Sep 24

B14F35D4 155D 4519 3E8629F14286C95A large A Guide to Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaYosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks in America and visited by over 3.5 million tourists each year who experience the beautiful landscape, waterfalls and steep cliffs of this place. The park is extremely famous among mountain climbers for the 3500 foot vertical granite wall of El Capitan. The park has lot to offer including Rafting in Merced River, Hiking, Professional photography, Biking, Horseback Riding, Skiing and Snowshoeing at Badger Pass and Camping. Yosemite National Park is located about 200 miles east of San Francisco (SFO), about 3 to 4 hours’ drive by road.

The spectacular scenery is also very popular for artists and photographers. The best time to see the waterfalls is early summer. Whilst some of the falls are easily accessible; others take more time and effort in order to be able to appreciate their beauty. Those who are looking for precarious challenges can try the Wapama Falls, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. The Badger Pass Ski Area has downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. For the more adventurous, there are backcountry ski tours with the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Rental equipment is also available.

Glacier Point Road: The Glacier Point Road is about 30 miles drive from the visitor center. It opens in late May to closes in November. This road offers one of the most spectacular views from the elevation. People make short stops, take pictures and hiking.

Tioga Pass: The Tioga pass is about 9950 feet high and offers spectacular views of the park. It is accessible only in summers around June-July as this area is at an elevation and gest heavy snow in winters. You can also see some beautiful Wildflowers and sequoias.

Mariposa Grove: The Mariposa Grove is Yosemite’s largest grove of giant sequoias. The largest tree, Grizzly Giant, is about 1800 years old.

Half Done: Half Dome is granite dome in Yosemite National Park, located at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley possibly Yosemite’s most familiar sight. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft. above the valley floor.

Most importantly, when looking for guided tours make sure that activities provided by the tour operator suit your activity level. This will help to ensure that you enjoy yourself and get the most out of your Yosemite experience.

Whether planning your vacation alone or hiring a guide, here are main attractions you should consider adding to your itinerary:

1. Rock Formations

Of all the unparalleled rock formations, Half Dome is arguably the most recognized landmark in Yosemite. This 8,842-foot granite dome, which soars an amazing 4,000 feet about the valley floor, is hard to miss. It was created nearly 90 million years ago and has inspirited artists for more than 150 years. Although not quite as noticeable as the Half Dome, several collections of beautiful and rugged rock formations are scattered throughout Yosemite.

2. Waterfalls

Waterfalls are a must-see in Yosemite and none are more worthy of your time than Yosemite Falls. Three separate waterfalls combined to create this 2,425-foot waterfall. Yosemite Falls is the longest waterfall in all of North America and the fifth longest waterfall in the world. Summer is a wonderful time to see this waterfall because of the rushing runoff water from the melt of mountain snow.

3. Yosemite Valley

Even though Yosemite Valley is accessible by car all year, the best ways to experience this stunning valley is to hike a trail along Mirror Lake, which reflects Half Dome. Yosemite Valley is exceptional because of is extreme depth and short width. The valley its self is only one to two miles long, but the mountains, which create it, are about 3,000 feet high. This combination of rugged cliffs, unusual rock formations, waterfalls, lakes, and lush foliage are truly worth the hike!

4. Giant Sequoia

Created over 3,000 years ago, Giant Sequoias are the largest trees in the world. Imagine a tree so large that it takes 15 people with their arms extended and hands connected to reach around its 300-foot base. These wondrous trees can be found in three separate groves throughout Yosemite, but the largest and most awe-inspiring display of Sequoias is in Mariposa Grove.

Entrance fee in Yosemite National Park is $20 per car and is valid for seven days. You can opt to drive around the park yourself but the management encourages using the free available shuttle buses heading to most popular spots for purposes of ensuring the park remains free of pollution and of course to maintain uniformity and the park’s natural charm.

Yosemite also offers a variety of lodging options. The campgrounds are outstanding with electricity at some sites for RV or trailer campers. There are shuttle buses that travel all around the valley so it is very easy to go from the camping areas to the village or other locations.

Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst when you travel to Yosemite National Park and get rooms at very affordable rates. For more details visit:

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Jul 25

Lembert Dome is a granite dome rock formation in Yosemite National Park which rises above the forest and provides a central viewing platform for the surrounding peaks. It rises to an elevation of 9,450 feet mountain peak in the Sierra Nevada Range in California. It is a colossal dome that dominates the eastern end of Tuolumne Meadows.

