What to expect at Yosemite National Park

It’s safe to say that our trip to Yosemite was completely disorganised and 100% unplanned. We packed a car full of camping gear and set off to Yosemite without so much as researching how to get there. We also ended up melting the fuse box, driving down the highway with doors wide open and taking an 8 hour journey home on public transport – but thats a story for another time!

I’m sure there are others out there who often travel on a whim and as a result find themselves slightly unprepared. So here is a quick rundown on Yosemite which gives you a basic low down on what to expect.

Flower Fields at Yosemite


When you first arrive at Yosemite you’ll have to pay a park entrance fee in cash. It’s $30 per car or you can pay per person. The National Park Rangers will also provide you with a map of the area and the information booth nearby can answer any questions/concerns that you may have.

Yosemite half dome

There are remote campsites throughout this national park however Yosemite Valley houses a variety of accommodation options, stores, information desks, bathrooms, a medical center and more. It is here where most trails begin. This quaint little village is quite developed and houses a post office, an Ansell Adams Gallery, a wilderness center and other various stores catering to all tourists needs and wants.

Yosemite bridge

The Yosemite Valley Village offers many guided tours and activities which run both day and night. The village also offers a free shuttle bus service to get you around town. This shuttle service runs every 10 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during the evening. Yosemite Village offers multiple accommodation options ranging from BYO everything campgrounds to The Ahwahnee Hotel which is a AAA Four-Diamond Hotel. Look here for all lodging options.

Lower Twin Falls at Yosemite – Great place to go boulder jumping when the falls are full enough 🙂

Camp 4 which is where we chose to stay is the only first come first served camping area in the valley. If you chose to camp at Upper, Lower and North Pines you must book these campsites in advance. The ticket booth for Camp 4 opens at 8.30am however the super keen disorganised campers like ourselves lined up hours in advance in order to secure a campsite spot. It was summer I guess, so busy, busy, busy and it is a well-known fact that summer is the perfect time to visit this most spectacular of places. After lining up for two hours in the scorching heat we were extremely fortunate in securing one of the last camping spots available. Go us!


Yosemite natural water slide