What do you get when you mix together a passionate conservationist and a US president that is zealous about preserving America’s natural beauty? You get the stunning landscape of Yosemite National Park. John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt teamed up to preserve Yosemite and we still enjoy this great National Park today. Let’s explore Yosemite for RVers including what to do, where to stay and the best times to enjoy it.
What to Do at Yosemite
Yosemite National Park is heralded for its untouched landscape and natural beauty making it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. There are ample opportunities for hiking, backpacking, biking, ranger-led tours, fishing, climbing, white water rafting and plenty more.
There are plenty of great sights to see for everyone, regardless of your mobility or physical abilities. You can drive, bike, or take a hike through the rolling hills and meadows of Yosemite Valley or take the scenic 39-mile drive through Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Road, an excellent choice for those with mobility issues.
Mariposa Grove is home to ancient giant sequoias, the largest patch of these giant trees in Yosemite. There are many excellent hikes in the area, we recommend taking a short 0.8-mile hike in order to see the Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Trees. If you are going during peak season the parking lot fills up fast but you can take the complimentary Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle.
For those who are looking for some more extreme activities, we point you in the direction of Glacier Point and Badger Pass, home to the legendary Half Dome. This area is full of stunning vista views and opportunities for great hiking and rock climbing. Hit Badger Pass during winter to hit the powder by skis, snowboard or even innertube. Hetch Hetchy also contains some backwoods trails that are generally more rugged and therefore less crowded.
Where to Stay
Within Park Boundaries
Those with RVs do have the opportunity to stay directly in the park but don’t expect to be coddled with all of your usual amenities.
The Upper Pines is one of the largest RV camping sites within Yosemite’s boundaries. Remember what we said about amenities? The Upper Pines and in fact all RV sites within Yosemite lack any type of utility hook up so no electric, no water, and no sewer, be prepared to utilize your dry camping abilities.
That being said the Upper Pines does have a dump station within the park as well as a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker (for bears) at each site. Supplies and showers are in nearby Yosemite and Curry Village
Outside of the Park
For those who are not quite ready to give up their creature comforts, you may choose one of many RV parks right outside of Yosemite’s park boundaries.
One of our favorites is Yosemite Ridge Resort, located right outside of the west entrance of Yosemite in Buck Meadows, CA. Yosemite Ridge does have all of your amenities including full electric, water, and sewer hookups as well as satellite TV and Wi-Fi access.
Yosemite Ridge also has plenty of great facilities to get you ready for or end a fun day at Yosemite. There are hot showers, laundry rooms, a general store, gas station and even their own restaurant. If you are still in the mood for some fun after a day at Yosemite you can cool off on Rainbow Pool, a natural waterfall and pool area that’s a great place to cool off in.
When to Go
Peak season is during the summer, you get pleasant weather but the park will also be choked with sightseers and tourists. Our suggestion is to go during shoulder season, the spring or fall. The temperatures will be cooler but there are much fewer people so you can enjoy Yosemite in a much more intimate setting.
So that’s just a preview of what Yosemite has to offer, you just have to see it for yourself. There’s a reason that Theodore Roosevelt said, “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite.”