Secrets Revealed!!  
5 sure-fire ways to invite a bear into your campsite!!

And, how NOT to pick up a rattlesnake; click here and see the video!

The Best Time To Visit Yosemite

YOU decide!  Go Here.

Yosemite Pictures

Go Here!

Yosemite National Park usatourist.gif (3462 bytes)
Auf Deutsch,
En Francais,  En Espanol

A woman's first visit to Yosemite; Alone!

This gal got her fill of the Louisiana humidity and jumped in the car and moved west!  Her story:  Go Here!

Currency Conversion

Refer this Yosemite site to a friend!

Garrett's Yosemite
I received an e-mail from Garrett who lives somewhere in Central California.  You think I exaggerate the beauty of Yosemite?  This puts it better than I have ever heard it described, even from John Muir himself.  Amen, Garrett! Garrett's Yosemite; Go Here

How NOT to pick up a rattlesnake

Read my story of carelessness and it's consequences. Go Here

Late Information

(1/16/14) Drought! No rain for the foreseeable future!
Watch your driving!  LEOs are cracking down!
Go Here

Yosemite Lodging And Rentals
More Room & More Privacy when you book with Scenic Wonders

Image Here
Ahwahnichi Lodge Get Rates Accommodates  2 - 9
NEW CUSTOM HOME built in the Arts and Craft tradition. The house and decor echoes with a craftsmanship wood interior, best quality and tasteful design which has withstood the test of time.
Image Here
Scenic Wonders & Apt. Get Rates Accommodates  2 - 16
Scenic Wonders & Little Scenic is a 6-bedroom duplex, with two 3 bedroom, two bath units, which can accommodate up to 16 guests.
Image Here
Studio Condominiums Get Rates Accommodates  2 - 4
Newly remodeled Condo Unit. Studio A102 is furnished with one queen-size memory foam bed, a queen-size sofa bed and a single full bath, just like you would find in a hotel. But Scenic Wonders studios offer you much more.
Image Here
Chateau Royal East Get Rates Accommodates  2 - 8
Chateau Royal East is a three level, 2 bedroom plus loft space and 2-bath unit, duplex. This unit sleeps eight.


Announcing the 2013/2014 schedule
for the
Yosemite Series of Photography Workshops!

Phil Hawkins
Yosemite photographer for 28 years

The finest photography workshops in Yosemite; week long and weekend workshops in all seasons!



Yosemite. There is just something about Yosemite that washes away your sadness, your daily concerns, your worries.  Entering the valley dissipates your tension.  You're a measurably happier person when you come out of the tunnel and see that famous tunnel view.  People are genuinely friendlier; complete strangers strike up conversations as if with a close relative.  Even bad weather is downright enjoyable and visually stunning.

You can break your neck looking at the incredible vistas in Yosemite Valley; the cliffs, the waterfalls, the way the sunlight illuminates different rock formations at different times of the day, and in different weather.  The feeling you get when you're in Tuolumne Meadows and the backcountry wilderness; no worries, no pressure, no phones, no bosses, no nothing.  The peace that descends upon you as you lie on a blanket or sleeping bag in a Tuolumne River meadow under cloudless, cobalt blue skies, or under a blanket of stars, the clarity of which is overwhelming. You're looking at the views, and listening intently to the incredible quiet, with only the sound of a slight wind in the trees, or the distant lazy wail of a Red-Tail Hawk to remind you "it's not a dream".

I've backpacked many, many times, skied, hiked, white-water-rafted, ridden bikes and horses, encountered bears, car-camped, fished, star-gazed, meteor-watched, photographed, videoed, picnicked, had snowball fights, scratched a gazillion mosquito bites, battled squirrels for my food, been bitten by a rattlesnake, and just plain relaxed in almost every part of the park. (Sorry, I haven't been rock-climbing yet...)  I've been there in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, morning, noon and night.

The term "magical place" is an oft-heard description that the casual observer would dismiss as marketing babble. Not so!  Yosemite is magical.  It's the other side of the rainbow.  It's the cure for the damaged soul.  It is, Shangri-La.  


One of the most enjoyable aspects of maintaining this website is hearing from people all over the world who have questions about their upcoming trip to Yosemite. There's not a day goes by that I don't receive e-mail!  Got a special question?  Or, if you see a typo or inaccuracy, please let me know! Thank You!

The following comments are unsolicited:

"First, I just wanted to say thank you for such a wonderfully informative Yosemite site. It's by far the best resource out there, and I have been using it to plan our first trip to Yosemite. Without it, I doubt I would have had the information I needed to get my reservations in on time.  I truly cannot say enough good things about your site. "

(from San Marcos, TX)


"I used your website to help plan a backpacking trip in Yosemite a few years ago and I can't thank you enough. It is a great resource."

Regan (from Los Angeles)


"First of all, thank you so much for your incredible website -- so much more informative than the official ones! Also, your passion for Yosemite really is infectious, and I'm very excited about going!!!"

Nicky G. (from England)


"I really like your site and share it with my friends all the time. It is great for both Yosemite neophytes and those of us who go every year (sometimes more than once a year)."

Kim K. (from Los Angeles)


"I have to praise you on this spectacular website.  So far I find it to be the most informative, most helpful, and most comprehensive.  It is so organized and it has personality.  It is a joy to use.  Do you have a travel manual published? 

Unlike others, I plan to take heed of your warnings on certain road accesses.  We will be closer to Merced but will make the extra distance to Hwy 41. (Besides, isn't Chuckchansi somewhere near there?)   

I shall keep your site bookmarked in case anyone I know decides to visit Yosemite. Thank you."

Mary (from parts unknown)


"I wanted to drop you a line and say that your website is a great traveler's resource!  I am planning a motorcycle trip and, while I won't be stopping in Yosemite, I was thinking about driving through it on my way from San Francisco to Nevada.  Naturally I went to Google and began looking for advice on such a trip (ie, would it be better to simply go around), and that's where I found your site.

Your descriptions of all the roads going to/from/through Yosemite are amazingly helpful, but the part I truly appreciated was that you posted all of the dissenting comments re: painful roads.  You had nearly talked me out of driving through the park, but those comments convinced me to go ahead and try it.  I am glad you decided to share those, thanks for taking the "democratic" approach!

Keep up the awesome work!"

Dan (from parts unknown)


"Just a short note to congratulate you on your excellent website - I thought
your snake bite video was the best I've seen - I too grew up in Texas - and
learned (fortunately vicariously) to respect our slithery friends - If
you're ever up this way, stop by and visit - I'll tell you about a 10' Boa
in the Philippines I put to a good use one time."

Joe R. (from Groveland, CA)


"Thanks for your fabulous website!"

Kathleen (from parts unknown)


"Thanks for the great site.  We only have one day set aside for our Yosemite visit.  Staying in Oakhurst before our big day and staying in Groveland after our visit.  Your site was just what I needed to get acclimated before our short, short visit.  Thanks so much.  Looking forward to a piece of heaven on earth!"

 Barb  (from Oneonta, NY)


"First off Thank you for this amazing information resource, I wish we had discovered it prior to our last trip."

Richard F. (from parts unknown)


"I have been a visitor and fan of your 'Yosemite Fun' site for a few years now since I found it by accident.  Thank you for such a great site for info!  Thanks for your time and all you do to promote the wonder and majesty of the most beautiful place on earth!"

Ben K
(from parts unknown)


"My wife and I are planning a trip to Yosemite later this month, and while looking for info on the park and surrounding area, I stumbled upon your web site and have been very pleasantly surprised with the amount of info you have. Your site has been a great help to us in our planning. Thanks"

Darrell C. (from Snellville, GA.)


"You got a real website with super information allways with fun not so "do this not that" kind of bus-touri things!  i forgot: sorry for my lousy english .. im from germany (bavaria) and well some decades out of school :)"

Rene (from Bavaria)


"First off, GREAT SITE.  This is pretty much ever bit of information I need all wrapped up in one place. Very well done. You should bind it and sell it as a guide book."

Bill D. (from parts unknown)  


"Your site has provided "real" information about backpacking in the high country.  I appreciate your candor and humorous antidotes to get others to realize they may NOT belong out in the woods.  We'll see if we "belong" out there.

You're wonderfully funny while providing great advise." 

Shawn M. (from parts unknown)


"Just want to tell you that this is the BEST Yosemite website! I appreciate the work you put into it!"

