With so much to do in California (seeing my folks and a friend’s wedding), we only had one weekend in Yosemite National Park. We stayed at a clean and spacious Airbnb outside of Yosemite National Park at Oakhurst. It was about an hour away from the Yosemite Valley Floor. It would have been easier to stay in the park but both of us are not fond of camping (a bit too high maintenance for that), and the Majestic Hotel was booked.
Things NOT to miss
With just a weekend in Yosemite National Park, you can’t miss these following sights:
- Yosemite Falls: duh, the main reason to visit Yosemite! If you’re only there for day hikes, definitely do the Lower Yosemite Falls hike. It’s a short and easy walk (even accessible) where you’ll get sprayed with mist. This is a crowded hike so be prepared to wait awhile if you need it to clear up for photos. There’s also the upper Yosemite Falls hike but it’s an 8-10 hour hike (this will take you all day).
- Tunnel View: The infamous tunnel view when you’re entering the park. You’ll see this view as you exit the tunnel. It’s a must stop! If you’re there in the morning (right after sunrise) or the afternoon (sunset), it’s the best for photos. Parking will be a hassle nonetheless though.
- Bridal Veil Falls, one of the easiest waterfalls you’ll see. It’s got its own parking lot and it’s a short 10-minute walk to the falls.
- Glacier Point is an amazing viewpoint above Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country. There are a few easy day hikes there as well. I wanted to go to Taft Point but we decided to go off-trail and do some exploring on our own. I’d say the views weren’t too bad. 🙂
Other hikes to note:
- Mirror Lake: another easy hike. It’s really a stroll but you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the lake next to you.
- Taft Point: This is a short and easy two-mile hike on Glacier Point. It’ll give you sweeping and terrifying views of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and more.
- Sentinel & Cook’s Meadow Loop: This nearly flat hike takes you through two meadows in the heart of Yosemite Valley, crosses the Merced River twice – including a trip over the iconic Swinging Bridge and provides views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. Not only that, but the trail goes directly past the Lower Yosemite Falls trailhead AND a bar. We didn’t get to do this hike but I wish I did because of the bar…
- Bring snacks and plenty of water. If you don’t have snacks, you can certainly buy it there but it’s expensive.
- Bring bug spray. I didn’t and got bit my first five minutes just getting out of the car.
- Dress for the weather. Bring a lightweight rain coat or a poncho since it can rain at any moment. Dress in layers. Bring an extra (or two) pairs of socks. If your feet get wet with the waterfall hikes, you can at least change your socks.
- Fill up on your tank since there are no gas stations while at the valley floor.
- Go to Glacier Point at the end of your trip.
Thanks for reading about my short weekend in Yosemite!