51°F
weather icon Clear

Yosemite home to iconic American sights

Some of the most stunning and iconic sights in America can be found in Yosemite National Park in California. While most visitors spend days traveling to the park from around the world, Southern Nevadans can get there in less than a day’s drive.

Furthermore, the quickest route to the hub of the park, Yosemite Valley, is also the most scenic, treating you to the sight of lakes, meadows, granite domes and scenic overlooks. This is via the east entrance, Tioga Road (state Route 120).

Tioga Road leaves from the town of Lee Vining, California, and immediately climbs up into the Sierra Nevada, reaching an elevation of 9,945 feet before descending to your destination. As you might imagine, this sky-high road is open only in summer, but that’s the time to head for Yosemite anyway.

The park encompasses nearly 1,200 square miles and has elevations ranging from 2,000 feet to 13,000 feet. There are more than 750 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous. In Yosemite Valley, which has an elevation of about 4,000 feet, you can expect August daily high temperatures in the high 80s and lows of 56 degrees. September temperatures average as high as 82 degrees with lows of 51.

First-time visitors usually start in Yosemite Valley. Here you will find the main visitor center, a post office, a medical center, a market, restaurants, campgrounds and a variety of lodging. It is also the place to see Half Dome and El Capitan, famously photographed by Ansel Adams, and to see how nearly your own photos can compare with the work of the master. Here also are the trailheads for hiking to Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls and other classic destinations.

Plan to stay a minimum of two or three nights so you have enough time to see the park’s iconic sights.

When traveling to Yosemite in the summer, be sure to arrive first thing in the morning, before 8 a.m., or very late in the afternoon, as the entry stations have long waiting times from late mornings through early afternoons.

Note that parking in the valley is extremely limited. Once you have claimed a parking place, the quickest and easiest way to get around is to walk or take the free shuttle bus to any destination. Another alternative to get around is by bike. Bike rentals are available, and you can ride 12 miles of mostly flat, paved trails.

Comfortable hiking boots or sneakers with good tread are important, and because of the temperature changes, it’s a good idea to dress in layers, wear a hat and apply sunscreen. And bring along a refillable water bottle or hydration system.

Binoculars also come in handy so you can get an up-close look at rock climbers scaling El Capitan.

Because of the park’s popularity, reservations are strongly recommended. Visit https://www.travelyosemite.com for information on lodging and campgrounds in Yosemite and in the surrounding towns.

Use the park service’s official site, https://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm, or call 209-372-0200 for more information on the park.

Many of Deborah Wall’s columns have been compiled into books about hiking in the Southwest. She is also the author of “Great Hikes, a Cerca Country Guide” and a co-author of the book “Access For All, Seeing the Southwest With Limited Mobility.” Wall can be reached at Deborabus@aol.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Purdy ready to make splash in Denver

Fulfilling his dreams of becoming a Division I athlete, Boulder City High School senior swim star Joseph Purdy signed with the University of Denver on Nov. 11.

Monument status would help preserve treasured site

Outdoor lovers have long recognized the special character of the southernmost part of Clark County with its expanses of open land, geological wonders, canyons, springs, rolling hills, prehistoric sites and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Now a new national monument is being proposed to protect and manage these treasures.

Sports Briefs, Nov. 12

Six BCHS athletes sign letters of intent

Arkansas bound: Speaker fulfills dream to become Division I athlete

Ethan Speaker, Boulder City High School’s boys basketball star, has fulfilled his dream of becoming a Division I athlete after committing to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

School teams prepare to start season

A step in the right direction to resuming high school athletics, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has shifted into its third phase of COVID-19 modifications, moving closer to its target date of Jan. 2 for the start of winter sports.

Grothe starts season with win

Zane Grothe, a 2010 Boulder City High School graduate, finished first in the 400-meter freestyle Sunday, Oct. 18, in Budapest, Hungary, as the professional International Swimming League began its new season.

Lone Pine visit like walking onto movie set

Lone Pine, California is a laid-back town of around 2,000 people in Owens Valley on the foothills of the eastern Sierra Nevada. You’ve probably heard of it because it’s used as a base camp for hiking Mount Whitney, located just 12 miles west. What you might not know is Lone Pine is also home to the Alabama Hills, which draw people from around the world for their recreational opportunities and their rich film history.

Play ball; sports set to return

Youth sports are back in Nevada for the first time since last March, thanks to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s announcement Oct. 2 that he would be easing restrictions on local recreational sports.

Camp, picnic or bird-watch at bend along river

Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area is at the southern tip of Nevada, along the Colorado River, about 6 miles south of Laughlin. It’s a great place to visit, even for a day trip, as it’s not too far from Boulder City, about 85 miles away.

Easter, Williams win title at state bass championship

Izec Easter and Corey Williams, members of the Boulder City Bass Club, placed first at the 2020 Nevada High School State Championship on Sept. 20 at Cottonwood Cove at Lake Mohave.