Debbie (from parts unknown)


"Phil, you ROCK!  We're about to go to Yosemite for only the 2nd time, shame on us.  But we've got to make up for my 12-yr-old son missing his 6th grade class trip in January, so we're headed for Housekeeping Camp to "rough it" for a couple of nights.  I've only read a couple of spots on your website, and it is incredibly helpful for a total greenhorn like me!  The photos you've got on were incredibly beneficial, as they showed us what to expect, and that there would be a place to put our virgin Coleman stove!  Thanks too for the tips on bears, this will be a whole new experience for us - I grew up doing family camping in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, but we were overrun with skunks, not bears! :-)  So your tips will be poured over carefully and followed to the last letter!  And your advice on getting there was just what we needed!  The first time we went, we did stay in Fish Camp, but were contemplating the Manteca route this time.  Your experiences helped to nix that decision!  Thanks so much for being so detailed AND for keeping your website so up-to-the-minute.  It's kind of hard to guess how things are now when you're reading a review from 2006!!

Just had to say thanks!"

Donna H. (from Morgan Hill, CA)


"I compliment you on your website, it is indeed a great view into Yosemite and I have been drawing upon the resources you link to from your site (and your site) for my upcoming JMT walk, commencing late June 2008.

Congratulations and best wishes to you - keep up the fine work and may you receive more of these emails as the just reward for a website well done, as I administer my own niche website, I know the trials and pitfalls!!

Best of luck and thank you for supplying such a generous resource."

John (from New South Wales, Australia)


"Thanks so much for your website! It really helped me plan out my girlfriend's and (my) first trip last year and we really loved Yosemite.  We're going back in June this year also.  This time I plan on proposing to her at Vernal Fall's Mist Trail!
Thanks Again!"

(from Los Angeles, CA)


"First, I really love your website.  My family is about to go to Yosemite for the 1st time and your site has the very best info, organized to get the most out of it.  Thank you!"

Shannon (from Florida)


"First off, I would like to say how lucky I feel to have stumbled across your site. It has so many useful tips on Yosemite and we will definitely be planning our trip from it."

Doug (from Walnut Creek, CA)


"Over the last four years my son and I have been to Yosemite 3 times. I think I know the park pretty well by now. Your site is a large reason why. You provide answers to questions that aren't in any guide book. Looking at your site, it's obvious you put a tremendous amount of time in to it for me and others like me, perfect strangers.

 I would like to say thanks, thanks for letting me make the most of my time in Yosemite by providing answers that allow me to avoid situations that could spoil the experience. Describing each camping areas pros and cons, contact numbers, when the plowing starts on rt. 120 and all the other thing you've packed into the site.

 We are coming out at the end of July to hike the JMT from Reds meadow to the valley. You can be sure I will be checking back with increasing frequency as the time to come out gets closer.

All the best to you,"

Sincerely, Steve and Liam J.
(from Underhill, Vermont) 


"Thank you so much for your incredible website.  My husband and I and our two young girls (ages 4 & 7) will be traveling to Yosemite for the first
time this June, and I'm grateful for all your advice and photos.

Niki (from Boston)


"I've just spent the last two days on your website. It's fantastic. I'm so excited about our family vacation next month. Your information was the most comprehensive. It gave me such a vivid picture of what Yosemite is all about. The more I read the more excited I got."

Linda Y. (from New Jersey)


"First off let me just say that you have BY FAR the most amazing Yosemite based website ever created. I have been using your site in our yearly attempts at planning our trip and the information that you provide on your site is about 10,000 times more useful and straight forward than any other resource I could find."

Chris H. (from south California)


"Thank you!!
Your website provided me with a wealth of information in planning my recent first trip to Yosemite.  The trip was amazing, the best vacation we've ever taken.  And your website made it a breeze.  There are so many helpful areas of your site.  I wondered what your motivation was in spending so much time maintaining such a site.  But once I visited Yosemite, I now know why. 
Thank you again - your hard work made my trip to Yosemite wonderful!!!!"
(from parts unknown)


"Thank you.  Yosemite was my mother's favorite place to take the family,

but I hadn't been there in over 30 years. With my mother's passing, I

decided to take my own family in July 2006 and recapture some of my

childhood memories. But where to start?

I had less than a week to plan and didn't know how or where to

begin. Then I found your website. And oh the detail you provided! On

that short notice we found reasonable and welcoming lodging at the

Houndstooth Inn Bed and Breakfast in Oakhurst past the park's south entrance.

We then proceded to follow your directions for seeing Yosemite in

2 days. I couldn't believe how much we covered. My expectations were

high, maybe even unreasonable but they were all met. How wonderful!

We printed out and read your commentary as we traveled, adding depth to

our experience.

We just returned from another Yosemite trip. The one thing we

missed was the meteor showers. We were there, but didn't know they were


Gail (from parts unknown)


"Hi, I just discovered your pictures of Yosemite and I LOVE them.  Looking through them is like going on a vacation.  I have a love of photography too and am just getting started on pursuing that love…  I was raised in California but live in the mid-west now.  I remember going to Yosemite when I was growing up…  

 I’ve put your website in my favorites"

Cheri (from parts unknown)


"Thank you, sir…for the continued maintenance of your wonderful site. It’s the first place I visit when my buddies and I plan our yearly trip and a site I visit often throughout the year when the stress of everyday life gets to be too much. You site offers me a reminder of how beautiful the world can be – and how very awesome Yosemite is."

Mike F. (from parts unknown)


"I'm looking forward to witnessing nature at its most majestic... with more than a little help from your site."

Vanessa (from Sacramento)


"Thanks so much for your website, Phil!  Next week marks my 28th year to be going up there (i'm only 30) and, as always, I just can't wait.  It's my boyfriend's very first outdoor experience (he's very much a city boy) and your site has really helped him understand what to expect when we get there.  For some reason my massive collection of stories, photos, and memorabilia didn't count for as much as your website has! 

Thanks again, Phil.  Happy trails to you!"

Kelsey (from parts unknown)


"I'm so happy I found your site because unfortunately I haven't been able to visit Yosemite since October and I swear I'm having withdrawals! I'm going back in May 08 (which is too far away for me) but your site will keep me occupied till then! Thank you!"

Cristina ;) (from parts unknown)


"I've come to Yosemite for the last two years now, and we'll
be back again October. Cant beat your site for getting all enthused about the place and the sights you're going to see,
I really cant wait...

Your site never fails to get the blood rushing, But I  cant for the morning we pull out of the tunnel into the carpark!"

Dave J. (from Grantham, England)


"thank you so much for putting so much info out there.  The official Yosemite site is kinda lacking in info."

(from San Francisco)


"My wife & I enjoyed a wonderful 4 day vacation in Yosemite last week. Your great info helped us make the most of it.

Thanks a lot!"

Akiva M. (from parts unknown)


"I love your website!! My husband and i are planning a short trip to yosemite and your website has become like a bible to us."

Anu (from New York)


"First of all thank you for your website.  It is a beautiful expression of your love for this awesome place.  I visit the website all the time."

Russell R. (from Norman, Oklahoma)


"Love your website.  We found so much helpful information on it two years ago for our first family trip to Yosemite and are referring to it again for our trip this coming week.  My 5-year old is so excited for Sunday he can hardly sleep!"

Marylou (from southern California)


"What a wonderful website you have created!"

Christine H. (from Davis, CA)


"We just want to thank you for your informative website. We love all info posted there, especially "how to do Yosemite". We printed out that page and used it as our tour guide. We particularly like the way you describe the things. It's so friendly and articulate, like one of our friends talking to us. Surely this website is very helpful to a lot of Yosemite visitors."

Kirk and Ma N.,  (from Los Angeles)


"...just wanted to say thanks for your website.  It was very
informative and made my trip to yosemite very fun and well planned out."

John N. (from L.A.)


"Just wanted to say great job on your web site...very informative!"

John (from parts unknown)


"I am from France but live in New Zealand since 3 years. I am going to visit the Yosemite in 3 weeks time and was looking for some information.....I have one thing to say: what a great website man !!!!!! I found all I needed in 1 website instead of browsing pages and pages on the net....well done."

Erwan H. (from New Zealand)


"My name is Justin and I ran into your incredible website on hiking Yosemite.  That site seriously rocks."

Justin (from parts unknown)


"I just discovered your site and want to thank you for all the wonderful pictures and anecdotes I found there. ... I shall return again and again to your site and, hopefully, will even return to Yosemite itself in the not-too-distant future with three young boys and my beautiful wife in tow."

David B. (from Atlanta, GA)


"Excellent site, thanks - I was planning on spending 2 days in the Yosemite area this summer but after reading your site I am going to change itinerary to make it 4!"

Reg R. (from the UK)


"First of all, I wanted to thank you for maintaining such an informative website on Yosemite. I found you before our trip last year, and we were able to have the best vacation because of tips we found here. We had such a great time that we decided to do it again this year."

