12 Best Things To Do in Yosemite

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Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful and iconic natural destinations in the world, with stunning scenery, amazing hikes, and plenty of outdoor activities. Here we have shared the 12 best things to do in Yosemite national park.

Yosemite National Park is located in the western part of the United States in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Here are things that you should not miss when you visit National Park in the United States.

12 Things To Do in Yosemite National Park

  1. Hiking
  2. Rock climbing
  3. Waterfalls
  4. Photography
  5. Camping
  6. Biking
  7. Winter sports
  8. Ranger-led programs
  9. Wildlife watching
  10. Stargazing
  11. Aerial View of the National Park by Helicopter
  12. Tram Ride in the National Park

1. Hiking in Yosemite

Wood of Giant Sequoias
Hiking between Giant Sequoias Tree

Yosemite is a hiker’s paradise, with over 800 miles of trails that range from easy walks to challenging climbs. National Park is a beautiful destination for hiking enthusiasts, with over 800 miles of trails that offer stunning views of waterfalls, granite cliffs, and pristine wilderness.

Some popular trails include the Mist Trail, Half Dome Trail, and the John Muir Trail.

Here are some tips for hiking in the national park:

  • Plan ahead
  • Choose your trail wisely
  • Pack appropriately
  • Respect wildlife and nature
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles

Hiking for Kids in National Park

Yosemite offers a variety of easy and moderate hiking trails suitable for children, such as Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, Mirror Lake Trail, and the Valley Loop Trail.

Hiking in National Park is an unforgettable experience that requires preparation, respect for nature, and a sense of adventure. Enjoy the stunning scenery and make sure to leave the park better than you found it.

2. Rock Climbing

half dome
Half Dome Mountain

Yosemite is also a world-renowned destination for rock climbing, with thousands of routes available for climbers of all skill levels.

This National Park is one of the premier rock climbing destinations in the world, with over 3,000 routes and some of the most iconic climbing routes in history.

Yosemite National Park is famous for its granite cliffs and world-class climbing routes. Here are some of the most popular rock climbing points in the mountains.

  • El Capitan
  • Half Dome
  • Cathedral Rocks
  • Royal Arches
  • The Sentinel

3. Waterfalls

Vernal Fall
Vernal Fall

Yosemite has some of the most impressive waterfalls in the world, including Yosemite’s Waterfall, Bridalveil Falls, and Vernal Fall. Take a hike to one of these waterfalls to experience their beauty up close.

Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, including some of the tallest waterfalls in North America.

Here are some of the most popular waterfalls in the national park:

  • Yosemite Falls
  • Bridalveil Fall
  • Vernal Fall
  • Nevada Fall
  • Ribbon Fall

National Park offers a variety of breathtaking waterfalls that are a must-see for any visitor to the park. Whether you’re hiking to a waterfall or simply enjoying the view from a scenic overlook, Yosemite’s waterfalls are sure to leave a lasting impression.

4. Photography

Tenaya Lake
Tenaya Lake

Yosemite National Park is a photographer’s paradise, with stunning natural landscapes and diverse wildlife. Bring your camera and capture the beauty of the park.

Here are some tips for photography in National Park:

  • Plan your trip
  • Choose the right time of day
  • Use a tripod.
  • Experiment with different lenses
  • Be prepared for the weather
  • Respect wildlife and the environment

National Park offers endless opportunities for stunning photography. With careful planning, patience, and respect for the environment, you can capture incredible images that will last a lifetime.

5. Camping in Yosemite

Yosemite Lake Valley
Yosemite Lake Valley

Yosemite has 13 campgrounds with over 1,400 campsites. Spend a few nights in the great outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

National Park is a popular destination for camping, offering a variety of campgrounds for visitors.

Here are some tips for camping:

  • Make Reservations in advance
  • Choose Campground options
  • Bear safety
  • Follow Campground regulations
  • Leave no trace
  • Prepare for the weather

Overall, camping is a great way to experience the park’s natural beauty and explore its many hiking trails and attractions. With careful planning and preparation, you can enjoy a safe and memorable camping trip in Yosemite National Park.

6. Biking

Biking at Glacier Point
Biking at Glacier Point

Yosemite has over 12 miles of paved bike paths and several miles of unpaved roads. Rent a bike and explore the park on two wheels.

Biking is a great way to explore National Park and its many scenic trails and roads.

