6 Things to Do Outside on New Year’s Eve in Yosemite Mariposa County

sunrise at valley view

It’s nearly time to bid farewell to a year gone by, and set our feet on the path of new beginnings for the new year. What better way to approach a fresh new year than with some fresh outdoor air and fresh ideas? Give the new year a kick start and celebrate New Year’s Eve in High Sierra Style with us in Yosemite Mariposa County.

The area’s wide-open spaces, iconic Yosemite backdrop, and plenty of affordable outdoor activities make it possible to plan a remarkable and memorable New Year's Eve holiday with bright Milky Way stars as your dark skies celestial balloon drop!

Kick Start the New Year with a Healthy Outdoor Activity!

couple snowshoed to dewey point in winter
Cross country ski or snowshoe to Dewey Point to celebrate a grand new year with a grand view.

Prioritize healthy activity with one of the many options to explore the Yosemite area in winter. In Mariposa county, you can enjoy the mild weather with some mountain biking or hiking at lower elevations, and choose anything from sledding to snowshoeing or cross-country skiing options up high.

Take Time to Appreciate Nature’s Beauty

Begin the new year with gratitude for nature's incredible beauty.

Put the world on pause, and lean into the quiet serenity of the natural world. The crisp pine-scented air refreshes the senses and gives us the space to remember what is truly important. A camera or sketchbook can serve as a reminder to slow down and marvel at the natural world around us.

You don’t need us to tell you that Yosemite’s world-famous landscapes are legendary, but you can also find dreamy features outside the park on the National Forest lands and along the water’s edge of places like Lake McClure or Lake McSwain. These off the beaten path destinations are likely to be quieter and more open giving you plenty of space to move around with freedom and confidence.

(For an insider’s perspective, photography classes and expert-guided photography experiences are available through The Ansel Adams Gallery.)

Give Yourself Space to Spread Out in a Private Cabin Rental

Toast the new year in front of a roaring fire with the people who matter most.

When the sun sets, a private cabin rental or a local hotel with an elevator ride home after an evening of revelry could be the perfect place to relax and regroup. Put your feet up in front of the fireplace, and pour yourself a glass of wine. Most cabins have plenty of space for dining so that you can cook your own hearty meals, or pick up dinner to go at a local restaurant and enjoy it in private.

Be sure to check for exceptional lodging deals during this time of year.

Make Merry in the Moonlight

Celebrate the new year beneath a brilliant moon and a sky full of stars.

Rather than the artificial lights and glitziness of a traditional New Year’s Eve party, opt for an all-natural light show. The brilliance of the moon reflecting on snow-covered meadows and white granite cliffs plays out on a grand scale that you simply can't find anywhere else.

Bundle up and set out for a nighttime adventure illuminated by the light of the full moon. Look for reflections in a slow-moving river or across the wide-open expanse of a lake.

Note: the full moon is bright, but you’ll be glad for a flashlight or headlamp if a cloud crosses over the moon or you step into the shade of a tree, so make sure you have a few along.

Celebrate with a Private Champagne Toast Under the Stars

Happy New Year - from all of us to all of you!

Whether you choose a moonlit hike or simply step out onto the back deck of your rental cabin, take a moment to welcome in the new year with a private champagne toast below a field of stars.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Elliot.

Here’s to a peaceful and prosperous New Year, everyone.

To explore lodging options, things to do and places to eat, visit Yosemite.com, the #1 trip planning site for vacations to Yosemite National Park and historic Mariposa County. To stay up to date, follow @YosemiteNation on social media and subscribe to our newsletter, “The Wanderer”. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for great videos on the people and places of Yosemite Mariposa County.

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