T.C. (from Hawaii)


"I went to Yosemite for the first time last February, and it was all because when I was searching for a place to go and just relax, I found your site.  It was the most informative site I have ever come across regarding a vacation destination!  It had practically anything and everything you need to know about going to Yosemite.  I have never seen, and doubt will ever see, another website that is just chock-full of really useful information.  If other vacation destinations had a similar website, it would take a lot of the hassle out of vacation planning."

Meghann P. (from San Francisco)


"I go to Yosemite about 5-6 times a year (mainly the valley floor, camping and some day hiking)... i always come to your site to catch the latest news (fires, bear problems, what's going on etc). super info!!!  keep up the great work!"

Forest H (from parts unknown)


"Just touching base with you to tell you again just how much I love your website.  I like to check on it & see the changes you make to it. (A few years ago - six I think - I gave you pics of Housekeeping when you really didn't have many on your site. I "think" you still have one up there) I always recommend your site to people when they ask about Yosemite. You have the best, most complete information, and your pics are incredible.

Thanks for continuing to do such a great job!"

 Mary Jo W. (from parts unknown)


"Your site is a wealth of info!  And your pictures are truly works of art."

Charlene U. (from parts unknown)


"Just wanted to let you know how helpful your site is.  A friend and I just recently returned from Yosemite.  We had a limited time to spend and thus utilized your "How to do" Yosemite in 2 days as a guide and it was perfect!  I would have had no clue where to start having never been to Yosemite before and although we felt that the 2 days were quite "full" we came away feeling that we had seen most of Yosemite.  Thanks again!  Keep up the helpful hints."

Tammy (from parts unknown)



I just had to write you and tell you that I feel like I struck gold with your site! I don't know how I ever made Yosemite reservations through the National Park Reservation system without the yosemite sites available link that you provided! I am so happy not to spend hours trying to find an open date. I never understood why they just didn't tell us what dates are available. Also, I have enjoyed so many other tips and information on your site, you will be a regular stop for me. The pictures are all so beautiful too.

Thank you!!!"

(from Santa Cruz, CA)


"My husband and I spent 5 days in Yosemite and utilized all the info you offer on your website. It was the BEST info for our trip. We stayed at Cedar Lodge and because you stated 140 was closed, we took 120 instead (flew into Sacramento). There was still more snow than I expected to see on 120 and the drive was beautiful.

I'll keep your site bookmarked for as long as it takes for my next visit. Thanks for all the hard work and passion you've put into this website."

Lynn (from somewhere in the South)


"Just want to say that I've been looking for info about yosemite hikes on a lot of websites and yours is by far the best. You give great info and lots of helpful hints."

Marc (from parts unknown)


"Just have to say first that your web site is amazing!  My wife and I went to Yosemite for the first time this last October and if it wasn't for the incredible resource of your site we would have missed out on half of our experiences... Thanks again for putting up such a great source of information!"

James U. (from parts unknown)


"I wanted to thank you for your Yosemitefun website.  You've done a great job with it and it shows your love for the area." 

Bob S. (from Cary, NC; a Wolfpack fan) :-(


"Your site is great. Kept us well informed last year. We missed the flood by one day and saw spectacular waterfalls. Thanks for the help."

Patrick M. (from Soquel, CA)


"Another e-mail from thousands of miles away to say what a GREAT site you have!"

David J. (from Grantham, England)


"I needed a phone number for the Mountain Room and started at your website.  Having gone to Yosemite for the past 50 years, I can say with authority that your observations are phenom!  Fabulous job!"

Andrea (from parts unknown)


"This is by far the best site Ive ever seen for Yosemite or anywhere else in the US. Fantastic job my friend."

Matt (from San Diego)


"Damn, your photographs of Yosemite and the Sierra brought tears to my eyes and a my throat. I have been to Yosemite many times, studied there with Ansel and Yousef Karsh, photographed when I visited, etc, etc. You photographs are as good or, in most cases better, than anything else I have seen from there...

...Keep it up!"

Jim (from Virginia)


"I'm supposed to be working but I got into planning my holidays (return to Yosemite - went a year ago on a one day trip from San Francisco, fell in love with the park, been dreaming of returning for a long trip soon…) and stumbled on your website.  That was three hours ago and I'm likely to get fired very shortly, but…"

James E. (from Bristol, UK)


"Just discovered your website, have been on for hours - it is fantastic!   (Just like everyone else has said.)  What amazing photos! Thanks for the wonderful site!"

Carol (from parts unknown)


"First, I want to commend you for creating such a wonderful and informative website.  It is by far the most comprehensive resource on Yosemite (or for any other national park) I have ever come across.  The pictures are, may I say, breathtaking, amazing, sublime, uplifting, or how about just plain AWESOME!!!!   After visiting your site and seeing the passion that you have for such a spectacular place as Yosemite, I am pumped up more than ever about my impending visit.  I'm so excited, I can't wait!!"

Chris W. (from Norman, OK)


"Dude, you’re website is really somethin’ else.  Keep up the good work!  It has been very helpful."

Gary C. (from Coppell, TX)


"I've been reading your website for nearly two years now and it is an excellent tool for any vacation planner.  Keep up the good work and the frequent updates."

(from Newport, CA.)


"You have the best web site of any I have ever seen. ...thanks for all your info"

Don (from parts unknown)


"Read (nearly) every word of your site. It is fantastic!"

Dave A. (from parts unknown)


"What an AMAZING site.. ! I have to say I've never seen a website as friendly and to the point as this one. Great photos too... they really "take" you there so to speak."

Dawn and Jason (from parts unknown)


"My many thanks for sharing your absolutely incredible photographs with others...I have not enjoyed such breathtaking pictures since Ansel are truly gifted and talented...My introduction came from my grandparents who went to Yosemite every year, finally retiring in photos are the closest justice to being there I have ever seen...a wonderful resource for someone living in Florida...Again, Thank-you..."

Merry C.  (from coastal Florida)


"Let me start off by saying your website is great. The photos are amazing, there is so much information, anything I need is on there. I absolutely love it."

Richard K. (from parts unknown)


"I've recently discovered your fantastic site and I must honestly say that it is among the best personal websites about national parks I've ever seen. I specially appreciate your frank opinions about what are the things really worth the visitor's time."

Giulio (from parts unknown)


"I've been spending a bit of time reviewing your site and find it to be a fantastic resource.  The first one I've seen that gets down to just the nuts and bolts of essential information about Yosemite or anywhere else."

Ray (from parts unknown)


"Well, Marcia and I are back from our trip to Yosemite and it was an absolutely fantastic experience. Before I tell you about it, I want to thank you from both of us for your suggestions which really helped make this trip the success it was. ...

Once again, our deepest thanks for your kind and invaluable assistance. Marcia and I are deeply grateful to you. I hope all is well with you and that you're able to do some late fall hiking of your own."

very best regards,

Phil & Marcia (from Florida)


"...Again thank you for your website, it is one of the few sites that I have found that is actually relevant for families."

J. McKenzie (from Australia)


"Hello! I wrote you after our fun trip in August to let you know how great your site was. Just in case you need one more picture of a cute family moment to convince anyone to go the Camp Curry route:

Even if you don't post this to your site, I hope you enjoy the picture because really... this was made possible by your talking us into the tent-cabin option.

Thanks yet again for your great site! It totally rocks!"

Jill G. (from Illinois)


"I can't tell you how many times I have visited your website. We are planning to leave for Yosemite on the 26th of September and we (my two young boys, 3 and 5) and my husband are so excited. I have been to Yosemite over a dozen times as a child and I am now returning after many years, for the boys fist visit. We chose to go in September instead of the summer because of the information posted in the section, "The best time to visit Yosemite".  We can't thank you enough for such a great website. Keep up the great work."

M. Brackin & Family (from parts unknown)


"First of all, I want to thank you for your wonderful website and tell you that I agree with all the folks who have written glowingly about it. It's considerably more informative and inclusive than a couple of books I've read on the park.

Phil S. (from Florida)


"Hello. I just had to write to let you know how helpful your site was in planning our trip to Yosemite. Honestly, your site is one of the best I've seen in giving advice... a lot of sites just list places and don't give any real recommendations, but your site was very clear and helpful.

We ended up staying in Curry Village (despite the increased cost over the years) and had *such* a great time. We probably wouldn't have done it if we hadn't have read your write-up. Now that we've been there, we're already talking about plans for making our friends & family split the cost of a housekeeping cabin with us (though we'll always have a soft spot for the tent-cabins).

Please please please keep up the good work. Those of us in the Midwest are depending on you!"

Jill G. (from Urbana-Champaign IL)


"You have a great site. It's nice to see someone dedicated to their passion who is willing to share it with others."

