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19 Best Things to do in Yosemite National Park


Looking for issues to do in Yosemite National Park? Keep studying! When taking certainly one of our many highway journeys by means of California, certainly 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 understood for its mountain peaks, waterfalls, and climbing trails.

There are so many issues to do in Yosemite, it requires just a few days to actually take it in.

We have rounded up a number of the greatest climbing trails and viewpoints to assist you plan your trip to this bucket listing vacation spot. So get away the tenting gear, top off on provides, and let’s go to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in 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 lease a automobile in both San Francisco or Los Angeles. We drove a method every time returning our automobile on the finish in the other metropolis. Get automobile rental costs at CarRentals.com

Best Way to See Yosemite

Best Way to see Yosemite National Park
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Yosemite is open 12 months spherical however some roads are closed due to snow. There are some areas of the park which can be closed due to rock falls. Visit the National Parks Service Government Website for highway closures and updates.

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

Parking heaps replenish shortly so you will have to make your means 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 sights.

You can park at Yosemite Village you may take the shuttle from the guests heart to see loads of the highest sights. The YARTS public transit system provides shuttles.

You may e book 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 effectively.

1. Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley National Park
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Yosemite Valley is the principle space of the nationwide park the place you’ll most probably spend most of your time. It incorporates the highest vacationer sights together with El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.

2. Half Dome

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

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

Glacier Point provides the very best view of the Half Dome however there are many probabilities to see it in addition to climb it your self.

3. Half Dome Hike

What to expect when hiking Half Dome in Yosemite
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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 make sure that to go away earlier than daybreak. Be ready for a difficult hike with the final 400 toes requires the usage of 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
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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 form of foresight.

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

things to do in yosemite ansel adams gallery
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One of our fundamental causes for visiting Yosemite National Park is due to seeing the images of Ansel Adams.

Having the prospect to see his iconic pictures in individual was on the high of our bucket listing. The Ansel Adams Gallery is situated in the guts of Yosemite between the Visitor Center and Post Office.

It’s in a major 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 employees contains climbers, photographers, and hikers.

You can e book digital camera walks, images lessons, and workshops on the gallery.

6. El Capitan

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

Climbers come from around the globe 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 document climbing to its peak in underneath 2 hours.

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

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

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

7. Tunnel View

things to do in yosemiet national park - Tunnel View
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Tunnel view is most actually 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 means to the Tunnel View parking heaps 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
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The Bridalveil Fall path is closed due to the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Project however ought to reopen in 2023. The venture contains an up to date viewing platform and trails and may scale back crowds at certainly one of Yosemite’s hottest sights.

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

9. Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls Trail
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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 acquire. 

10. Mist Trail

Fun things to do in yosemite national park- Mist Trail
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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 means to Nevada Falls for top-of-the-line views in Yosemite National Park. Going to Nevada Falls is price it.

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

11. Mirror Lake Trail

Mirror Lake Hike in Yosemite
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Another widespread hike in Yosemite NP is to Mirror Lake. It is a straightforward hike to mirror lake and it’s identified for its reflections of the Yosemite Valley.

Mirror Lake will even take you proper to the bottom of Half Dome for an in depth up view.

12. Tioga Road

Tioga Pass in Yosemite
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If you will have a automobile, make sure that to take a drive on Tioga Road (Highway 120).

It is simply 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 excellent view of Half Dome from Olmsted Point.

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

13. Tenaya Lake

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

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

14. Tuolumne Meadows

things to do in yosemite national park - Tuolumne Meadows in California
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This attention-grabbing cease is likely one of the highest-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

There are just a few 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 acquire.

15. Cycling Yosemite

cycling at yosemit
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If you’re into biking, Yosemite not solely permits cyclists on the roads however there are paved paths as effectively.

The Yosemite Valley Bike Share program was launched in 2018. This is a superb thought to assist ease visitors congestion. The bikes are arrange close to Valley campgrounds to enable folks to bike to close by sights moderately than drive.

16. Yosemite Museum

For somewhat break from the outside, make sure 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
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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 might be 30-minute delays.

Glacier level would usually be on the high of our listing of issues to see in Yosemite, however with the rehabilitation venture, it might want to wait yet one more 12 months. 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 contains views of Yosemite Valley, the and the Half Dome standing s tall over the opposite mountain peaks. Glacier level is a wonderful cease when it’s open. As of now, you can’t 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 acquire.
Sentinel Dome: 12 miles (19km) and over 4,000 toes (1200) of elevation acquire.
Taft Point: 14 miles (22km) and about 5,000 (1500 meters) toes of elevation acquire.

18. Sentinel Dome

Things to do in yosemite national park - Sentinel Dome hike
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The Sentinel Dome Hike is often fairly simple, however with the Glacier Point highway closure, you’ll have added further 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 comply with the Pohono Trail to Sentinel Dome for 1.5 miles (2.5 km). One means, so you’re looking at a couple of 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 likely one of the best domes to entry and therefore some of the widespread sundown trails in Yosemite.

At its 4,150 toes peak, you’re rewarded with a shocking 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 lovely in each route. Here you may see all of it and far more. The three brothers, half accomplished, and river canyon, it’s all there.

19. Hiking Trails

things to do in yosemite national park hiking trails
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You may spend a whole summer season exploring the climbing trails of Yosemite National Park.

In truth, climbing is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Yosemite, so ensure you get out on at the very least one path. While the Half Dome Hike is the bucket listing 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 also be a straightforward means 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
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Curry Village (previously referred to as half dome village)has a spread of canvas tents and wood cabins plus lodge rooms.

Accommodation vary from primary tents with shared bogs to non-public lodge rooms with bogs. Check out TripAdvisor for costs.

Yosemite Valley Lodge is a superb 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 may spend a whole summer season right here and by no means see all of it, but it surely’s enjoyable to attempt!

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things to do in Yosemite national park
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