Published on December 17, 2023

It’s the time of year to say goodbye to the past and welcome new beginnings. What could be a more refreshing way to begin a fresh year than by immersing yourself in the great outdoors and embracing new ideas? Give the new year a vibrant start and join us for a Yosemite New Year’s Eve celebration in Mariposa County.

With its expansive landscapes, giant sequoias, and a wealth of affordable outdoor activities, you can plan an unforgettable New Year’s Eve holiday. Picture bright Milky Way stars descending like celestial balloons in the dark skies – the perfect way to ring in the new year!

Is Yosemite the Right Choice for New Year’s Eve?

Snow-covered Yosemite Chapel
Start the new year off in a magical destination – Yosemite Mariposa County.

It’s time to celebrate, and if you haven’t found the right location to do so, Yosemite might be the perfect choice. Unlike the typical city-based celebrations with fireworks, Yosemite offers awe-inspiring natural beauty and a serene atmosphere. Whether you want to meet luxury travelers from around the world or spend quality time with your friends and family away from the crowds, Yosemite has something special in store for you.

Things to Do on New Year’s Eve

Begin the New Year with Gratitude and Awe

beautiful winter scenery in yosemite valley
Begin the new year with gratitude for nature’s incredible beauty.

Take a walk or hike and put the world on pause. Lean into the quiet serenity during the wintertime. 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 the freedom to explore.

For an insider’s perspective, photography classes and expert-guided photography experiences are available through The Ansel Adams Gallery. Or check out our winter photography tips.

Enjoy Winter Activities!

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.

Consider arriving a few days in advance to explore the park at your own pace, without feeling rushed. Winter activities can enhance your experience and create lasting memories. Some activities we recommend exploring include:

  • Ice Skating: Enjoy ice skating in Curry Village, a fun option for those who prefer an afternoon of leisure.
  • Snow Tubing: Head to Badger Pass for snow tubing, part of a list of activities available in the region.
  • Skiing/Snowboarding: Whether you opt for downhill skiing or snowboarding at Badger Pass or cross-country skiing from the Badger Pass Nordic Center, Yosemite has plenty to offer.
  • Snowshoeing: Experience solitude and breathtaking views by embarking on a snowshoeing adventure.

Champagne Toast Under the Stars

landscape image of yosemite valley covered in snow
Celebrate the new year beneath a brilliant moon and a sky full of stars.

Whether you opt for 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 special get-together under the starry night sky. Celebrate with your loved ones, and share champagne, New Year’s resolutions, hugs, or even a midnight kiss when the click strikes midnight. It’s a simple yet meaningful way to mark the occasion and reflect on the possibilities that lie ahead in the coming year.

Note: the 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 for any evening explorations.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Yosemite Mariposa County

If you’re looking for a more traditional New Year’s Eve celebration, you can ring in the new year at Yosemite Valley Lodge and Tenaya at Yosemite.

At Yosemite Valley Lodge you’ll find the Mountain Room filled with specials and live music in the heart of Yosemite Valley.

Meanwhile, dance on over to Tenaya at Yosemite to toast the beginning of the new year with a complimentary champagne (or apple cider) toast, balloon drop, and a live DJ, for family-friendly festivities.

Or check out the parties happening at The Grove House or the Hideout Saloon in the town of Mariposa. Dress to impress at The Grove House and get ready to dance to live music by Bootjack Yacht Club (7-10pm) and then close out the night with vinyl sessions by High Me. Or enjoy a costume party with Crazy Nate at The Hideout Saloon.

Where to Stay in Yosemite During New Year’s Eve

A magical winter evening at Tenaya at Yosemite
Kick off the new year with a New Year’s Eve Celebration at Tenaya at Yosemite that welcomes all ages.

Yosemite is less crowded in the winter, making it an ideal destination for a tranquil New Year’s Eve getaway.

Choosing lodging options with special events like Yosemite Valley Lodge or Tenaya at Yosemite means that your room is only a short stroll away at the end of an evening of revelry.

Also, be sure to chek for exceptional lodging deals during this time of year. You’ll find plenty of comfortable hotels and motels, or bed and breakfast accommodations in Yosemite Mariposa County to welcome in the new year.

Cabin Rentals for New Year’s Eve in Yosemite

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

When the sun sets, a private cabin rental 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.

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

a group of people celebrating new year’s eve in Yosemite with sparklers
Happy New Year – from all of us to all of you!

To explore lodging options, things to do and places to eat, visit, 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.

Categories: Holiday