Rich (from parts unknown)


"It's been awhile since we have dropped you an email.  Just wanted to let you know that we visit your site at least once a week and always find a way to learn more about Yosemite.  In three short years we have gone from renting a condo outside the park, to staying in Curry Village tent cabins, and now finally backpacking in the backcountry.  You have given us so much good information over the past few years that we just wanted say thanks again!"

John C. (from Auburn, CA)


"Just returned from a vacation to Bass Lake, CA and my husband and I simply had to return to Tuolumne (Meadows) (sadly for only a day). We specifically drove into Tuolumne  just before sunset began and had a wonderful experience! We'd been backpacking there five four years ago and had an amazing experience. It's really everything you've described.  The sunsets there are second, I think, only to Hawaii in terms of sunsets. The colors in the sky reflected in the water and dramatic shadows cast upon the rocks simply take one's breath away.

Thanks for sharing your pictures with the rest of the world on the web! It's fun to "re-visit" online."

Colleen M.  (from Boston, MA)


"We just returned from our first visit to Yosemite and to say that we were awed would be an understatement.  I have lived in CA for 36 years and this was my families first trip to the park.  I just wanted to thank you for your amazing web site.  I know for a fact that we wouldn't have had the experience that we did if it wasn't for your detailed 2 day trip planner.  I've bookmarked your site so that I can share it with friends and family.  We wouldn't have seen half the things we did without first stumbling across your website.  Our favorites were Glacier Point and Bridalveil Falls.  My husband didn't want to take the extra time to drive up to Glacier Point, but when I read him the description that you wrote he obliged us and took us up the mountain.  What can I say other than "We were SPEECHLESS" literally.  We all agreed (including husband) that it was well worth the extra bit of driving.

By the way, we found a great little swimming hole near the Wawona hotel.  We turned right after the bridge and had to park in a dirt lot.  We then walked in about 10 mins. (6 kids in tow)  to the swinging bridge.  We were able to put our raft in the water and swim in a peaceful little pool area.  Met a lot of nice people along the way.   

Thanks again for all of the info.  Keep up the good work.  I'm sure it will help a lot of fellow travelers.

 God Bless,"

Tammy (from Southern California) 


"Just wanted to drop you a note saying I found your site "by accident" (i.e: was just following links around, not looking for anything in particular) - and I wanted you to know that I AM SO HAPPY to have found this really cool site of yours!!!!  I have been in love with Yosemite and all it's wonders and beauty for 30 years, and have been going back annually for the last 12 years to recharge my spirit. I really love all the interesting links and great info to be found here.  How long has this site been up?  :)   Keep up the awesome work you're doing!   This is the best site yet about Yosemite that I've ever found!  



Rhybeckah D. (from parts unknown)


"I just loved your website. The photos are just phenomenal. When we knew we were going to Sacramento, I suggested we go to Napa Valley but my friend insisted on Yosemite and I'm glad she did. After looking at your website, I am really excited."

Roberta (from parts unknown)


"Just returned to Georgia from a magnificent week in Yosemite and found y'alls web-site extremely helpful. I want to thank you for your time and effort as it made our trip very enjoyable. The information was invaluable... Yosemite is absolutely the most fascinating place I've ever traveled to. We camped a few nights in the valley, a few in Tuolumne Meadows and a few at Young Lakes after hiking in. Great, great and great! If it wasn't for your web-site, we would not have had as fun as we did.

Thanks again,"

David (from Canton, GA)


"First of all you have the greatest site ever for Yosemite information.  Thank you very much it was very helpful with our trip last summer to Tuolumne Meadows."

Greg V. (from parts unknown)


"just like to say what a brilliant web site you've set up. Most
informative. Keep up the good work."

 Laurence (from parts unknown)


"Thank your for the very fine website. We love it! Greetings from Germany,"

 Roderich und Melanie (near Hannover)


"I love your website and have been referring to it for information over the past several years. Thanks again for the wonderful service you have provided to those of us who love Yosemite and think there is no place on earth more beautiful."

J. Luckey  (from Garden Grove, CA)


"I am going to Yosemite this coming weekend and have gotten some great information from your site. It is the best Yosemite resource on the Web, including the official site. Great job!"

Scott T.  (from New York, NY)


"First I would like to thank you for maintaining such a wonderfully informative website for all those Yosemite and backpacking lovers. As you have impressed me with your wealth of knowledge I thought I should take advantage of this resource..."

Steven (from parts unknown)


"Your site prepared me for it all. The only part I was not expecting (which should have been my own common sense) was driving up and down and all around the mountains. Just not use to that, but I handled it fine.  You did not miss anything. I was totally prepared. You have a great site and wonderful dedication."

Thanks again,

K Gregory (from Houston, TX)


"...I want to thank you for creating and maintaining this site. I've read practically everything there. Your site was how I learned about the flood May 16. I cut and pasted the rattlesnake tale for friends. The photos are stunning. Your site helped me plan my first visit to Yosemite, June 5-7, and I've printed some information to take with me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Deena W. (from Connecticut)


"Hi, great site. We find out more from you than all others combined. Thanks."

Chris M (from parts unknown)


"Thank you so much for your amazing website! I am getting married this summer at the Ahwahnee Hotel, and I am constantly referring our guests to you website. (It sure beats the one's that NPS and DNC have to offer!).

We were in Yosemite May 21-22, and you were right….the waterfalls were spectacular!!  By the way…I love some of the photos on your photography page! Thanks again!"

Erica (from parts unknown)


"Thank you very much for your website.  It brings me great joy whenever I need a Yosemite fix.  I love the pictures and the updates on what's going on in the park.  It is especially rewarding to read about the trails such as the half dome approaches, the snow, etc.  Keep up the good work."

Mike H. (from Connecticut)


"just did a 'quick' two hour perusal of your website, and it is most impressive and helpful. It is clear that you love the park and are a very helpful and communal individual. (putting so much time/energy into a public information access site such as this)."

Nakona M. (from Sacramento, CA)


"Cracking site mate !

I`ve been studying it for months in readiness for my trip from the UK . Your site has taught me an awful lot and for that I`m very grateful.  Keep it up."

Rueben T. (from The Isle of Man)
Ed. note: I've always wanted a "cracking site"!  :-)  Thanks for the kind words!


"I would like to take a minute to congratulate you on a very impressive and inspiring Yosemite website. The photos are just surreal and really belong in an Art Gallery. I went out to Yosemite in 2003 and it was a beautiful place.  Your site really brought back great memories. It will be forever bookmarked in my favorites! I’ve got a few pictures on my site in regards to Yosemite. Nothing NEAR as spectacular as yours"

Kyle G. (from parts unknown)


"...stumbled across your photos. Positively awesome -- such a great array of fog, snow, the Stoneman Bridge (very unique...the water was so calm!), the star trails over El Cap, the fresh snow on the Chapel.  Keep up the great job!   Sherri's shot on the Yosemite Falls trail in Nov. '04 (with the disposable camera) is a real keeper --so what if it was 'polished' a bit in Photoshop?  The lightning display over Madera was very unusual, too.

   We're going there this next week (living from Oregon, I can get there usually just once a year, unfortunately) and your gorgeous shots have stirred my blood!"

Joan (from McMinnville, Oregon)


"Great website!  Excellent insight with the true skinny, we appreciate it!"

JJ and Nita (from San Diego)


"First let me say what others have said before me in many times...  your photographs are over the top!  Not only is the composition artistic but your technical exploitation of the medium is the best I have ever seen.  I especially like your long duration night shots.  I came across your site while planning for our first trip to Yosemite this June.  My wife and I live in Dallas and..."

Rick V.


"Hi, A note just to let you know we used your idea visit to Yosemite. (if you only have 2 days) We did the part in which we used our car to drive from Mariposa Grove to, eventually, the Valley. Did just about everything you said. The Ahwannee we didn’t enjoy so much but that’s just personal.  We took your advise and arrived early in the Grove. We had to drive 2 hours from El Portal but were there just passed 8 am. Are we glad we did this day like you said. Didn’t understand the tunnel view part. We thought o, well, just a tunnel, the other side is much nicer and took pictures. Turned out at home they quelified for enlargements. So we ended up fotographing the tunnel view by accident.

Second day we hiked Vernal and Nevada fall. Enjoyed it very much and even our 11 and 13 year old were able to keep up. Started out early too on this day and this really is THE best advise for any activity in Yosemite. 

So, are we coming back? Definately! After saving up we plan to visit in about 2 to 3 years. 

What I miss on the site (or didn’t I look close enough?) I’d like to see what parts look like in this time of year. With snow and all. I’d like to recognize the spots I’ve been to. I am not confident I will ever get to visit Yosemite in wintertime, so.... Keep up the good work on the site. I mentioned your site in my report (essay or what do you call a diary you make from a journey) that I posted on along with some pictures. (not my site though) My part is the one called “How the west was done”. (click on “reisverhalen / reisverhalen bekijken / nieuwe reisverhalen” ) You might want to have a peek.

