Ride, cycle, hike, climb, river raft or simply drive - whichever way you choose to get around, exploring Yosemite is well organized with plenty of excellent facilities. This is a North American National Park, after all.
It is also stunningly beautiful, a vast wilderness of granite mountains, plunging valleys, crashing waterfalls and languid meadows, giant sequoia trees and tiny alpine flowers.
The landscape soars from 3,000-13,000 ft in height. Peregrine falcons and red-tail hawks wheel amongst the clouds while black bears, mule deer and even mountain lions can be seen by the eagle-eyed. Dogwood, ponderosa pine and giant sequoia trees scent and shade the mountain slopes.
As big as a small country, filled with archaeological and natural wonders, Yosemite could take a lifetime to explore.
Where is it?
In northern California, USA, about 314 km (195 miles) from San Francisco. It takes 4-5 hours.
What is it?
A national park, first gazetted in 1864 and later expanded several times. It now covers 3,028 sq kms (1,169 sq miles). It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Best time to visit?
It depends on what you are after, each season offers a different experience. The park is at high altitude and is snow-covered in winter when parts are closed. For full access and to see the wildlife and flowers, go in summer (June to September). The waterfalls are at their best in spring, autumn offers fall colours. It is recommended that you book at least 5 months ahead.
The scenery within the park is breathtaking with particularly spectacular views from Glacier Point and Tunnel View. Highlights include the Yosemite Valley Loop with its views of fantastic granite domes such as El Capitan and Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls and the 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. Mariposa is the largest of the groves of giant sequoia trees within the park.