19 Best Things to do in Yosemite National Park

19 Best Things to do in Yosemite National Park


Looking for issues to do in Yosemite National Park? Keep studying! When taking considered one of our many highway journeys by means of California, considered one of our favourite stops was Yosemite National Park. We had heard a lot about it for years and couldn’t wait to see the Half Dome and El Capitan with our personal eyes.

Located in the Central Sierra Nevada of California Yosemite is thought for its mountain peaks, waterfalls, and mountaineering trails. There are so many issues to do in Yosemite National Park, it requires a number of days to actually take it in.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Closures: Yosemite is open year-round however some roads are closed in winter due to snow. There are some areas of the park which can be closed due to rock falls. Also, Glacier Point Road was closed in 2022 to enhance the highway. It ought to reopen in 2023 however there will likely be 30-minute delays.t Visit the National Parks Service Government Website for highway closures and updates.

We have rounded up a number of the greatest mountaineering trails and viewpoints to enable you to plan your trip to this bucket record vacation spot. So escape the tenting gear, refill on provides, and let’s go to Yosemite National Park.

Best Way to See Yosemite

Best Way to see Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a 4 1/2-hour drive from Los Angeles and a 3-hour drive from San Francisco. You can hire a automobile in both San Francisco or Los Angeles. We drove a method every time returning our automobile on the finish in the alternative metropolis. Get automobile rental costs at CarRentals.com

We toured Yosemite National Park on a self-drive journey, however be warned, you want to get out early to see the sights.

Parking tons replenish shortly so you want to make your method to the paths or lookouts early in the morning.

Yosemite National Park is large at 1200 sq. miles (3,027 km²). However, many of the high issues to do in Yosemite are located round Yosemite Valley. Yosemite has a very good shuttle service to take you to the highest points of interest.

You can park at Yosemite Village you may take the shuttle from the guests heart to see a variety of the highest points of interest. The YARTS public transit system affords shuttles.

You may also guide this highly-rated tour of Yosemite. It features a cease at Tunnel View to see Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and El Capitan, plus Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls.

Enjoy a boxed lunch included at Cathedral Beach earlier than setting off on a hike at Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. And there are ride-share bikes arrange across the park as properly.

1. Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley National Park

Yosemite Valley is the primary space of the nationwide park the place you’ll most certainly spend most of your time. It comprises the highest vacationer points of interest together with El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.

2. Half Dome

Half dome in Yosemite

One of essentially the most well-known points of interest in Yosemite National Park has to be the Half Dome.

Avid rock climbers put this on the high of their record as one of many nice climbs on earth and park guests can watch them sort out their routes from the security of its lookouts.

Glacier Point affords one of the best view of the Half Dome however there are many possibilities to see it in addition to climb it your self.

3. Half Dome Hike


The Half Dome Hike is a 14-mile spherical journey hike that takes you 5000 toes above the Yosemite Valley flooring.

It takes 10 – 12 hours so be sure to go away earlier than daybreak. Be ready for a difficult hike with the final 400 toes requires using the half dome cables to enable hikers to summit with out climbing tools. Read our full information to climbing Half Dome

4. Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove in California

One of our favourite stops in Yosemite was Mariposa Grove. We took a guided tour to see the forest of 500 Giant Sequoias.

Mariposa Grove is the birthplace of the National Parks system. In 1864 President Lincoln put aside this pure space to be preserved for future generations. Now that’s some type of foresight.

There is parking out there on the Mariposa Grove welcome plaza after which it requires a two-mile hike (every method) on the Washburn Trail or the Mariposa Grove Road. 

things to do in yosemite ansel adams gallery

One of our primary causes for visiting Yosemite National Park is due to seeing the images of Ansel Adams.

Having the possibility to see his iconic photos in particular person was on the high of our bucket record. The Ansel Adams Gallery is situated in the guts of Yosemite between the Visitor Center and Post Office.

It’s in a main location with views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. It showcases the images of Ansel Adams and the individuals who work in the gallery who love Yosemite. Their workers consists of climbers, photographers, and hikers.

You can guide digital camera walks, images courses, and workshops on the gallery.

6. El Capitan

El Capitan in Yosemite

Dominating the view of the west finish of Yosemite Valley is the mammoth El Capitan.

