Things to Do
1. Yosemite Valley
There is so much to do in Yosemite Valley, plan your activities to make the most of your trip. You can view Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Sentinel Dome by walking, biking, or taking the free shuttle around the Valley floor. To really get up close to these icons, go for a hike. The Mist Trail and Mirror Lake are good options.
2. Mariposa Grove
Be amongst giants! Located near the park’s south entrance, Mariposa Grove of Big Trees is Yosemite’s largest collection of sequoias. You can take a self-guided hike through Mariposa Grove or enjoy the narrated tram tour. The 209-foot Grizzly Giant is a simple 0.8-mile hike from the parking lot.
3. High Country
The High Country is home to Tuolumne Meadows, Olmsted Point, and much more. Accessed by Tioga Pass in the summer, this area is a definite “must see” while in Yosemite. Enjoy a picnic at Tenaya Lake (known as the Jewel of the High Country) or hike one of the many trails.
4. Glacier Point
This hour-long drive from Yosemite Valley is unquestionably a must see for visitors – the best panoramic view of all of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding high country. Want to get a hike in too? Take the hikers’ bus up to Glacier Point and then hike the Four Mile Trail back down to Yosemite Valley.
No visit to Yosemite is complete until you've hiked at least one trail. While there are many beautiful vistas that can be viewed from parking lots, to really experience Yosemite you must set out on foot. Explore our hiking recommendations and remember plenty of water, good footwear and sun protection are a must!
6. Tunnel View
This breath-taking, panoramic viewpoint in Yosemite is a classic for any visitor to the park. Tunnel View is located just outside the Wawona Tunnel on Hwy 41. It’s at this specific area that El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome couldn’t be more photogenic!
Wawona at the south entrance of Yosemite is all about history. Step back in time at the Victorian-era Wawona Hotel, take a stagecoach ride with the park’s only stagecoach ranger, or stop by the original Thomas Hill Studio Museum and Visitor Center. Wawona also offers great hiking too, such as the hike to Chilnualna Fall and Mariposa Grove.
8. Hetch Hetchy
While it’s not as popular to tourists and visitors because of the long drive, Hetch Hetchy offers spectacular scenery to all those who visit. John Muir described Hetch Hetchy as “the other Yosemite Valley”. Hetch Hetchy is a great starting point for many beautiful hiking trails!
From the elegant and upscale Ahwahnee Hotel to the laid back Pizza Deck at Curry, Yosemite offers all kinds of options to enjoy after a long day on the trail with just granola bars and jerky. Check out our dining section to see all the options the area offers.
10. Yosemite Village
Not sure where to start? Go to Yosemite Village and visit the Visitor's Center, Yosemite Museum, the replica Indian Village of the Ahwahnee, and watch the The Spirit of Yosemite at the Yosemite Theater. Rangers at the Visitor Center can help you plan your itinerary or help your kids earn their Junior Ranger badge.
Yosemite and its surrounding areas are so expansive, consider staying a few days to truly relax and enjoy its many attractions. Visit Yosemite in all its seasons – spring brings an explosion of color and rushing waterfalls, while summer is the perfect time for an exhilarating hike or leisurely rafting expedition. Autumn reveals itself in a blaze of spectacular yellow and rust colors as the leaves change, while winter offers an unmatched quiet, serenity, and beauty.
Throughout the park, you’ll find endless scenic beauty, with opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and so much more! Dining options include everything from fine-dining at The Ahwahnee Hotel to casual, family-friendly options at Curry Village. The surrounding areas also include a wide-range of options to enjoy after a long day in the park.
There are countless things to do while visiting Yosemite, to see even more view browse Outdoor Activities.