Yosemite National Park is located in central part of California and is one of the most visited locations within the state. It is the third most visited National Park in the United States. Massive granite formations dominate above the valley floor including the incredible El Capitan and Half Dome formations. Hiking opportunities abound and you can escape the crowds as 95% of visitor’s to the National Park only spend their time on the valley floor. Yosemite Falls is the most visited site in the park due to its impressive height and ease of accessibility along a flat paved handicapped accessible trail. The park’s premiere lodging is the historic Ahwahnee Hotel with its perfect location, top-notch rooms and inviting lounge area especially cozy next to the fireplace on a cold white winter’s day. Lunch and dinner here are always fantastic dining opportunities.
While Yosemite is the main attraction in the central part of California there is plenty to do year round in and outside of the actual park. Badger Pass and Dodge Ridge are ski resorts that appeal to families and both have excellent ski schools. The gold rush towns of Mariposa and the tiny Coulterville present unique looks “back in time”, especially through their museums. A variety of hiking, fishing, biking and “downtime” awaits anyone willing to do a bit of exploring. Mariposa County along with other foothill locations is ideal as the county mostly sits above the valley floor (away from the incessent fog in the winter) and slightly cooler than the flaming heat that often sears the valley floor. Bright blue sunshine is a very common occurence in the foothills and Yosemite.
To cover most of the main highlights in and around the Yosemite valley floor we recommend (based on many trips over 30+ years) spending at least 3 days in this area. For more info view our Yosemite Article Here