Here are some tips for biking:

  • Know the rules
  • Rent a bike
  • Bring appropriate gear
  • Plan your route
  • Be prepared for traffic
  • Respect the environment

Overall, biking in National Park can be a fun and rewarding way to explore the park’s natural beauty. With careful planning and respect for the environment, you can enjoy a safe and memorable biking experience in Yosemite National Park.

7. Winter Sports

Yosemite is a popular destination for winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating.

Here are some tips for winter sports:

  • Check weather conditions
  • Rent equipment
  • Dress appropriately
  • Take a lesson
  • Be prepared
  • Respect the environment

Overall, winter sports in National Park can be a fun and exhilarating way to experience the park’s natural beauty. With careful planning and preparation, you can enjoy a safe and memorable winter sports experience in Yosemite National Park.

8. Ranger-led programs

ranger program in yosemite

Join a ranger-led program to learn more about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.

Yosemite National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs and activities for visitors to learn more about the park’s natural and cultural history.

Here are some examples of ranger-led programs:

  • Campfire Programs
  • Guided Hikes
  • Stargazing Programs
  • Art Programs
  • Junior Ranger Programs
  • Historic Tours

Junior Ranger program for Kids in National Park

Kids can also participate in the Junior Ranger Program, where they can learn about the park’s history, wildlife, and conservation efforts while earning a Junior Ranger badge.

Also Read: 9 Facts About Giant Sequoias

Overall, ranger-led programs are a great way to learn more about the National Park’s natural and cultural history and get the most out of your visit to the park.

Check the park’s website for a schedule of programs and events, and make sure to arrive early to secure a spot.

9. Wildlife: Bird Watching

bird watching in yosemite

Yosemite is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, deer, coyotes, and mountain lions. Take a hike or drive through the park to see these animals in their natural habitat.

This National Park offers a variety of watching activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are interested in birdwatching, stargazing, or simply taking in the natural beauty of the park, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and many bird species.

Yosemite is home to over 200 bird species, making it a great place for birdwatching. Some of the most popular species include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and great gray owls.

10. Stargazing

stargazing in yosemite national park

Yosemite has some of the darkest skies in the country, making it a great place to stargaze. Join a stargazing program or simply look up at the sky and marvel at the stars.

Stargazing in Yosemite National Park is a popular activity among visitors. The park is known for its dark skies and stunning views of the stars, making it an ideal destination for astronomy enthusiasts.

Here are some tips for stargazing:

  • Check the weather
  • Find a dark spot
  • Bring the right gear
  • Join a ranger-led program
  • Respect the environment
  • Be patient

Remember that stargazing is subject to seasonal closures due to weather conditions, so be sure to check with the park before planning your trip.

11. Ariel View of National Park

helicopter ride in yosemite

A helicopter tour is a thrilling way to experience the stunning beauty of Yosemite National Park from a unique perspective. Here are some things to know about taking an aerial tour of the park:

Helicopter tours of Yosemite typically depart from airports and helipads outside the park and fly over the park’s most iconic landmarks, including Half Dome, El Capitan, and Water Falls.

The tours are usually narrated by an experienced pilot who will point out the different features of the park and provide information about its history, geology, and ecology.

  • Most helicopter tours last between 30 minutes to an hour and may include additional stops, such as a landing on a remote mountaintop or glacier.
  • Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes, as well as to bring a camera to capture the incredible views from the air.
  • It’s important to note that helicopter tours of the national parks are subject to weather conditions and may be canceled or rescheduled due to inclement weather or other safety concerns.

While a helicopter tour of the National Park can be an incredible experience, it’s important to remember that the park’s natural resources and wildlife should always be treated with respect and care. Visitors should follow park guidelines and regulations, and be mindful of their impact on the environment during their visit.

12. Tram Ride in Yosemite Park

Yosemite National Park offers several tram rides that provide visitors with a unique way to explore the park’s natural beauty and learn about its history and ecology. Here are some things to know about taking a tram ride in the park:

The Yosemite Valley Tram Tour is a popular option that departs from several locations within the park and offers a narrated tour of the valley’s most iconic landmarks, including Half Dome, El Capitan, and Falls.

The tour typically lasts between 1-2 hours and is led by a knowledgeable guide who will provide information about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.

Tram tours are suitable for all ages and physical abilities, and offer a comfortable and convenient way to see the park’s sights without the need for hiking or strenuous physical activity.

It’s important to note that tram tours may have limited availability, especially during peak season, and advance reservations are recommended.

