Yosemite National Park in One Day

Expectations were high for our trip through Yosemite National Park, and it certainly didn't disappoint. In the weeks before we left for America we watched a few friends explore the park through the magic of Instagram and knowing that we would follow in their footsteps made us feel like we hadn't given ourselves enough time to see everything we wanted to see. We only had one full day in our itinerary to take in as much of Yosemite as we possibly could before heading on to drive through Death Valley and ultimately Las Vegas, where our American road trip would end.

This is how we did as much as we possibly could in one day, without compromising on enjoyment. I'm sure there are a million different ways to make the journey and a million different ideas of what the perfect route is but this is just the way that we chose to do it:

The night before we entered the park we stayed as close to the west entrance as possible in a small town called Mariposa, an old gold rush settlement turned tourist stop off. We started our journey the next morning at around 6am from the Miners Inn Motel and arrived at the Arch Rock park entrance after around an hour of smooth sweeping roads. There was a small queue to pay the park entry fee of $30 per car which is valid for re-entry for the next 7 days if you've got more time. 

Once in the park we were expecting a day of gridlock as we'd heard (or rather we'd read on the internet) that the valley floor where all the "good stuff" is, can get astronomically busy. We were there mid week and didn't notice excessive traffic, although I imagine it's very different at the weekend and around public holidays. I could describe the exact route we took but I thought it'd be easier to just plot it on a map so there's a link at the bottom of this post. In brief, this is the order we did the main 'sights';

  1. Entry through Arch Rock Park
  2. Tunnel View
  3. Glacier Point
  4. Bridalveil Fall
  5. Valley Floor
  6. Yosemite Falls

*The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias was closed when we visited but it should definitely be on your itinerary if you have time. We like to have reasons to return to somewhere that we've already been and those trees are reason enough for us.*

We spent a while at each stop to soak in the views (and maybe take a few pictures) and headed East along Tioga Road (120) towards the town of Bishop. This part of the journey was just as exciting; full of incredible landscapes and viewing points to pull over. The roads were much quieter here as it was later in the day and the Yosemite day trippers usually (again we learnt this on the internet) stay on the valley floor, so it felt like we had the place to ourselves except for the occasional massive RV or convertible Corvette because, you know, America. 

We arrived into Bishop just before dark. A day wasn't enough for us and we left wanting much more, however we certainly felt like we'd seen enough to satisfy our needs until next time. It was like driving through a series of Apple desktop backgrounds and with every corner we turned there was a new visual treat laid out in front of us; pine forests, flowing rivers, sheer rockfaces and greener-than-green grass meadows. Sublime. 

Here is a small selection of the pictures we took that day.

And don't forget the map at the bottom of this post!

{ This post is part of our USA 2017 Trip }

Yosemite National Park California Morning Road
Yosemite National Park California Road Sign
Yosemite National Park California Tree
Yosemite National Park California Sunrise
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California Half Dome
Yosemite National Park California Deer in Road
Yosemite National Park California Waterfall
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California Valley Floor
Yosemite National Park California River
Yosemite National Park California Tree
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California Tree
America 2017 LR-557.jpg
Yosemite National Park California Hotel
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California Grass
Yosemite National Park California Grass
Yosemite National Park California Valley Floor
Yosemite National Park California Walkway
Yosemite National Park California Plants
Yosemite National Park California Hire Car
Yosemite National Park California Plants
Yosemite National Park California Tree
Yosemite National Park California Trees
Yosemite National Park California Waterfall
Yosemite National Park California Tree Bark
Yosemite National Park California Redwood
Yosemite National Park California Leaf
Yosemite National Park California Tree
Yosemite National Park California River
Yosemite National Park California Truck
Yosemite National Park California Road
Yosemite National Park California Trees
Yosemite National Park California Pine
Yosemite National Park California Trees and Rocks
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California
Yosemite National Park California Lake
Yosemite National Park California Way Out

Here's a map of the route we drove, I wish I had this before I started researching the trip but that's what life is all about right?! HERE