Lembert Dome is a popular ascent, particularly among day hikers in the area, with the summit offering magnificent views of Tuolumne Meadows to the west, the Cathedral Range to the south, and the Sierra crest to the east. The trail is a 3 mile out and back trail that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from July until October. Its summit gives a spectacular bird’s eye view of Yosemite’s splendor and uppermost stretches delve into a natural, granite stairway.  Another pleasant path beginning from the Lembert Dome trailhead is the one leading to Dog Lake one of Yosemite’s warmest, attracts swimmers and picnickers.

While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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Jul 17

Tony Krizan Discover Yosemite Tony Krizan   Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails SeriesJoin us as The Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites, joined by the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, once again present the 4th in a series of six presentations by author adventurer, Tony Krizan.

The presentation “Lost in Kings Canyon”  will be this Saturday, July 19th in the beautiful lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites located on Highway 41 in Oakhurst from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.  

The presentation is open to the public and is free of charge. Guests can enjoy complimentary gourmet cookies and finger pastries provided by Crab Cakes Restaurant in Oakhurst.

In conjunction with the presentation, REI of Fresno will display various kinds of extreme hiking equipment in the Southgate Hotel lobby. The same type of equipment Tony would use on one of his many adventures.

You owe it to yourself to experience Tony Krizan and Yosemite’s Forgotten Trail Series, getting hands on knowledge of the REI equipment, while enjoying gourmet treats created by Crab Cakes Restaurant, all  in the beautiful lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst. 


Upcoming Event Dates: 
Saturday, July 19th
Saturday, August 16th
Saturday, September 13th.



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Jul 11

Located in the town of Oakhurst, Golden Chain Theatre is the most popular and historic theatre which holds a couple of melodious performances and dramas on your way to Yosemite National Park. The theatre was established in 1968 features old fashioned show evocative of the type of entertainment popular among the miners during California’s gold rush.

Hours Open: Weekends
Months Open: June-December
Fees: $12 adults; $10 seniors; $8 students & AD Military; $6 children

Golden Chain Theatre is a famous landmark having the inside reminiscent of the old west and very cozy. The theatre has many different plays though out the year and on occasion local service clubs use it as dinner and play venue. Guests can enjoy a BBQ dinner at the railroad, music by Sugar Pine, and a train ride through the Sierra National Forest.

Enjoy musical evening at valued musical centre – Golden Chain Theatre. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates. For more details visit:

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Jun 27

Ostrander Lake is located about 10 miles from the south of Yosemite Valley and 10 miles east of the Badger Pass Ski Area, in Yosemite National Park. Settled amongst gorgeous wildflowers, green pines, and set against a beautiful mountain backdrop, this lake has the perfect panorama. This wide blue lake is a popular destination for cross-country skiers in the winter invites a stroll around its vase-shaped shoreline.

Ostrander Lake is one of the prettiest, granite-wrapped mountain lakes that are typical of the High Sierra. Wildflower blooms on the paths ahead to lake and seems spectacular. The hike is a 12.4 miles round trip starting from a trailhead on the Glacier Point road. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from July until October. The first half of this trail inclines gently through forest and meadow and the second half gains about 1,500 ft. while final ascent leads to beautiful Ostrander Lake. This out and back hike will take you through the woods, from a meadow, over a creek with great high mountain views along the way to lake.

Experience the beauty of Ostrander Lake is hiking and camping. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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Jun 14

The Pioneer Yosemite History Center is located in Wawona, approx. 4 miles away from the South entrance of Yosemite National Park. It consists of historic structures from different eras of Yosemite history. The history center gives details about how Yosemite was inspirational for national parks across America and throughout the world.

Each building is integrated to show visitors the different stories that work together to make up the history of the park. The buildings are usually open Wednesday – Sunday during the summer. It is free and always open. A wagon riding stable behind the History Center is also open summers, and offers guided horseback rides. There are relocated historic buildings, old carriages, a covered bridge and horse-drawn coach rides. Interpretive signs and brochures are available for a self-guided tour. It’s a wonderful place to step back in time and see the way Yosemite life was 100 years ago. Also provides various ranger talks and exhibits.

Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates. For more details visit:

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Jun 07

Yosemite National Park is one of America’s finest national parks.  It provides a different experience for everyone who visits. The best time to visit Yosemite is summer, snow is melting and the waterfalls are very spectacular. Summer tend to be the busiest months for visiting National Park. Some of the basic guidelines give short tips what to do in summer are as below:

Getting There: June & July is only month when most of beautiful wildflowers are in bloom. It’s on you only what to do and see. Most of the visitors choose the mid days of week due to more crowded as on weekends and traffic congestion  tends to peak. To avoid this situation arrive as early as possible, if you are planning a trip to Yosemite.

