Yosemite is a mountain park: Set on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, it ranges from chaparral foothills to alpine crags. This setting translates to fantastic scenery, of course, but it also means that visitors to the park must be cognizant of effects from the elevation in Yosemite.
After all, if your body’s accustomed to the lowlands, a visit to the mountains can have pronounced physiological impacts. You’re not absorbing as much oxygen with each breath, so you inhale more frequently and your heart works a bit harder pumping blood to make up for the difference.
Prepping for The Elevation In Yosemite
Yosemite spans from 2,127 feet in the western foothills to 13,120 feet at the top of Mount Lyell in the Cathedral Range. While true altitude sickness is normally only the concern of mountaineers heading for high summits, you can experience mild symptoms from the elevation in Yosemite—headaches, shortness-of-breath, and the like—as low as 5,000 feet.
Staying a step ahead of altitude sickness means taking things slow. Acclimate yourself to Yosemite’s elevation by beginning your explorations in lower country: Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite valleys, for example. Don’t tackle a hike off the Glacier Point or Tioga roads on your first day: Work your way up to the high country.
Drinking lots of water is essential, as dehydration exacerbates altitude effects. If you’re getting thirsty, you’re already substantially dehydrated; make regular swigs from the water bottle part of your routine. Be sure you’ve got enough water on hand when setting off on day hikes.
A Safe Yosemite Experience
If you’re planning to spend a lot of time hiking in the Yosemite high country, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a doctor’s checkup ahead of time. At any elevation, rest if you feel woozy or fatigued, and seek help from a ranger if symptoms aren’t going away.
Yosemite, though, is altogether a very safe destination. Drink enough water and pace your adventures, and you’ll most likely have no trouble rambling our beautiful, world-class mountains!
Make Your Reservations Today
If you’re prepping for the elevation in Yosemite this year, consider making your reservations with Yosemite’s Scenic Wonders. We offer Yosemite reservations within the gates of the park and with easy access to Glacier Point. With one of our cozy cabins, condominiums, or homes, your Yosemite accommodations will be just minutes from Glacier Point Road.
Give us a call at 1-888-YOSEMITE (1-888-967-3648) to learn about our rentals and to make your Yosemite reservations today.
Yosemite National Park Blog
Scenic Wonders’ Yosemite blog provides the latest news related to Yosemite National Park. By reading our blog, you’ll stay up to date on activities, accommodations, and more.
Photo credit: kevincole