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Yosemite National Park

...Gateway to Yosemite

From the soaring cliffs and thundering waterfalls to the verdant meadows and towering Sequoias, Yosemite National Park is where Mother Nature shows off.

Madera County is California's Gateway to Yosemite. With lodging options close to the park and many attractions that make it a destination in its own right, Madera County is the ideal spot to stay for your Yosemite vacation.

You can enjoy rooms at much lower rates, saving you money on your trip. Plus, you see more of the park as you take Highway 41 into the park. You'll experience the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias & historic Wawona by the southern entrance. Highway 41 also takes you by the turnoff for Glacier Point, and by world-famous Tunnel View. Highway 41 is the easiest way to get to these popular Yosemite attractions.


Yosemite Fire Restrictions - Summer 2015

Mariposa Grove Restoration - Mariposa Grove is closed from July 6, 2015 until Spring of 2017.

Glacier Point Summer 2015 Shuttle

Yosemite Grant Act - 150th Anniversary

June 30, 1864 marks the 150th year of the Yosemite Grant Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln admist the Civil War.  This Grant Act set aside Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia for public use and recreation for all time....thus creating the first California State Park and the National Park System.  Join us in commemorating the Yosemite Grant 150th Anniversary.  Check out the www.nps.gov/yose/anniversary for events and more information on this historic anniversary.

Yosemite's world famous Tunnel View

World famous Tunnel View, one of the most photographed spots in all of Yosemite National Park, is located off of the southern entrance in to the park.

Must See Yosemite Icons

Yosemite_National_Park_Valley_View.pngOne of the best ways to see Yosemite is with a little help from a knowledgeable tour guide. You get the best Yosemite information, without someone having to miss out on the beauty because they're driving. Tour companies like Discover Yosemite, Tour De Yosemite and Yosemite Private Tours specialize in making your Yosemite Trip memorable. 

Chimani iPhone Android App for Yosemite National ParkBe sure to take your smart phone when you head to Yosemite. Chimani, known for their national park aps has all the Yosemite information you'll need right at your fingertips. Hiking trails, ranger events and even Yosemite lodging will all be sent to your phone with the ap.

Mariposa GroveRight at the southern entrance to Yosemite is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. These awe-inspiring giants are among the largest living things on our planet and truly a sight to behold. It's an easy hike to see some of the most famous Sequoias, such as the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree. Trams run during the summer months that will take you on a full tour of Mariposa Grove if you prefer the ride to the walk.

Wawona HotelThe Pioneer History Center, in Wawona, takes you back in time to the 19th Century to see first-hand what life in Yosemite and the surrounding area was like. Your hosts, dressed in period costume, take you on guided tours; show you how the residents performed their day to day tasks. Tours take place from July 4 through the summer until Labor Day. The Pioneer History Center is open year-round as a self-guided tour. While in Wawona, a must see is Chilnualna Fall, an easy walk from The Redwoods in Yosemite.

Glacier PointFor some of the most dramatic views of Yosemite, visit Glacier Point. As you look across Yosemite Valley from thousands of feet above, you'll gain perspective on more than just the park.

Tunnel View is one of the most photographed spots of Yosemite. Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, Cathedral Rock and Sentinel Dome are all on display before you. Photographers' tip: For the best photos, come back in the afternoon. The sun will be at your back, giving you the best lighting for breathtaking shots. 

Bridal_Veil_Fall_Yosemite.pngOne of the year-round waterfalls in Yosemite is Bridalveil Fall. While the spring thaw brings this beautiful cascade to its full potential, water flows year round, dropping 62 stories to the floor of Yosemite Valley.  You can take a short walk to the base of the fall to get an up close look. You may want to bring an umbrella, however, as you may get wet.

Yosemite's El CapitanEl Capitan beckons to climbers and sightseers alike, as this single sheet of granite climbs 4000 feet in to the sky from Yosemite Valley below. In fact, El Capitan is the largest single piece of exposed granite on Earth. If you are in to rock climbing, El Capitan is the place to test your mettle, as thousands of people each year pit themselves against this famous precipice. For photographers, El Capitan framed by a blue sky behind makes a beautiful photo.

Yosemite's Half DomePerhaps the most recognizable image of Yosemite is Half Dome.  Visible from many points around Yosemite, Half Dome's sheer face was carved by the same glaciers that created the magnificent Yosemite Valley. While any view of Half Dome is beautiful, perhaps the best is from its top. See www.nps.gov/yose for more information.

Yosemite FallsWhile Yosemite boasts many beautiful sights, it also lays claim to North America's highest waterfall: Yosemite Falls. The beautiful cascade is also among the world's top 10 highest. To get an up-close look at Yosemite Falls, a short path takes you right to the bottom for an amazing look at this stunning formation.

For more information on Yosemite, visit their website.

Find great Southern Yosemite Area travel advice on TripAdvisor.