Thanks again and greetings from the Netherlands.



"...I would like to congratulate you with your absolutely wonderful website. We are planning a trip to California in September and we would like to visit Yosemite NP. Thanks to your information almost all of our questions have been answered."

Ludo R. (from Riemst - Belgium)


"Great website.  The NPS should hire you."

Mary B. (from Albuquerque, New Mexico)


"My wife and I are constantly amazed at how you keep this site so up-to-date.  When do you find the time? Keep up the good work!"

John and Shelley (from parts unknown)


"As a virgin traveller to the States in 2004 ( i live in the uk ) I really didnt know what to expect during my short visit to Yosemite. My main regret is that i didnt discover your website until AFTER my trip, which was a shame because the knowledge you have on your site would of made an amazing trip even more special.

With best regards"

Elliott M.


"Of all the sites concerning Yosemite, I think yours has the best blend of accurate descriptions and wonderful photography. Bravo!!!"

Tim B. (from Port Hueneme, CA)


"I would like to say that I have been collecting Yosemite Items for well over 20 years, I have seen innumerable photos of Yosemite but yours are the absolute best I have ever seen, Ansel Adams included. You have captured some amazing shots!"

Paul H. (from Mariposa, CA)


"Wow--what a wonderful web site.  I am 61 and planning our first trip to Yosemite this summer...
I absolutely love your site."

Ron D.  (from Lewisburg, PA)


"Just a quick note to say thanks for a truly wonderful site. Found you searching Google for "Yosemite map tuolumne river" (top link). Spent some time there." 

Joe (from Laguna Beach, Ca.)


"I agree with other comments that your site is the best there is on Yosemite.  Interesting, practical, emotion.  One can sense the wonder of Yosemite from your site. Thank you."

Jon S. (from Mokelumne Hill, CA 


"I have visited Yosemite 3 times in my life (I am 50) and love it so much... my first time I was 10 and my mom and camped with my aunt and uncle on Glacier Point in his pull behind camper!  I think the year was 1965!...Your website is terrific, I found it through another website I love, .  He has some stunning photos of Colorado.  I am a life long resident of northern KY, near Cincinnati Ohio.  Anyway, thanks for a great site! I will save as a favorite and check it often...  I hope to make it back out there before another 22 years goes by!  Matter of fact, I have my Yosemite calendar I bought there hanging her at work... my screensaver is a photo we took of the valley."

Mary Lou K.  (from Ft. Thomas, KY)


"I once lived and worked in the Yosemite area. It's not unsual for me to miss my Yosemite home. I'll start "browsing" around just to get in touch or see what's new. I typed "Ahwahnee Hotel" and eventually ended up finding YosemiteFun. I have to say I'm completely impressed. I literally felt transported as I clicked onto just about everything I could. Your pictures are wonderfully clear and you say just enough.  I can tell you have the same passion for this place as I do. I only wish I had the opportunity to explore this "glorious" area more often. My heart is always there somewhere.   And, now I've added this website to my favorites. I've sent this site to friends and folks  I know in the Valley. I look forward to updates, and I never tire of Yosemite pictures. When I feel that longing as I often do, all I have to do is click on one of those sun splashed trails and I'll  be o.k. You've done a great job!!! Keep up the good work. Thank you Sincerely, 

Debbie D. (from parts unknown)


"Wow!  This place exists someplace other than a dream?!  Your pictures are out of this world -- thank you so much for sharing them."

mmayer (from parts unknown)


"Thank you for wonderful website.  I have never been to Yosemite and your website made me want to go right away."

Patrick (from parts unknown)


"I stumbled on your web site ( and just wanted to thank you for all the information. I could've done without the Sierra Club-bashing, but I appreciate your willingness to both give your thorough impressions of things and post other people's impressions, also (I noticed this on the section about treacherous roads). It's really helpful.

I'm taking my parents in November and they don't get around all that well, so I'm glad to hear your thoughts on the 'not-to-miss' stuff.

Thank you from Wisconsin!"

Heidi Nass


"We are planning a trip in mid October and luckily stumbled onto your site. It is FANTASTIC! You have included so many critical pieces of information for a great trip. Thank you very much for taking the time with your site ... We'll let you know about our trip when we return."

Margie (from parts unknown)


"First let me sing your praises and thank you for setting up an awesome site!  I'm gleaning as much information as I can from it. ...I live in Hawaii and am taking a last minute business trip to San Francisco.  I was looking at my backpacking options and thought Yosemite may be an opportunity for me. I think I have a solid 5 days to work with. Any advice?  I'm frazzled and am running outta time!  I'd appreciate any help whatsoever."



"This is one of the most beautiful pages of pictures I have seen. I love all the timed exposures. My favorite has to be the rainbow leading to Half Dome!!  Thanks for the great pictures!!!"

Bryan. (from somewhere close by...)


"I was trying to go online to find a map of the trails I took this past weekend on my 3 day hike and couldn't find ANYTHING useful until I found your site. I'm back from my trip, but spent the last several hours perusing your site and wishing I had found it earlier.  Thank you.

Allison M. (from San Diego, CA)


"We live in the SF Bay Area and have been annual visitors to Yosemite for over 25 years. I always search the web for various sites and just came across yours this year. I don't know where it has been hiding, but it is the most complete, informative and unbiased site I have ever seen about Yosemite. I can't think of a thing you haven't covered."

R. Smith (from the San Francisco Bay area)


"Hello!!  First I want to tell you how beautiful and helpful your site is.  My husband and I just moved to San Francisco from Detroit and one of the first things we wanted to do was visit Yosemite.  We finally went last month and almost everything we learned about the park beforehand was from your site.  We are both totally in love with the park, and want to go back immediately (it was hard enough leaving the first time).  Last time we stayed a night outside the park, one at Backpacker's Camp and one at Sunrise Lakes.  Thanks to you we knew to hit Glacier Point Road, that it would be open, what the weather conditions were, and even a hint of how beautiful it was (although it blew our expectations out of the water).  Thank you so much.  We really value your advice/opinions. 

...Thanks again for a wonderful site (I just go to get updates on the park and revisit the grandeur) and for any help you can give us!!"

~Kate S. (from San Francisco)


"Your Yosemite web site is wonderful. The photos are some of the best I've seen. I'm a photographer for the Fresno Bee who spends a lot of time in the national parks and I've seen tons of pictures from the park and most are quite unremarkable. Yours are quite a step up from the usual.


Kurt Hegre (from Fresno, CA)


"My wife and I studied your website extensively prior to our trip to Yosemite this past week. It was invaluable. Our trip was fantastic. We followed your recommendations regarding must see spots and would have missed some of them without having read your comments. Thanks for a great site and great insight."

Joe H.
(from parts unknown)


"Your website is definitely the best to use when planning a trip to Yosemite. I looked at several and I can without hesitation say you provided the best and most useful info. We also stayed at one of the places you recommended (Four Seasons / condos) which were very convenient. Thanks for all the help you provided. I now know what "tunnel view" is! Awesome!"

Gary Pool (from parts unknown)


"I just had the pleasure of viewing some of your photos and it was such a joy! Thanks for the visual tour of the park!"

Maryanne (from parts unknown)


"I just came across your site, what a great place!"

Len H., (from Bartlett, Illinois)


"I just came across your Yosemite Fun site and wish I'd found it earlier.  Great practical advice that isn't in the guide books I've read. Very readable and informative.  The best site I've found on Yosemite!  Thanks!"
(from parts unknown)


"I want to thank you for your wonderful web site. Your pictures are just wonderful. Our family has spent many times in Yosemite and I love the place. I took my 2 kids in 1981 to the top of Half Dome in a one day trip. They were 11 and 14 at the time while I was 40. I did not think I would live another day after we returned to Camp Curry that night. Your trip report gave me a great rerun of our trip. Thanks again, if I can't be in Yosemite I'll live it through your pictures." 

Jonathan Wallace  (from Orlando Fl.)


"We (family from The Netherlands) enjoyed our 2003 holiday in the south-west of USA. We visited Yosemite NP in August 2003 for only one day and guess what.... it stole our hearts too (despite or thanks to the bear encounter). I must say your pictures are incredible and I'm going to read every single word from your site. Thanks and keep the enthusiasm alive !!!."


    Thijs (from the other side of the Atlantic)


"Thanks for your help. I love your web site and have found it an invaluable resource."

