on tour busses. It’s really stunning and nothing beats sunrise in the valley. This past time, I stayed in Half Dome Village (previously Curry Village) and rented a heated cabin with communal bathrooms. They have a wide range of options from tents to cabins with bathrooms. These are the cheaper of accommodations in the park. The more luxury option would be the Majestic Hotel. The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

What to Do in Yosemite National Park

  • Rent bikes at Half Dome Village and explore the valley.
  • Hike it out on some of the best trails like 4 Mile, Mist Trail, and the Valley Loop. Here’s a recap of our favorite hike.
  • Check out the endless waterfalls like Bridalveil, Yosemite Falls, and Vernal Falls.
  • Catch sunset at the iconic Tunnel View.
  • Go to Glacier Point for one of the best views over the valley.
The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park
The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Yosemite National Park

Where to Eat in Yosemite National Park

  • There are many options for dining, which I love for dinner. We typically pack in our own lunches as we are out hiking and will dine out for dinner. Some favorites include:
  • A quick bite at Mountain Restaurant Lounge and a longer dinner at the restaurant.
  • Fine dining at Majestic Hotel. *Reservations needed
  • Yummy pizza at the Pizza Deck in Half Dome Village.
  • Breakfast is really good at either the cafeteria near Half Dome Village Yosemite Village.

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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

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Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

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I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


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