Yosemite / Central Valley
STOCKTON, FRESNO, LODI, MERCED, YOSEMITE, FISH CAMP
One of the crown jewels of America’s national park system, Yosemite National Park rises dramatically east of the flat, fertile Central Valley four hours from San Francisco. Yosemite, loved by families, hikers and climbers in spring and summer, is festooned with attractions: the long free-fall of Yosemite Falls, the looming granite stolidity of Half Dome, the rough rockface of El Capitan, the polished Western elegance of the 1924 Ahwahnee Hotel. Driving the Central Valley on Interstate 5, it would be easy to miss the valley’s importance. Four hundred miles long and flanked by mountain ranges, this irrigated, intensively cultivated basin has been called the greatest garden in the world.
Directions: East from The City over the Bay Bridge, south on Highway 880, east on 580 and 205 to Manteca, south on 99 to 120, east on 120 to the northwest gate of Yosemite National Park.