Matt Williamson (from parts unknown)


"Hello Tarheel-Yosemite-San (knower of all things Yosemite). . . I love your site and have been a frequent visitor and daydreamer since I discovered you this winter. Thank you for sharing all of your valuable knowledge, even as an avid camper, I have been intimidated by the enormity of 'doing' Yosemite, since it seems all we hear is how crowded it is, and what a hassle it is. I haven't been there since I was a teenager, and can't forget the soul-bombing awesomeness of the park so with inspiration from your site,  I took the plunge and booked 4 days for the end of August, whhhHooooooooooo!"

Christi (from Benicia, CA)


"Your site has been our best source of information and photos! You are providing a great service to many eager folks out there. I am going on my first trip to Yosemite next week and I have been repeatedly visiting your site in anticipation. We appreciate what you have done for us in helping plan our trip. Your how to 'do' Yosemite section is absolute gold. A million thanks!"

(from Carlsbad, CA)


"I just saw your site, and I'm very impressed with your photos.  I'm an amateur photographer myself, and I had a few questions...
....thanks you putting your work online.  your photos are incredible!"

(from parts unknown)


"Hey! Love your site. So far, it's the most helpful and informative Yosemite resource I've found, including books!"

Chad F. (from Oakland, California)


"Your site is excellent and I've pointed many visitors to it - best on the 'net."

Doug M., (from San Francisco)


"I want to thank you for your web-site.  I just got back last week from my honeymoon at Yosemite.  Your web-site provided a whole lot of useful information in preparation for the trip.  I am already longing to go back, I would love to go back to Yosemite every year for our anniversary.  The weather last week was just perfect and the waterfalls were amazing. We took many pictures and everyone at the office is amazed at the scenery in the pictures.  We stayed in Groveland in a Bed & Breakfast called the Blackberry Inn, the host (Ann Marie Brown) gets an A+.  Thanks again, I'll recommend your web-site to anyone else that I find that has an interest in Yosemite.  Enjoying God's creation was so wonderful!"

Jerry Wardlaw  (from Atlanta, GA)


"I live in the Bay Area and visit Yosemite often. I think is the most honest, informative site around!"

Sarah J. (from the San Francisco Bay area)


"I discovered your site over a year ago and still keep coming back to it whenever the subject of Yosemite comes up. I always refer people with questions about visiting Yosemite to your site. Still the best site on Yosemite to be found."

Bill S. (from Fallon, Nevada)


"Wow, your site is informative and fun to read. Thanks for the effort!!!  LOVED your pictures!!! I wanted to tell you that your pictures helped me talk my husband into going to Yosemite instead of DisneyWorld this year! He wasn't interested in going (he's never been there obviously). When I showed him your pic's he changed his mind. THANKS!!!"

Cyndie A (from Orange, CA)


"You have a truly absolutely wonderful and fantastic website! Very helpful information, found very useful information for the camp ground and weather at Yosemite."

Betty (from parts unknown)


"Just to say thanks, this is the best web site I have found on Yosemite..."

Matt F. (from Kent, UK)


"First I must commend you on a wonderful website!  By the time I surfed and landed on your site, I felt a breath of fresh air."

Sally M.Y. (from Beijing, China)


"Just wanted to say that I think your photo collection is absolutely breath-taking! Incredible photography! It has certainly wetted my appetite for my West Coast trip in May, also many thanks for all the Yosemite info and tips that you provide,


Kevin C. (from Edinburgh, Scotland)


"Thanks for the quick reply. I appreciate your candor and humor...I passed your message along to my girlfriend, who is now wondering what she's getting into....Any further suggestions you have will again be greatly appreciated. I wish I could have access to someone with your knowledge of an area and eagerness to help on all my trips."

Scott (from parts unknown)


"Although I know you probably hear it all the time, I really want to thank you for putting together such a FUN and informative site.  I have found the best links to weather conditions ( bring the 4WD!) and some very educational infor I will put to use later this year ( How to Do Yosemite)

  Again, THANKS!"

Steve H. (from Tracy, CA)


"Your site is absolute the best guide-site ever!
We've been to Yosemite for car camping, backpacking, day hikes, snowshoeing, x-country, sledding, fishing, you-name-it. Yet your site still helped us learn more about Yosemite."

Dave (from parts unknown)


"We have just discovered your website while looking for inspiration for our planned trip to Yosemite in April.  It's very informative and the photos are spectacular.  We can't wait to see the place for real and would be very grateful for your advice..."

Theresa (from L.A.)


"First, let me thank you for this terrific Web site! It has been by far the most helpful Web site in my Yosemite planning."

Steve B., (from Quincy, MA)


"Thank you so much! I learned a lot from your information and pictures! I am doing a project on Yosemite National Park, and you really helped me!! Now if my younger sister is doing a project on Yosemite National Park, I'll tell her to go to your site.

Thanks again!!!"

Bridget (from Massachusetts)


"Just wanted to say thanks for keeping up such a great website. My dad recently visited from Kansas (I live in San Francisco now) and I was able to put a great camping/fishing trip together with information from your website."

Jay (from San Francisco)


"Just a quick message to say "THANKS" for the wonderful site - by far the best I've found on Yosemite!"

Frances F.  (from Plymouth, UK)


"I just want to thank you personally on an absolutely wonderful job on your website and all the work you put into it!!! We are heading up to Sacramento this week and have a couple of days to take our kids to Yosemite (It's high time we took them, they are 14 and 12-an absolute shame we haven't gone before, I know). Your site was the most help that I could ever have!!! The picture, the info brief recommendations on what I can expect there and where I could take them was invaluable!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!"

Carolyn Fisher
(from somewhere in California)


"What a first class site. As an ex Associate of the Royal Photographic Society I must also say that the quality, both technically and compositionally of the photographs is first class. Some people may get lucky with the odd shot but the work displayed is consistently excellent. The variety of viewpoint is also worth commenting on."

Tim Swetnam (from the U.K.)
(Editor's note: Wow!  Thanks for the kind words!)


"I just stumbled across your website...I've only just begun to explore your site, but I already love it! The photo page is wonderful. The shots of the squirrels are hilarious, and that photo by Sherri Pfefferkorn is to die for! What I wouldn't give to have been able to take that shot. Beautiful shots of the rainbow over Half Dome, too. As an avid amateur (almost a semi-pro, if that makes sense), I am in awe of the marvelous photos posted. Anyway, keep up the nice work. I'll be a frequent visitor to your page (oh, yes; it's bookmarked), and I'll pass the URL along to some folks I know who'll enjoy it. And we'll definitely check it out before our next trip to the High Sierra."

Jim C. (from parts unknown)


"Of all my resources you were the best...Your tip about camp 4 was the best...yes there was a "full" sign there but we found a place to camp anyway.  I came out looking good with my group because I would not have been able to get a camp site without your advice!! Thanks a lot..."

David (from parts unknown)


"Thanks for they wealth of information on your site!! We used it as a prime source for planning our tour of the camps. Vogelsang was everything you said it would be. Thanks again for the site!"

Joe and Marie  (from Sierra Madre, CA)



"Thank you for a wonderful and informative website. A million thanks for everything."

Dolie (from parts unknown)


"Thanks Phil~ BIG help and your site really is amazing!"

David (from parts unknown)


"Hi, love your website.  It's exactly the type of info/advice I was looking for, so thanks!"

Dave (from parts unknown)


"HEY, first I'd like to say I am amazed by the depth of your site. Thanks for all the info in your site and all the help its been!"

Andy (from parts unknown)


"Your site is wonderful. - I was thrilled to find it before my husband and I embarked on a trip to Yosemite. Thank you for your excellent tips and information."

Marla D.  (from Boynton Beach, FL)


"Hello Fellow Tar Heel!  Love your web site on Yosemite.  I stumbled on it while searching for info on the park and area.  It provides the personal, experienced insights & recommendations that a park newbie really needs (as versus the dry facts on the more commercial sites and NPS).  Many thanks for taking the time to put it together .  A valuable service."

Kathleen C. (from Charlotte, NC)


"I started gathering information and eventually stumbled on your website.  You have done a wonderful job with this site and I wanted to thank you all the information you provide."

Albert A. (from parts unknown)


"Gee - I've been all over the web and making phone calls - and no one has given me more information that you!  Thanks again for the website. I can't wait for my husband to see it tonight.

Many thanks, once again."

Patty E. (from parts unknown)


"I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your web page!!!  Like many others you have given me a better feel of the park.  My family, with 2 teenagers is planning a 2-3 day backpacking trip...."

LuAnn P.  (from parts unknown)


"I've been going to Yosemite for over ten years now. I was amazed at how great your website is. Excellent job!!! I just spent literally hours looking at almost everything. The photos, descriptions and information are right on! Very impressive!!"

