You Can Drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park
••• Yosemite National Park. tiffanynguyen for Getty Images

There is a good chance that you have seen a photograph of Yosemite National Park in California and thought about visiting once you finally had time to go west. Well, Las Vegas is out west but it's not entirely nearby, but that should not stop you. Get into a car and explore the space between Nevada and California and you'll catch a glimpse of the expansive space that can be found on this side of North America.

When you fly into Las Vegas, you get a bird’s eye view of the American Southwest. You look across the desert and can imagine yourself out there, lost, looking for direction. Take it easy, that rental car of yours probably has a GPS system and the highways are pretty easy to find. So, if you feel like you want to see America, Las Vegas is the perfect place to base your adventurous journey.

You’ll check into your posh hotel and then embark on a few days of exploring.

Check Out TripAdvisor’s Best Deals in Las Vegas for Hotel Information

Grab a map, some energy bars and plenty of water because with so many National Parks to see you will find it hard to pick just one.

Yosemite National Park from Las Vegas
447 miles – 7 hours of driving
Driving directions via Google maps

Yosemite Valley is so often photographed it is almost as if half dome and Yosemite Valley have been seen by everyone. In the summer this National Park gets a lot of visitors and frankly that is why I love this place.

One of my greatest joys is getting on my bike in the middle of summer, amidst the crowds at the visitor's center and bus stops and riding through a meadow with only the sound of my bike and the wind. Yosemite Valley is so vast that you'll find a spot for yourself along the Merced River, in the shadow of El Capitan or within view of a waterfall and you’ll appreciate nature the way the rest of us city slickers do.

Get more details about Yosemite National Park from About.com's Expert to National and State Parks,

The hikes are numerous, rafting down the river is fun and if you feel really energetic you can either rock climb or try getting to the top of half dome.

How is the drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite? 
You'll think it is a little long especially if you thought you would make it back in one day - you won't, this is a two-day excursion or one really long day that is spent doing plenty of driving. I say two days simply because there is so much to see. You’ll be entering Yosemite National Park via the East entrance and Tioga Pass (unfortunately this route only works in late spring, summer and early fall). Make sure to stop at the Tioga Gas Mart, Whoa Nellie Deli is a very good surprise when looking for food on this route.

Another must is on highway 395 in Bishop, Mahogany Smoked Meats for some exceptional beef jerky.

Things To See Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park
Death Valley National Park 
Manzanar National Historic Site
Alabama Hills
Mammoth Lakes
Mono Lake
Tuolumne Meadows

Don't Miss:

  • The view of El Capitan from the meadow should be your new profile pick
  • The hike to Nevada Falls is just enough activity to make you feel like you are outdoorsy
  • Mirror Lake gets you to a spot where you can appreciate the size of Half Dome.
  • The large groves of Sequoias will make you realize just how tiny we really are in the grand scheme of things.
  • The Ahwahnee Hotel is a must see. Majestic, beautiful and all about luxury.

 

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