Preparing for your Visit to Yosemite
It's a great idea to prepare for your visit to Yosemite National Park before you arrive. True, you will be given some introductory reading materials as you enter Yosemite. But if you wait until then to think about where to go and what to do, some of your precious Yosemite hours will be spent on something you can do now!
The following items are at the top of my list of pre-visit reading suggestions:
- Download and read the Yosemite Guide, a free park newspaper.
- Order a Visitor Kit from the Yosemite Conservancy.
- Explore the Web sites of Yosemite National Park and the Yosemite Conservancy.
Read on for more information!
The Yosemite Guide, a free newspaper available at park entrances, ranger stations, and other locations in the park, is your indispensable key to current park information. It lists ranger talks, facilities, services, and phone numbers, and provides much general information. Be sure to obtain and read a current copy of this publication when you arrive at Yosemite.
In addition, I strongly recommend that, right now, you download and print both the current version and the version that was current one year before the date of your planned visit (because many activities and services are seasonal). The information in these documents will allow you to plan your visit to Yosemite much more effectively.
[ View and print the Yosemite Guide ]
The online Yosemite Conservancy Bookstore offers two excellent visitor kits for purchase:
The Visitor Kit for Yosemite is a collection of books, maps, and other information, most published by the Yosemite Conservancy. It includes:
- The Complete Guidebook to Yosemite National Park
- Map & Guide to Yosemite Valley
- Map & Guide to Tuolumne Meadows
- Map & Guide to Wawona & the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees
- Yosemite Road Guide
- Yosemite Guide
The Deluxe Visitor Kit for Yosemite includes everything in the Yosemite Visitor Kit plus the following three items:
- Yosemite: The Complete Tour Package contains a narrated tour DVD and a CD containing an audio driving tour, MP3s, map of Yosemite, and screensaver and photo gallery.
- Easy Day Hikes in Yosemite: Twenty Enjoyable Trails
- The Waterfalls of Yosemite
You can go to the online Yosemite Conservancy Bookstore now to order your kit or other items. The Store is operated by the Yosemite Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that benefits Yosemite National Park. Members of the Yosemite Conservancy qualify for a discount when ordering from the Yosemite Store, and you can become a member as you place your order.
This site is the Yosemite section of the National Park Service Web site. The National Park Service is in the US Department of the Interior.
- Main page
- Plan Your Visit
- When to Visit
- Climate (average temperatures and precipitation)
- Where to Stay
- How to Get to Yosemite
- Entrance Fees; Permits
- What to Do
- Your Safety
- Disabled Person Accessibility
- When to Visit
- Today in Yosemite
- Park Management
- Park News
- Nature and Science
- History and Culture
- For Teachers
- For Kids
- Working in the Park
- Support Your Park
The Yosemite Conservancy is a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the support of Yosemite National Park. Among other things, it sells printed materials, presents educational "outdoor adventures", and operates information stations within Yosemite.
The following links give you a direct route to information that specifically interests you.
- Yosemite Hospitality LLC, a subsidiary of Aramark. Yosemite Hospitality is the authorized concessioner for hospitality services within Yosemite.
- Yosemite Institute: a non-profit organization that partners with the National Park Service to inspire personal connections to the natural world through environmental education programs in Yosemite National Park.
- American Park Network: online and printed guides to many U.S. national parks.
- YARTS: bus (coach) shuttle services to and from Yosemite
- Road and Travel Conditions from the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans)
- Yosemite.com: a commercial Web site with much information about visiting Yosemite.
- American Hiking Society
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Bureau of Land Management
- Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
- National Recreation and Park Association
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- The Nature Conservancy
- Pacific Crest Trail Association
- Sierra Club
- Student Conservation Association
- Take Pride in America
- Travelers' Health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- United States Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Geological Survey
- USDA Forest Service
- Wilderness Society
- Wilderness Volunteers