Explore Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park HotelsIf you've ever felt your holiday photos don't quite come up to scratch, a visit to Yosemite National Park will put that right in a heartbeat. This national park is absolutely heaving with jaw-dropping splendour, and whether you're gazing upwards at the towering, majestic Half Dome – and perhaps braving a day-long hike up its sheer face – or gawking open-mouthed at the tallest waterfall in America, Yosemite Falls, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to your highlights reel. Throw in meadows, bears, and crystal clear rivers and you've got a little slice of heaven.Things to seeOne of the biggest draws is Yosemite Valley, with its sheer walls formed over the millennia by glaciation, leading to extraordinary cliffs which draw climbing nuts here in their thousands every year. El Capitan and Half Dome are the two sides of this 7 mile stretch, but it's not just above that's picturesque – the valley floor itself is heaving with meadows, deer, and coyotes, as well as some brilliant bike paths to sample it all on. Half Dome is perhaps the great symbol of the area, and no surprise really as it's an incredible 87 million years old. If you are planning on hiking up this extremely sheer natural wonder it's probably better to pace yourself, and stopping off in Little Yosemite Valley overnight is hardly a chore. From sky to sea, and Mono Lake is another epic natural masterpiece, with over 70 square miles of saline water doubling up as a habitat for millions of birds which flock here every year. Hotels in
Yosemite National ParkUnsurprisingly the region draws a huge number of visitors, and that means plenty of accommodation options. There are hotels in Yosemite National Park to suit every budget, and if you feel like splashing out you'll be able to find lodges and hotels which offer on-site service spas, health clubs, indoor pools, and business facilities to go with their impeccable views. Most hotels will offer complimentary WiFi, flat-screen televisions and tea and coffee making facilities as standard. There'll be a bit of a journey from the hotel to the park, as this is a UNESCO world heritage site – generally speaking the further you head away, the further your budget will stretch. Where to stayTo the north of the Yosemite Valley Floor, Yosemite Village is the closest place to the natural wonders that you'll find, and while it's a permanent home to those who work in the park, its population increases enormously due to visitors. It's not a thriving metropolis by any means, but there are amenities including restaurants and some basic stores, but its key advantage is proximity to the grandeur. Nearby Mariposa is an historic town which has kept the adobe buildings which sprang up there in the Gold Rush and feels like something out of a western – there aren't even stop lights. How to get to Yosemite National ParkOne of the most enjoyable ways of exploring in the region is via the Pine Mountain Lake Marina which plunges you straight into the natural wonders and the spectacular scenery, and can be accessed by hired boat. It's also a great place to try your hand at fishing and other water activities. Yosemite National Park itself can be reached via Greyhound Bus with regular services, and also by Amtrak trains which run into Merced, west of the park.