Things To Do in Yosemite with Kids

Yosemite National Park is a beautiful and exciting destination for families with children. Here are some fun and family-friendly activities to do in the National Park.

  • Easy Hiking Trails
  • Junior Ranger Program
  • Visitor Center
  • Ranger Programs
  • Horseback Riding
  • Water Activities
  • Bicycle Rental and
  • Picnicking
  • Rock climbing with Mountaineering School

Easy things to do in Yosemites National Park

  • Scenic Drives
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Museums
  • Visitor Centers
  • Nature Walk

National Parks Official Website

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Yosemite national park?

Yosemite National Park is located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, United States. It covers an area of over 748,000 acres and is situated in parts of Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera counties in California. The park is approximately 200 miles east of San Francisco and about 300 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Where to stay in Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park offers a variety of lodging options to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some options:

  • Yosemite Valley Lodge
  • Ahwahnee Hotel
  • Curry Village
  • Wawona Hotel
  • Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

What to do in Yosemite?

As we have shared in this article there are many things to do in the national park i.e. Hiking, Rock Climbing, Biking, Wildlife viewing, and adventure activities.

Snow in the Valley also provides unique opportunities for winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating in the park

What does Yosemite Mean?

The name Yosemite comes from the Miwok word “Uzumati”, which means “those who kill”. The name was given to the tribe that lived in the area, and it was later applied to the valley and the surrounding region.

How Big is Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite National Park covers an area of 748,436 acres (3,028.81 kmĀ²) in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The park is about 1,200 square miles (3,100 square kilometers) in size, and it includes diverse landscapes such as granite cliffs, waterfalls, meadows, and forests.

Where to eat in Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park offers a variety of dining options, ranging from quick grab-and-go snacks to fine-dining restaurants. Here are some popular options:

  • The Ahwahnee Dining Room
  • Curry Village Dining
  • Degnan’s Kitchen & Pizzeria
  • Yosemite Valley Lodge Food Court
  • The Mountain Room Restaurant
  • Tuolumne Meadows Grill

When does it Snow in Yosemite?

Snow is possible in Yosemite National Park from October through June, with the heaviest snowfall typically occurring in the winter months of December through February. The amount of snowfall can vary widely from year to year, depending on weather patterns and other factors.

What time does Yosemite open?

Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but some roads and facilities may have seasonal closures or reduced hours.

  • The park’s main visitor center, the Y. Valley Visitor Center, is open every day of the year from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except for December 25th (Christmas Day).
  • The park’s entrance stations are staffed 24 hours a day, but visitors can enter the park at any time through automated fee stations.
  • Some areas of the park, including Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point, have seasonal closures due to snow and are typically open from late May or early June through September or October, depending on weather conditions.

It’s always a good idea to check the park’s official website or call ahead for the latest information on park hours and closures.

How to get to Yosemite?

Yosemite is located in central California and can be accessed by car, bus, or plane.

By Car

From San Francisco: Take Highway 580 east to Highway 205, which merges onto Highway 120. Follow Highway 120 through Manteca to the Big Oak Flat entrance.

From Los Angeles: Take Highway 5 north to Highway 99 north to Highway 140 east, which takes you directly to the park’s Arch Rock entrance.

From Las Vegas: Take Highway 15 north to Highway 395 north to Highway 120 west. Follow Highway 120 to the Big Oak Flat entrance.

By Bus

Several companies offer bus service to the National Park from major cities in California and surrounding states, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) offers bus service to the park from several nearby communities, including Merced, Mariposa, and Fresno.

By Plane (Flight)

The closest major airports to the National Park are San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT). From either airport, visitors can rent a car or take a shuttle or bus service to the park.

It’s important to note that some park roads may be closed seasonally due to weather conditions, so visitors should check road conditions and plan accordingly. Additionally, visitors should be prepared for narrow, winding mountain roads and potentially hazardous driving conditions in the park.

What to See in Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park is a beautiful and vast wilderness area located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Here are some of the top sights to see in Yosemite: Half Dome, Water Falls, El Capitan, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Meadows, and Hetch Hetchy Valley.

How far is Yosemite from San Francisco?

Yosemite National Park is approximately 170 miles (273 kilometers) east of San Francisco, California. The driving time from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley is approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

How far from Los Angeles to Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park is approximately 300 miles (483 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, California. The driving time from Los Angeles to Yosemite Valley is approximately 5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

How far is Yosemite from Lake Tahoe?

Yosemite National Park is approximately 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of Lake Tahoe. The driving time from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Valley is approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

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