With so many activity options in Yosemite, ranging from family-friendly to skilled adventures, it can be difficult to plan a vacation in the park. Do you lazily float down a river or make the strenuous climb up a granite dome? Read on to find the Yosemite activities that best suit your style.
What is your vacation style?
- Family Time
- Adventure Chaser
- Winter Warrior
1. Family Time
Bike Yosemite Valley
Rent bikes at Curry Village, Yosemite Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge to explore the bike paths along the valley floor. Hop on the free park shuttle when the kids get tired.
Float Down the Merced River
Catch a striking view of Half Dome as you do a gentle float down the Merced River. Rent a four-person raft at Curry Village kiosk, but aim to get there early before the kiosk’s 100 rafts are rented out for the day. You can make in-person reservations 24 hours in advance. The three-mile float through the valley ends at Sentinel Beach where a shuttle will bring you back to the village.
Walk Around Mirror Lake
Hike 2 miles round-trip to Mirror Lake in Yosemite Valley, an easy hike with kids. Extend it to 5 miles by walking all the way around the lake.
Camp in a Tent Cabin
Sleep in one of Curry Village’s Tent Cabins, a perfect way to glamp with a family.
2. Adventure Chaser
Go On a Guided Backpacking Trip
Hike with an expert guide to Clouds Rest or the Cathedral Range with Yosemite Mountaineering School. These two-to-four-day trips will get you deep into Yosemite’s backcountry.
Learn How to Rock Climb
The Yosemite Mountaineering School offers excursions ranging from beginner to advanced. You can even book an El Capitan climb. Each group is limited to six students ages 10 and up and one instructor. The beginner rock climbing class, “Welcome to the Rock,” is based at a beginner’s climbing area where you’ll learn all about rock climbing gear and how to climb Yosemite’s famous granite.
Gaze at Historical Architecture
Dine at the famous Ahwahnee Hotel’s Dining Room. This stunning 1920s hotel was built by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood to help attract wealthy and influential individuals to visit and support Yosemite. Reservations are recommended.
Take a Bus or Tram Tour
Take a guided tour on a bus or tram to see all the park’s best views with a knowledgeable guide. Summer and winter tours are available.
Bring Your Camera on a Photography Walk
Join a photography workshop hosted by Ansel Adams Gallery where you’ll walk in the famous photographer’s footsteps and learn to take incredible photos.
4. Winter Warrior
Go Cross-Country Skiing
Ice Skate Under Half Dome
Ice skate at the outdoor rink at Curry Village under snow-dusted Half Dome before warming up next to a fire pit.
Ski or Snowboard at Badger Pass
Set the little ones up with ski or snowboard lessons at Badger Pass Ski Area, one of the only ski areas in a national park, while the adults enjoy runs ranging from beginner to advanced.
Learn more at travelyosemite.com