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Best Road Trips to Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the United State’s most iconic national parks, with its granite cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, and acres of sequoia trees. There are plenty of ways to reach this huge park, but these are some of the best road trips you can take to this national park that are as fun and beautiful as the park itself.

San Francisco to Yosemite

Starting your trip in the city that’s home to the Golden Gate Bridge and some of the best food and beer in California is a great way to start any road trip. Before you set off, you can indulge in delicious food in Chinatown or eat seafood in Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the city’s steep hills by bus or tram, and even take a trip to Alcatraz Island.

When you leave San Francisco, your stops on the way to Yosemite could include visiting gold rush towns like Sonora and Jamestown, driving through wine country and stopping in Livermore for some local wine, and camping by the lake near Oakdale or Pinecrest. Make sure before you set off that you have California auto insurance for your journey.

Las Vegas to Yosemite

Las Vegas is a great place to start any trip. Enjoy the glittering lights, casinos, bars, shows, and restaurants in this iconic Nevada city. The list of things to do in Las Vegas is never-ending, but once you’ve exhausted your options in this city, it’s time to hit the road and head to Yosemite.

The road to Yosemite from Las Vegas takes you straight through Death Valley National Park. Don’t let the name put you off. Death Valley is known for its sand dunes, canyons, ghost towns, salt flats, and incredible night sky. Definitely make a stop at Zabriskie Point for out-of-this-world views. You’ll then enter eastern California and travel through towns like Bishop and Lone Pine before arriving at Yosemite’s east entrance.

Los Angeles to Yosemite

If a coastal road trip is more up your street, driving from Los Angeles to Yosemite via the Pacific Coast Highway is the road trip for you. Start your journey in L.A. before heading up Highway 1. You can make stops in beautiful coastal towns like Ventura, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Carmel and drive right through the iconic Big Sur, which is dotted with campsites too.

After the Big Sur, turn off to enter wine country via Gilroy. Here you can drink delicious California wine, try local garlic, and enjoy the stunning scenery before continuing inland until you reach the Yosemite Valley and make your way to the park.

What to see in Yosemite

Now you’ve completed your road trip and arrived in Yosemite National Park, it’s time to enjoy the natural splendor. The top things to do and see in Yosemite National Park include seeing El Capitan and the Half Dome, cycling to Yosemite Falls, and ticking off famous viewpoints like Hanging Valley Viewpoint, Yosemite Chapel, Cook’s Meadow, Bridalveil Falls, and the Swinging Bridge. Be sure to hike and climb safely and join a tour group if you’re new to the park. 


Jeff Campbell