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Published on Nov 20, 2010

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California travel expert Veronica Hill of http://www.CaliforniaTravelExpert.com visits Yosemite National Park in this episode of "California Travel Tips."

Plan on a full week to fully enjoy the many sights of Yosemite Park, from the scenic vistas at Tunnel View to its world-famous waterfalls and giant sequoias.

To get your bearings, start in Yosemite Village, which is the hub of action in the valley. You can grab Yosemite permits at the Wilderness Center, pick up some a Yosemite map at the Visitor Center, or learn more about the valley's history in the Yosemite Museum. The Valley Shuttle map of Yosemite includes a guide to popular sights, bike trails and campgrounds in Yosemite.

The Ansel Adams Gallery has photography walks, classes and workshops. Many are free, and offered year-round. For the best Yosemite pictures, head out at sunrise or sunset, when a beautiful warm glow shines across the valley. No matter where you're standing, the Yosemite view is sure to be breathtaking.

Some of the best California hiking is found here in Yosemite. In fact, the park is home to 840 miles of hiking trails, including the famous John Muir Trail. When backpacking or hiking Yosemite trails through the backcountry, be sure to get a wilderness permit.

When hiking in Yosemite, you'll need a permit to hike the summit of Half Dome, which is 4,733 feet and about 16 miles round trip. More adventurous souls can brave the 6-day climb to El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the world at 3,593 feet.

When you come to Yosemite, be sure to hike to the waterfalls. Yosemite Falls are the tallest waterfalls in North America. Lower Yosemite Falls are easily reached on a short paved trail near Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. The loop is roughly a mile, round trip.

Yosemite lodging ranges from the historic tents at Curry Village to countless Yosemite campgrounds throughout the valley. Camp 4 is a Yosemite campground popular with rock climbers, and Housekeeping Camp offers rustic sites along the river. Oprah Winfrey chose to stay at the Yosemite campsite, Lower Pines, where she prepared her famous drink for fellow travelers. Other Yosemite campsites in the valley include North Pines and Upper Pines. The campground reservation office is found just past Yosemite Curry Village.

Accommodations in Yosemite also include several nice Yosemite hotels — many with their own swimming pools, WiFi and other modern luxuries. Take your pick from such Yosemite lodges such as The Wawona, Tenaya Lodge or Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Another Yosemite hotel is White Wolf Lodge, which is open June through September.

Most Yosemite hotels can be reserved by calling (801) 559-5000. Hotels in Yosemite book up fast, so call at least 5 months in advance.

For the best lodging in Yosemite don't miss the historic Ahwahnee Hotel. Built in 1927, this Yosemite National Park hotel is world-famous for its rustic architecture and grand public rooms. For a special treat, book one of their 24 Yosemite cabins, which sit along the beautiful Merced River. Every fall, the Yosemite Ahwahnee hosts its annual Vintners Holidays, drawing top winemakers from throughout the state.

For more information about Yosemite California, lodges in Yosemite, or details about all the Yosemite National Park hotels, go to www.YosemitePark.com For further information, call (801) 559-4884, or visit www.YosemitePark.com.

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