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Ultimate Yosemite Spring Trip

A hiker taking in a waterfall

Yosemite National Park is one of California’s beloved natural gems. From the apartments for rent in Los Angeles, planning a spring trip to this reprieve from the city is easier than you might think. So, are you ready? Here’s everything you need to know before you go.
Park Information

Yosemite is a World Heritage Site marked by its towering granite cliffs, tranquil waterfalls, and enormous Sequoia trees. An abundance of wildlife calls the sprawling meadows in-between the cliffs home, living their lives amongst the clear rivers and streams.

Starting as a land grant issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1864, this area quickly turned into a park set aside for preservation and public use. It connects to Yellowstone and the rest of the 750,000-acre park system, but most California residents head to the 7 acres that are Yosemite Valley.

You can find this oasis in the eastern part of California, near the Sierra Nevada region. When planning your trip, it’s an excellent idea to use the park’s website as a resource. There, you can find information on lodging and tours to make the most of your getaway.

Spring is the best time of year to travel to Yosemite National Park. The weather is cool, Mariposa Grove Road opens to reveal the south entrance, and the creeks are rushing with water now that the snow and ice have begun to melt. This is an excellent time to catch a glimpse of waterfalls and enjoy a little hiking.

Prices and Times

The cost to enter the park is $20 per vehicle, and $10 per person if you chose any other method of arrival. The entry fee allows seven consecutive days of park access, allowing you to leave and re-enter as needed during your visit.

The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Entrances may only be open during specific times, but visitors are not required to leave after dusk. It is best to plan your trip after May, giving the snow in the valley enough time to melt and open up trail opportunities.

The Trip

There are plenty of ways to reach Yosemite, but the easiest trip from the Los Angeles area is by car. This is roughly a 5 ½ hour drive from the city. Once you arrive, there are ample parking spaces available where you can safely leave your car and board the various shuttle and busses that will take you around the park.

The earlier you arrive, the better. Entrances become crowded after mid-morning. To avoid congestion and secure a parking space, it is highly recommended to arrive before 10 a.m.

Most people visiting the park only have one or two days to spare, though plenty of individuals stay the full seven days to camp, rock climb, and backpack. Luckily, you can see plenty of this park’s main sites in just a day’s time. Here’s an excellent first day itinerary.

Early Morning

Start your adventure off with the Valley Floor Tour, a two-hour excursion into the sprawling green lands below led by one of the park’s guides. This tour starts and finishes at Yosemite Valley Lodge, and costs $36.75 per adult ($26.75 for each child).

This bus tour will take you through major sights like El Captain Meadow, Valley View, Sentinel Bridge, and Tunnel View. You’ll see plenty of waterfalls on this tour and have a ton of picture opportunities. During the tour, the guide will provide a history of the area s well as information about the sights you’re seeing. Varying tree special and mule deer are also common sights.


Once the tour wraps up, grab a bite to eat at the Mountain Room Restaurant or the Food Court. You can also enjoy a packed lunch at any of the designated picnic areas. There are plenty of options to choose from, as well as kid-friendly meals in the Food Court.

Then, head to the Lower Yosemite Falls hike. It’s a short walk from the valley lodge your tour left off at and is only a mile round-trip. You’ll wind through the trail until it opens up to a breathtaking view of the waterfall, then wraps back around to the lodge.

Once back, take a shuttle to the Yosemite Visitor Center to enjoy the free museums and galleries surrounding the history of the park as well as its biodiversity. This is also an excellent place to pick up a map. Make sure to stop at the Indian Cultural Exhibit and Village, which is inside the museum.

Early Evening

Catch a shuttle to The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. This 100-year-old architectural masterpiece (and National Historic Landmark) is the oldest in Yosemite, and still remains the number one choice for staying in the park. You can check out the hotel later, though.

Take advantage of the remaining daylight to hit one more hiking trail. Using your map, you can find a number of shorter trails like the Yosemite Falls hike that will allow you to take in a little more nature before returning to the hotel.

Once you arrive back, grab a bite to eat in the hotel so you can say you ate the best food in the park. It is hands down the highest quality. From the bar, you can also enjoy a hot or cold drink while sitting in front of a roaring fire and relax.

Ending the Day

Check with the hotel to find out when sunset is. You’ll want to leave roughly 30 minutes before this to make it back to towards the lodge and catch the sunset at Valley View as it sweeps across the grass lands below. Then you can make your way back home.

Apartments for Rent in Los Angeles

After a long day of hiking and sightseeing, there’s nothing like returning home to tranquility and luxury. The Madrid’s stylish townhomes and apartment flats offer the perfect respite with light-hearted interiors, tropical outdoor retreats, and thoughtful resident amenities.

Welcome to where home meets home-base. Welcome to The Madrid.