Jayne L.  (from parts unknown)


"Hello! I enjoy your site very much. I found it last year when I was planning my (2-day) trip to Yosemite. I followed your itinerary religiously, excepting that Glacier Point was still closed and I could not go there. I enjoyed myself immensely. I was alone for my trip and I loved the feeling! ...   I also check your site periodically just to see what's going on. I think you provide a real service to visitors. The national parks pages set up by the gov't are often bland, opinionless of course, sterile sites with no real information; just a few pretty pictures of the park and the entrance fees charged. I had very little idea what to expect until I came to your page. I changed several of my plans after reading some of your warnings about certain roads, etc. I have bookmarked your site and will continue to check back to see how my gorgeous, lush, mystical, verdant, uplifting,  magical, picturesque, haunting, inspiring, entrancing, humbling, idyllic, healing Yosemite is getting along without me there.

Thanks so much for your help and for your outstanding web site. Gratefully Yours,

April T.  (from Round Rock, Texas)"


"First I'd like to commend you on a great Yosemite website chock-full of good info! I'll be visiting Yosemite this August and was wondering..."

Ray (from parts unknown)


"I'm heading up to Yosemite this weekend. I couldn't find any useful information on "Housekeeping Camp" (Where I have reservations). Crossed my fingers and did a web search and viola up came a link to your site with all the really helpful info I wanted to find out. It was really helpful.  I look forward to exploring some of your other links, I just wanted to say thanks."

Anthony A. (From parts unknown)


"I went to your Yosemite site and saw all those pics...  God they were gooooooooooooood.. Hell, if I were you I'd go into photography in a heartbeat..."

Jon A. (Tampa, FL) 


"At any rate your site is great and I have recommended it to many people who have asked me about Yosemite."

Bill S. (Fallon, Nevada)


"I began buying guidebooks last year - however I have to say that your site eclipses all the combined information of these guidebooks and is without doubt the absolute premier Yosemite site for both general and 'customer-focused' information...thank you. It has shaped our itinerary (staying 3 full days) and has also alerted me to potential issues that may make for a less than satisfactory experience (forewarned = forearmed)"

Greg M. (Darlington, UK)


"By the way, your website is the best that I have seen thus far in my search for useful information on planning a trip to this great national treasure.  Thank you!!!"

Steve W. (from Sacramento)


"What a great website.  Thanks for your obvious hard work.  The site is full of very helpful info and I love the pictures."

Ward S. (from Kansas City, MO.)


"Awesome website. You saved us a big surprise with your candid assessment of the Foresta. Thank goodness we found you."

Jeffrey B., (from San Francisco)


"First off, thanks for the web site. It is easily navigated, is full of great info for yosemite newbies like myself, and it looks great too."

Craig (from parts unknown)


"I just wanted to thank you for all of the useful information on your website. We just got back from a great trip to Yosemite. We stayed at Cedar Lodge in El Portal in a three bedroom unit which had everything we needed. It was exactly as you said it would be. Thanks for helping make our trip even better!"

Lisa C. (from Los Angeles)


"Hello!  I wanted to tell you thanks for such a great website.  I grew up going to Yosemite almost every year with my family.  I replenished my soul there many times.  I now live in North Idaho and long to be close to Yosemite.  It is beautiful here, but nothing has ever captured me like Yosemite."

Tracy H. (from Cour d'alene, Idaho)


"Hi!  I loved your site.  My family is planning a trip to Yosemite next spring/summer and your site has the best information of any other I have seen - and believe me, I have been looking."

Andrea (from Rutherford, Tennessee)


"thank you, thank you, thank you for an amazingly informative site!!"

Ana (from parts unknown)


"Thank you for responding to my e-mail about employment in Yosemite.  I have to say that your web site...really is the best site I've seen on Yosemite!!!  Its helped me in lots of different ways.....and I'm sure i'ts going to make my trip a lot more enjoyable."

Drew (from parts unknown)


"Thank you very much for your help. Your website is out standing, simply great. It has so much information, very honestly placed with great hard work.  Thanks for doing this."

 Raj Miniyar from India


"Thank you so much for! I have been going there for over 50 years and do not have one picture which even compares !  I ran across your site while looking for wedding sites in Yosemite and it brings tears to my eyes each time I see the incredible beauty of this wonderful place.

It also makes me want to be married in the Chapel or the valley or wherever in Yosemite, the entire area is the most beautiful Chapel on earth!"


Betty Jean Johnsen, from parts unknown


"Just to say how useful your web site was to us before our first trip from UK to California and Yosemite NP. We hired a car from San Francisco and stayed at Wawona Hotel ( Old fashioned but fun) and used your suggested itinary for our exploration of the valley. Made two side trips to Glacier Point ( in morning and at sunset) and wish we had spent a week in this area. A great web site- hope you keep it going as we shall want to visit again!"

Alan and Cheryl, Mumford, England.


"I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your website. I think it is the very best site on Yosemite I have ever came across and I don't say that lightly. It is so nice to come across a site like yours that is based on real life experiences and not some NPS site or some other politically correct motivated site."

Bill S., Fallon, Nevada


"I just got back from Yosemite and the scenery is still so fresh in my mind. I found your website and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a refreshing point of view without being so "tourist-y syrupy."

I went via 120 via Groveland and you are so right.

Thanks for your great website!"

Susan S. (from parts unknown)


"I discovered your website a few days ago and I am still enjoying reading all the topics you cover photos are incredible. Your E-mail feedbacks are terrific and right on the money.  Your site is awesome and the info will be extremely helpful when we visit Yosemite -- The Jewel of the National Parks".

Peter & Barb (from Wilkes Barre, PA)


"I just want to thank you for spectacular photos of Yosemite.  I used to go there every year when I was a little girl and think it is the best of the national parks. It really has me excited to see these photos.  Fortunately I have Cable internet so they loaded fast!!  Thanks again for great shots."

Christine (from deep in the heart of Texas)


"I can't tell you how much info we've picked up from your site. I know we need more time in the park, but your site has given us some great insight on what to do (and NOT to do), thanks! And you pictures are fabulous (am packing lots of film!)"

Katherine G.  (from parts unknown)


"Thanks for putting up a web site that has a "No nonsense" approach to important information about Yosemite!  I'm planning a wedding at Yosemite and I was able to see more pictures of the Ahwahnee Hotel than the official Yosemite wedding site page and the wedding package that I've received from the special occasions office!  Your "Best time to visit Yosemite" has also helped me a great deal to plan for an ideal time to host the wedding.  I love your site and I would love it even more if you can put a section about weddings for Yosemite Brides to be.

Kudos to your web site!"

Melissa S.
(Jersey City, NJ)


"I'd like to say thanks for putting together the most complete and helpful information on Yosemite I've found anywhere. I cut and pasted a lot of your information into my itinerary for my upcoming trip and it's been enormously helpful in getting me prepared."

Renee' A. (from parts unknown)


"Hi!  I absolutely love your is so down to earth and easy to read...Thanks for your sage advice"

Becky (from San Diego)


"Wow!  You actually offer for people to email you for more Yosemite info.  You are incredible, Thank you!"



"Thank you for excellent information about the roads into Yosemite.  We were about to make the mistake of driving in on Hwy 120 from Modesto in an RV --- but after reading what you had to say about that road, we cancelled our RV rental and decided to lodge at the south entrance of the park.  I believe we made the right decision for our FIRST TRIP to Yosemite August 3-8.  Had it not been for your site, we would have been S.O.L.  Thanks a million!!!"

Lisa and Mark P.  (Denver, CO)


"I just wanted to thank you again for all of your information about Yosemite, yes we finally made it!  We used your two day itinerary as a guide, as well as your best hikes recommendations, and found your suggestions were right on.  It's always nice to have a local's input when you are traveling, especially someplace as spectacular as Yosemite.  When I pulled out my mosquito repellant while enjoying a margarita and a sunset at the Ahwahnee, I thought, thanks Phil."

Kelly D. (from Boca Raton, FL)


"I love your website! My first trip as an adult to Yosemite is coming up in July and your site has all the info I need. After looking at your photos, I'm even more excited about. I even liked the ones of your family. If I had my own website, I'd plaster pictures of my three boys all over the place. Thanks so much for all of your time and effort putting this together. On a side note, I've decided to take a longer route in after reading about the roads. Thanks again!"

Lisa C. (Los Angeles, CA)


"You have provided the best information regarding Yosemite that I have seen to date. I wish that I would have found your site sooner! We had a family re-union at the Yosemite Lodge just this past March and could have used your insight."

Paul and Melinda W. (from Orange County, CA; south LA area)


"This is by far the best web site I have seen on Yosemite!  I have sent your web site address to some friends of ours that will be camping with us this summer from the Netherlands. Your information about having only 2 days in Yosemite is worth a million dollars."

