Yosemite Valley Loop

Yosemite National Park
> Scenic Drives
> Yosemite Valley Loop

Yosemite Valley Loop

Yosemite Valley loop is the premier way to soak in Yosemite's best and most stunning landmarks. From El Capitan to Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall, this is the area that Yosemite National Park is famous for. A variety of hotels, restaurants, and amenities make this an ideal basecamp for further explorations. Note that the road often gets crowded with tourists, so if you're driving, factor in major traffic jams. A better way to enjoy the drive is by riding a bike. Read More

You can get to the Yosemite Valley by entering the national park either from highway 41 or highway 140. Signs will start appearing about 12-14 miles out from the valley, depending on what route you take to get in. The Yosemite Valley Loop is a famous drive that takes you up-close-and-personal with stunning landmarks like El Capitan, which often has climbers on it, and Bridalveil Fall. You can also park at several traiheads to go camping, hiking, climbing, fishing, and more.

Note that during tourist season, the loop gets extremely busy. It won't be so much a scenic drive as it will a prolonged traffic jam. If you bear in mind that the road will be busy during high season, you're more likely to enjoy your drive. The valley is only seven miles long and one mile wide, so it can easily be explored by bike, as well. Throughout the route, incredible views abound—bring a picnic lunch and a camera.

If you need amenities, there are plenty in the center area of the loop. Restaurants, shops, grocery stores, hotels, and even a jailhouse make this area a hub of activity. Even here, watch out for mountain lions, raccoons, squirrels, mule deer, and other wildlife. Another noteable aspect of life in Yosemite are wildfires, which often ignite in summer. Whether you're hiking, climbing, biking, or simply driving around and enjoying the views, the Valley Loop will offer something for you.