The Gateway to Yosemite National Park

As promised in June, here is some more information about Yosemite Nation Park. Merced is also referred to as The Gateway to Yosemite National Park. From here, it’s just s short drive to get to one of America’s most stunning places of natural beauty.

Yosemite National Park belongs to America’s most visited national parks. This is the place where Ansel Adams was shooting his famous photographs when he had fallen in love with the area’s awe-inspiring waterfalls, the magnificent landscape, and the beautiful steep cliffs.

The majority of the more than four 4 million visitors that visit Yosemite National Park each year only get to see the area of Yosemite Valley but the impressive park offers so much more.

People who love mountain climbing will love El Capitan, a nearly 3600 foot (some 1110 m) vertical wall and rafters will love the wild waters that the Merced River provides. The park also draws large crowds of hobby and professional wildlife and nature lovers and photographers.


Yosemite National Park is found some 200 miles (310 km) east of the City of San Francisco right in the heart of California’s High Sierras. The entrance fee is $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorbike and if you have the plan to visit more national parks within the period of 1 year, you may want to buy the National Park Pass but this is not including State Parks.

Tip! Mariposa Grove is Yosemite’s largest grove of giant sequoias. In winter it is not easy to reach, as the 2-mile road into the grove is closed.

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley is doubtlessly the most frequently visited area of the beautiful park. During the summer months, the valley is totally occupied with visitors, and traffic jams are pretty common. But still, also in these months, visiting the Valley is a great experience. You can easily avoid the crowds by hiking one of the trails and when you’re there just for one day, that’s absolutely the way to go.

Yosemite Valley is the only location in the park where you have the chance to food and free shuttle buses are also available to take you around. Upon entering the park, you’ll get a newspaper in which each bus station is marked.

Probably the best months to visit Yosemite Valley is from February to June though in February and March, the park’s roads may not yet be open because of snow. The road from Merced into Yosemite (Hwy 140) is also a great experience in itself. The road goes back to 1926 and it was the first road that brought visitors into the park through Merced River Canyon.

Glacier Point Road

In general, this road will open at the end of May, though this may be later due to heavy snowfall, and will close again in November. Glacier Point Road is a beautiful more than 30 miles drive that starts at the park’s visitor center and leads you all the way up to Glacier Point where the road ends.

You may want to take quite a few stops, though, because, from many places, you’ll be surprised by the most beautiful views from the road. You can also hike all the way up there using a great 4-mile trail.

Keep in mind, though, that you really shouldn’t underestimate the elevation! This is only for very experienced hikers! If you visit Yosemite in June or July, you should consider coming up here. Actually, this area should be referred to as the backcountry.

Mariposa Grove

Beautiful Mariposa Grove is actually Yosemite’s largest giant sequoias grove. In winter, you’ll have difficulty with reaching the grove because the two-mile road leading into the grove will be closed and you’ll need to hike on snow.

There is Upper Mariposa Grove and Lower Mariposa Grove and this is where you can see the park’s largest tree named the Grizzly Giant. This tree is some 1800 years old so it has witnessed the rise and fall of many civilizations and empires.

Tioga Pass

If you’re visiting Yosemite in July or perhaps even in June, you really should come up here. This area of the park should actually be called the backcountry. If you enter Yosemite from the east, you’ll be led over Tioga Pass.

This road will, in general, open in late May and close again in late October, but in some years, the road would stay closed until early July as massive snow can make this region inaccessible. Tioga Pass sits at an elevation of nearly 9950 feet (3032m) and offers the most spectacular and impressive views of Yosemite National Park.

Looking at these wonders of nature reminds me of the backdrop at the acupuncture clinic some time ago before I set out on my Yosemite trip. I then was wondering what could make me quiet. and not take total control of my mind. Well, now I know. I’ve got the power and it’s up to me alone to enjoy these moments of natural beauty. Now I know I sometimes need to stop, that I need to reflect and nourish my unquiet mind.