Climbers come from all over the world go to yosemite to climb the Nose of El Capitan. It’s an enormous enterprise climbing 3000 toes up its sheer wall, however superstars Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell set a report climbing to its peak in beneath 2 hours.

Another loopy truth is that Alex Honnold was the primary particular person to climb El Capitan with out rope inspiring the documentary Free Solo.

Tunnel View affords nice views of El Capitan however our favourite spot was at El Cap Meadow situated instantly in entrance of El Capitan.

You can take mountaineering programs in Yosemite – Yosemite mountaineering college affords guided hikes and climbing as the one approved climbing college in Yosemite. Visit their web site for particulars.

7. Tunnel View

things to do in yosemiet national park - Tunnel View

Tunnel view is most definitely essentially the most recognizable scene of Yosemite National Park.

It is the highest spot for photographers and a must-stop for anybody visiting Yosemite. Make your method to the Tunnel View parking tons situated on the Wawona Tunnel on State Highway 41 for this iconic valley view options El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall. Go right here for dawn to beat the crowds.

8. Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park

The Bridalveil Fall path is closed due to the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Project however ought to reopen in 2023. The challenge consists of an up to date viewing platform and trails and may cut back crowds at considered one of Yosemite’s hottest points of interest.

Bridalveil Fall is the primary waterfall you’ll see when getting into Yosemite Valley. Bridalveil Fall plunges 620 toes (189 meters) into the valley and the hike to the waterfall is a simple 0.5 mi (0.8 km) spherical journey with solely an 80 ft (24 m) elevation achieve. It is a few 20 minute simple stroll from the Bridalveil Fall Parking lot.

9. Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls Trail

Another must-see waterfall in Yosemite is Yosemite Falls. There are nice views of Yosemite Falls from Yosemite Village.

But being one of many highest waterfalls in the world, (the world’s fifth tallest to be precise) you may see them from a number of locations all through Yosemite Valley.

The waterfall is definitely made up of three totally different waterfalls creating a complete cascade of 2425 toes.

Upper Yosemite Falls (1,430 toes), the center cascades (675 toes), and Lower Yosemite Falls (320 toes). Hiking to the highest of Yosemite Falls is 7.2 miles spherical journey, however be ready, there’s a 2,700-foot elevation achieve. 

10. Mist Trail

Fun things to do in yosemite national park- Mist Trail

The mist path is taken into account the Yosemite nationwide park signature hike.

There are two waterfalls to hike to alongside the Mist Trail, Vernal Falls is a 3-mile (4.8 km) spherical journey and Nevada Falls is a 7 miles (11 km) spherical journey.

The first a part of the Mist Trail takes you to the Vernal Fall Footbridge to see the falls after which you may proceed on to the highest of Vernal Falls to a lookout above the waterfall.

The Mist path then continues on to the John Muir Trail as you make your method to Nevada Falls for among the finest views in Yosemite National Park. Going to Nevada Falls is value it.

Make positive to arrive early to beat the crowds and discover a spot in the parking zone. See our full information to mountaineering the John Muir Trail.

11. Mirror Lake Trail

Mirror Lake Hike in Yosemite

Another in style hike in Yosemite NP is to Mirror Lake. It is a simple hike to mirror lake and it’s recognized for its reflections of the Yosemite Valley.

Mirror Lake will even take you proper to the bottom of Half Dome for a detailed up view.

12. Tioga Road

Tioga Pass in Yosemite

If you’ve got a automobile, be sure to take a drive on Tioga Road (Highway 120).

It is barely open from late May to November because it sits in Sierra Nevada’s excessive nation. Up right here you’ll see meadows, lakes, and an ideal view of Half Dome from Olmsted Point.

There is a brief mountaineering path at Olmsted Point providing views of Tenaya Peak, Tenaya Lake, and Mount Conness.

13. Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake in California

While driving on Tioga Road, a simple lake to entry from the highway is Tenaya Lake.

Tenaya Lake is the most important lake in Yosemite and makes for an ideal place to go kayaking or canoeing. You may also make a base right here for a picnic.

14. Tuolumne Meadows

things to do in yosemite national park - Tuolumne Meadows in California

This attention-grabbing cease is without doubt one of the highest-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

There are a number of totally different simple hikes equivalent to Lyell Canyon from the John Muir Trail, Soda Springs, Parsons Lodge, Gaylor Lake, and Elizabeth Lake.