Debra J., (Lompoc, CA) 


"I never saw so much information about Yosemite in one place!! Thank you so much for a FANTASTIC site..I never realized the rates keep going up since I only go there once every 2-3 years. Glad someone is keeping tabs on it for me..THANK YOU!!!!! You made a remark on your site that you may have provided too much information.....nah, its perfect."

Carol (from Morgan Hill, CA)


"As always, Phil, thanks for your help. Yours is the only web site regarding Yosemite that I have read end to end, and I only wish you had more time to add more stuff! :-)"

Charles & Maggie (from Chapel Hill, NC getting married in the Yosemite Chapel)


"PS: your website ROCKS!"

Mark (from parts unknown)


I have got to thank you! I too was planning on coming in through an alternate route, (either 120 West or the 140), but reading through your site I realized it would have been a mistake.  Thank you very, very much for your very informative site, I love, it's got a wealth of information for all. Planning on going back in August of this year. You have the best Yosemite web site, I am impressed! Please keep it updated."

Anthony (from San Diego)


"All I can say is wow!
My husband and I are leaving on our first trip to Yosemite May 6th and your site has left me completely awestruck.
Thank you so much for all the time you have put into it."

Kelly D.  (from Boca Raton, FL)


"Thank you for the great web site…unbelievable… "

John W. (from Pennsylvania)


"We're coming from Texas in a rented R.V. with three kids.  I am 'oh so grateful' for the info. on what road to take into the park.  We were planning on coming in through the "treacherous slum" entrance in ignorance.  I and probably my marriage would not have survived that drive as you describe it.  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU! You have the very best website of any I have seen.  Keep up the good work.  I'm so grateful to have found you!!!!!"

Marcia (from Texas)


"What a great site! My sons and I have been using it to plan our upcoming trip (we'll be camping in North Pines April 21-25). And last night my hubby started quoting some facts about the park and we all said (at the same time) "Yosemite Fun Dot Com!" I mean, it was obvious he'd been surfing your site whilst at work.  Thanks for providing such a great resource. I LOVE how you show off ALL of Yosemite, warts and beauty marks alike. And now that I've buttered you up, I've got a question..."

Bonnie (from Carlsbad, CA) This gal has the best personal web page I've ever seen.  But be sure to come back here! 


"First of all, I've been hiking all over the internet in search of a highly informative site and yours gets the award! You have created a fantastic site that provides a wealth of surfing friendly vistas and information and I didn't even get one cyber blister!!! Thanks so much."

Marc (from parts unknown)


"Thanks for all your great information you gathered on your site.  It was more helpful than anything else ANYWHERE!  We spent last week in Yosemite and used your website to prepare us for our visit."

Ken S., (from Lakeville, Indiana (near South Bend)


"Wow! Your website is awesome. It's such a wealth of
info. My wife & I have planned our first ever Yosemite
trip & I'm trying to gather all the info I can. So
far, your site has been the most comprehensive &
helpful resource I've found."

Andrew C. (from Northern California)


"I am writing to thank you very much for all of the effort you put into this extremely informative and entertaining web site. I am rather embarrassed to admit that I'm a Northern California native (46 years) and have never been to this park. So, this April, I'm taking the kids for our first visit.
Your web site is a gift. Thanks again."

Georgette W.


"I am impressed with the care taken in sharing with the world what Yosemite is to you. Your website is better with its information about the single most beautiful spot on Earth than any of the "official" sites."

Garrett (from Central California)


"Great site! Your site is the most comprehensive on Yosemite that I have found yet!"

Sean  (from Kenosha, Wisconsin.)


"It's 11.50 p.m. here in the Manchester area of England and we have just finished looking at your fabulous Yosemite web site (again).   It is simple to use (for us older Brits who find computers a bit daunting sometimes) and the photographs are brilliant."

Beverly and Jim S.


"Firstly I would like to say thanks for all the hard work in preparing your site. It is exactly what I have been looking for. We will be visiting Yosemite for just two days in February and I need to get as much out of it as possible. I could not find anything on the web more appropriate and helpful as your site."

Terry H. (from parts unknown)


"I have to tell you, that since I began working in the travel industry {6 months ago} I have had to visit a lot of websites. I just want to take a moment to commend you on yours! Not bland or boring, I laughed at your little jokes and marveled at the wealth of information.
Just a congratulations to you on a website where it is obvious that a REAL PERSON is behind it!

Michaela A. (from parts unknown)


"I stumbled across your site after searching for information on the Ahwahnee Hotel.  Your site is INCREDIBLE!!!!  The photos are breathtaking.  I was literally moved to tears - you have certainly captured the beauty and spirit of this remarkable place. Thanks for the hard work you've put into creating such a treasure of an online resource!!!!!!"

(No, my mother did not write this....)
Karen H.


"My wife and I just spent 3 days at Yosemite and used your page as a guide for our trip (including your suggested itinerary). THANKS for helping to make our trip an enjoyable and spectacular adventure!!. Your insights and directions were great. This was my first trip in about 12 years to Yosemite and my wife's first trip ever. Thanks for making it fun."

Mark (from parts unknown)


"I just wanted to thank you for your information and for the great web site. We were able to get a place at Yosemite West and just had a wonderful time. My teenage son and his friend were awestruck and the three of us plan to return. It was just a wonderful time. Thanks again for your help."

Mary K.
(from parts unknown)


"...and I think your Yosemite National Park pictures are brilliant, even the ones with your family in! Keep up the good work, and thank you for such a brilliant site.

Best Wishes"
(from ...England)


"Your suggestions helped us a great deal in our planning. I really thank you for your well thought out and practical website and also for your personal correspondence which aided us further.  ...Just got my pictures back today and am wistfully dreaming of going back sometime soon."

Al and Randi, (from parts unknown)


"Thank you for your pictures and obvious love of the place. Going to Yosemite always reminds me of what is important in life, and what a privilege it is just to see this breath-taking place. Thanks for sharing!"

Neeka,  (from San Francisco)


"I'm traveling to Yosemite for a few days in January (I'm from Australia)...your site had everything I wanted to know!" 

 (from Australia)


"Bless you, bless you, for the descriptions of the roads leading into Yosemite... I have not found this info on any other site (reading the California Highway site is like reading a technical manual). I am a below-sea level gal from New Orleans and am terrified of driving in the mountains"

M. Fonseca,
New Orleans (or "'Nahlins")


"Hey, I wanted to let you know that we just got back from Cal and followed your advice. Top notch! Thanks for your insightful notes. We had a blast. If you are not in the travel business, you may have missed your calling. Thanks again",

(from parts unknown)


"How in the world do you find the time to spend as much time as you do taking those wonderful pictures? Some of the best I've seen."

Ron (from Pasadena, CA and a Wawona property owner)


"Hi, I stumbled upon your site in my quest to get information for my summer trip with my son.  I gotta tell ya, it was most informative and I've spent over an hour reading mostly all of it."

Deborah (from N.Y.)


"I search the net so much for travel info, and I must say your sites is awesome! Awesome pictures and great info!  I used (to) be in inetrnet business and know how hard it is to maintain a site like this.  Great Job!"

Dennis L. (from Pomona, CA)


"Anyway, just wanted to tell you that your photos of Yosemite are just about the best one's I've seen outside of Ansel Adams. Makes a fellow Tar Heel proud."

Eric K.
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) 
AB '86, JD '89


"Absolutely fantastic website! Thanks so much for putting together so much Yosemite "scoop" in one place. All of your hard work is just a tremendous resource for someone like me who just found out this afternoon that I will be in Sacramento for a meeting (September 23 - 26) and am quickly trying to squeeze in side trip down to the Valley."

Allan M. Spartanburg, S.C.
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
JD '91

 vwf i miss you!


Click for Yosemite National Park, California Forecast

Yosemite Weather/Climate

Current Winter Conditions

Calm but cold!

FUN Stuff!!

Half-Dome Hike!
Ostrander Ski Hut!
The Mist Trail
High Sierra Camps!

Cross-Country Skiing!
White Water Rafting!!
Glacier Point!
The John Muir Trail!
 The Top 5 Day Hikes!

Badger Pass Ski Resort
The "Whoa-Nellie Deli" in Lee Vining

How to "do" Yosemite

Only have two days?  Your itinerary is very important!


Recovering from a devastating fire

The Wilderness

The John Muir Trail

How To Become A Park Ranger

It's not as easy as you might think.
OK, if you insist...
Go Here.

Teenager Activities

This is a 9-day Yosemite backpacking adventure your teen will never forget.
Go Here.

Working in Yosemite

So, you've thought about working in Yosemite National Park.  Here's one persons experience.


Cabins Yosemite National Park
Cabins, Condos, and other lodging in Yosemite National Park.

ęCopyright 2011, Phil Hawkins