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Friday, 26 April, 2019, 19 : 09 PM [IST]

Yosemite National Park: A destination for nature & adventure in California

Yosemite National Park in California is US’ one of the top ten most visited national parks. Spread across nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous scenery, including high cliffs, deep valleys, tall waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, and a large wilderness, Yosemite National Park is accessible by road from both big cities of California – San Francisco and Los Angeles. The National Park and its surroundings are preferred destination for nature and adventure-lovers visiting California. The national park has seen increasing traction from visitors including India in recent years due to its all-in-one nature. In a recent visit to Delhi, Therese Williams, Director – PR and Sales shared the unique offerings of Yosemite with P Krishna Kumar.

“Yosemite is a shining crown jewel among all the national parks in the United States. There is so much to see and do. There are so many natural wonders in a small area,” Williams started without a preface. For someone who had no clue about Yosemite, its geographical location, topography, attractiveness, etc., the next half-an-hour conversation was to probe her and make her justify the first statement.

Yosemite is second most popular and visited national park in the United States, in California, which is situated between two big cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. “It’s a five hours driving distance from Los Angeles to the South Gate entrance of Yosemite National Park,” she said. South Gate entrance of the Yosemite is most photographed icon in the world for the tunnel view of the Half Dome,” she added. Tunnel view provides one of the most picture-perfect views of Yosemite Valley of El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background.

Must-visit destination for adventure-seekers
Yosemite has everything that a leisure tourist is looking for. The tall rock formations like the El Capitan, Half Dome, etc. offers a whole lot of opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, etc. “Yosemite is a popular place for rock climbing and millions of visitors come to Yosemite National Park for rock climbing expeditions for its awe-inspiring rock formations,” she said. There are professional institutes which impart training for different stages of rock climbing around the park.

During winter, Yosemite snowfields become busy for skiing, snowboarding and other winter-sports activities. While Yosemite National Park is a 365-day destination and both winters and summers are equally popular with adventure-seekers, Williams recommend winters more than summer to visit the destination, as it is less crowded.

Besides, hard adventures, there are also other activities like swimming, river rafting, etc. one can indulge in the valley, as there are rivers and water bodies fed by number of waterfalls.

Heaven for nature lovers
Yosemite National Park is a real heaven for nature-lovers because of its tall rock formations, meadows, waterfalls, forest area, etc. “Yosemite has so many natural wonders in a small area. These include tallest water falls in the US, tallest rock formations, Giant Sequoia Trees in the Mariposa Grove, rich wildlife, etc

The Mariposa Grove is spread over 250 acres and home for over 500 giant Sequoia Trees. “In Yosemite, everything is real and natural. There is nothing artificial. Moreover, it is cheaper to visit Yosemite than going to Disney,” she added.

Discovery tour
There are number of different options for visitors to explore the Yosemite National Park. There are helicopter tours for hi-end travellers. The most popular and comprehensive tour is the Discover Yosemite tour, which is a day tour that takes visitors to all the iconic places in the Park. “These tours have expert guides who explain the history of Yosemite and importance of each iconic place within the park,” Williams said. Apart from day tours, there are night tours, moonlight tours, etc. which are popular with the visitors, she added.

Citing the growing traction and love for nature and scenic places among the travellers, Williams said that Yosemite receives 5 to 6 million visitors a year. “It’s growing year on year. Even India is a matured market as far as Yosemite is concerned. We want more and more Indian travellers to visit the Park,” she said. Williams recommends at least two to three nights at the destination to explore Yosemite. There is a variety of accommodation options available around the park, especially close to the South Gate. “For groups airbnb options are also available,” she added.

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