You can get to the Tuolumne Meadows by taking Tioga Road (which opens from late May to November) and there are shuttles.

A well-liked day hike is Cathedral Lakes which takes 4 to 6 hours to full the 7-mile spherical journey. (11.3 km) 1,000-foot elevation achieve.

15. Cycling Yosemite

cycling at yosemit

If you might be into biking, Yosemite not solely permits cyclists on the roads however there are paved paths as properly.

The Yosemite Valley Bike Share program was launched in 2018. This is a good thought to assist ease visitors congestion. The bikes are arrange close to Valley campgrounds to enable folks to bike to close by points of interest reasonably than drive.

16. Yosemite Museum

For a bit of break from the outside, be certain to cease into the Yosemite Museum to study of the indigenous individuals who first settled in Yosemite Valley and of the nationwide parks’ historical past.

17. Glacier Point

Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park - visit glacier point

Note: Glacier Point Road was closed in 2022 to enhance the highway. Access to Glacier Point is now accessible from Four Mile, Panorama, and Pohono Trails. It ought to reopen in 2023 however there will likely be 30-minute delays.

Glacier level would usually be on the high of our record of issues to see in Yosemite, however with the rehabilitation challenge, it might want to wait yet one more yr. However issues might change for 2022.

The greatest place to see a very good overview of the Yosemite National Park is from right here. It consists of views of Yosemite Valley, the and the Half Dome standing s tall over the opposite mountain peaks. Glacier level is a superb cease when it’s open. As of now, you can not drive up to it, however if you’re decided to see it there are a few strenuous hikes you may take.

Glacier Point: 9 miles (14 km) round-trip with 3,200 toes (975 meters) of elevation achieve. Sentinel Dome: 12 miles (19km) and over 4,000 toes (1200) of elevation achieve. Taft Point: 14 miles (22km) and about 5,000 (1500 meters) toes of elevation achieve.

18. Sentinel Dome

Things to do in yosemite national park - Sentinel Dome hike

The Sentinel Dome Hike is normally fairly simple, however with the Glacier Point highway closure, you should have added additional time as a result of the common path head is inaccessible. In 2022, the hike begins with a 4.7-mile (7.5 km) hike to Glacier Point after which observe the Pohono Trail to Sentinel Dome for 1.5 miles (2.5 km). One method, so you’re looking at a few 12 mile (20km hike return so enable time)

The hike is about 2.2 miles roundtrip and may take about 1- 2 hours. It is without doubt one of the best domes to entry and therefore one of the vital in style sundown trails in Yosemite.

At its 4,150 toes peak, you’re rewarded with a surprising 360-degree view of the valley with out the adrenaline rush of getting to climb up El Capitan. The summit is vast and flat making it simple to benefit from the view.

The view is extremely stunning in each route. Here you may see all of it and rather more. The three brothers, half carried out, and river canyon, it’s all there.

19. Hiking Trails

things to do in yosemite national park hiking trails

You might spend a whole summer time exploring the mountaineering trails of Yosemite National Park.

In truth, mountaineering is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Yosemite, so ensure you get out on not less than one path. While the Half Dome Hike is the bucket record hike of Yosemite, there are a number of different hikes to discover.

Lower Yosemite Falls – You can take a 1-mile loop path to see the decrease Yosemite Falls. You can hike right here from Yosemite Village. The Sentinal Dome Trail – This 2-mile hike takes you above the Yosemite Valle and the Merced River Canyon. It can be a simple method to see views of the Sierra Nevada Peaks, the Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. But it’s Jeffrey Pine made well-known by Ansel Adams that’s the actual attraction.

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

where to stay in yosemite national park

Curry Village (previously often known as half dome village)has a spread of canvas tents and wood cabins plus resort rooms.

Accommodation vary from fundamental tents with shared loos to non-public resort rooms with loos. Check out TripAdvisor for costs.

Yosemite Valley Lodge is a good location to make a base in Yosemite. There’s free parking, free Internet and a pool.

And these are a number of the greatest issues to do in Yosemite National Park. You might spend a whole summer time right here and by no means see all of it, nevertheless it’s enjoyable to attempt!

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things to do in Yosemite national park

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