What To Do: While most people visit during the summer months, there are many more things to do and explore such as Hetch Hetchy, Tuolumne Grove, Merced Grove, Tuolumne Meadows, Wawona and many more. You can also enjoy waterfalls and trails. Campgrounds and campsites are most popular during summer and serves as reservation permit system on first-come, first-served basis.

Book a Tour Trip: Several companies offer guided tour trips from Oakhurst as it is starting point from where you can explore Yosemite more. They are:

o    Crossroads Tours/Tour de Yosemite – (559) 683-7113
o    Discover Yosemite, Inc. – (559) 642-4400
o    Photo Safari Yosemite/Mountain Shuttle (Private Charter Transport) – (559) 760-6124
o    Yosemite Private Tours – (559) 868-3486

Trails and Hikes: Try to plan your hiking trips early or late in the day, as there will be fewer people and more wildlife at those times. All trails and paths are open during busy summer season and the views of the water reflecting the surrounding area looks amazing. Rangers guide also available as a bureau staff which helps visitors about the latest condition, information and queries. Except this, all roads, including the Glacier Point Road and the Tioga Road, are open for the season. Taking a free shuttle bus is best option when visiting Yosemite.

Where To Stay: Yosemite provides great lodging and visitor services. Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst is a wonderful place to stay which provides rooms at very affordable rates.  For more details visit:

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May 16

Coarsegold Historic Museum is located in a historically rich area of eastern Madera County. It is the home of a collection of artifacts stemming back to the 1800s. The building is a packed adobe, which is made of mud and rock. Stop by the 110 year old the museum brimming with artifacts and history including an old school house with authentic furnishings. It includes three historic buildings that separate tribes and gives information about the Chukchansi, Mono and Miwok Indian cultural heritage, explorers search for gold.

Hours: 10 to 2 Thursday to Saturday, Sunday 12 to 4, Monday 9 to 12 noon
Fees: Free

The Coarsegold Historic Museum features three buildings as named packed adobe, which was a way-station for horse-drawn cargo carts over 100 years ago, a school for the Chukchansi Indian children and a barn made of wood that came down the flume in the early 1900s and it is the main museum of artifacts.  You can also learn about the history of local gold mining and logging.

Explore the history of Coarsegold Historic Museum, a great place to learn about Madera County history. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and Get rooms at very affordable rates. For more details visit:

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May 13

Tony Krizan engaged the large audience Saturday night with an amazing presentation of his Minaret Mountain Adventure. His presentation has been called  “A living art exhibit”. Tony shared with us nearly 50 miles of extreme hiking, climbing, and photography. With Tony’s beautiful photographs of the forgotten Yosemite trails, The audience is able to see the trail through Tony’s eyes, and experience his adventure as if we were there ourselves. Crab Cakes Restaurant of Oakhurst who is providing free gourmet pastries and finger cakes for the entire presentation series helped to make this event even more special.

You owe it to yourself to experience Tony Krizan and Yosemite’s Forgotten Trail Series, while enjoying gourmet treats from Crab Cakes Restaurant in the beautiful lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst.

Upcoming Event Dates:
Saturday, June 21 – Wawona Old Stagecoach Road
Saturday, July 19 – Lost in Kings Canyon, Curtis Wright P40 Aircraft
Saturday, August 16 – Minaret Mountain Adventure
Saturday, September 13 – Wawona Old Stagecoach Road

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May 09

North Fork and the nearby area is loaded with many rivers, small ponds and lakes, where you can enjoy fishing with beautiful views and surroundings. One of the beautiful lakes is Manzanita Lake, located just two miles north of North Fork on Willow Creek, and is a nice family picnic and fishing area.

Manzanita Lake is a small, quiet, man-made lake surrounded by gentle rolling hills covered with thick colorful undergrowth and lush trees border the water’s edge. Spread out in about 26 surface acres area with 2,900 feet in elevation. This small lake attracts visitors all the year round who want to watch birds, enjoy hiking among foothill oaks and pines with wonderful views, short trails, camping and fishing. It is most popular on summer weekends, as is fishing around the lake. Many campgrounds are also available here and are ideal for families, RVs and trailers. You can enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, and hiking.

Manzanita Lake is great for short hikes, bird watching and time to enjoy nature. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and Get rooms at very affordable rates. For more details visit:

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