Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley

Latitude, Longitude: 37.716316, -119.665168

Yosemite Valley is located on the Merced River between mile markers 120 and 130, extends north from Happy Isles then west to an unnamed reservoir on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at of Pulpit Rock. Officially, Yosemite Village serves as headquarters for Yosemite National Park, one of America's most popular. Emotionally, Yosemite Valley is Yosemite. Few of us will ever forget that first entrance into Yosemite Valley...the unmistakeable Half Dome from Panorama Point, the 3,000 foot wall of El Capitan from below. Culturally, one could attach similar significance to the Valley. John Muir, whom we can thank for the shape of modern environmentalism, spent some "formative" years here. One could argue that Yosemite Valley was the birthplace of the modern climber. From the first "siege" ascents of big walls like El Cap, to envelope-pushing free climbs, Yosemite has been the nerve center of climbing's evolution over the past fifty years. To top it all off, Yosemite Valley is a darn nice place. While few large peaks are visible from the Valley floor, many fantastic backcountry trips begin and end here. Elevation: 3,868 feet


Road Closures/Restrictions: Highway 120 is closed between Tioga Pass and Crane Flat (on a normal snow year) from mid-November to late-May. This only affects access to Yosemite Valley from the east. All western accesses do surmount 6000'+ passes, so winter closures and imposed chain control are common occurances. Public Transportation: Unlike many other national parks in the Western US, Yosemite has a decent public bus service, YARTS, designed primarily to cut down on private car traffic. On the western side of the park, the YARTS line starts in Merced, California, which has frequent Amtrak train and Greyhound bus service. On the eastern side, the YARTS line terminates at Mammoth Lakes, which has a Greyhound stop.