Outdoor Activities in Yosemite National Park



Popular Places

  • South Entrance (Wawona)
  • Yosemite Village
  • Neighborhoods

  • Highway 41 corridor
  • Being here essentially defines 'best outdoor activity' in Yosemite. Ranger walks will introduce you to the park's stories, 800 miles of trail can occupy a lifetime of visits, and winter has its fun snow sports. Rockclimbing, bicycling, backpacking, fishing, horseback riding, rafting, painting, photography - it's all here but surfing, though kayakers do spend hours 'surfing' the holes downstream of the park along the Merced River.

    Those fit and experienced will find no shortage of things to do outdoors on any day of the year. Climbers come from around the world to tackle the Valley's legendary big walls, while beginners can take a great introductory lesson from the reputable Yosemite Mountaineering School. It's not a big ski area, but Badger Pass was the first ski area in the West and generations of Californians have learned how to ski here. Don't forget that there's free cross-country skiing from Badger, too.,br/>
    Backpackers love Yosemite's (mostly) dry summers, extensive trail choices and grand landscapes for foot travel. Day hikers have numerous options at a range of elevations: waterfalls in Yosemite Valley, vast forests from Wawona, or glaciated peaks out of Tuolumne Meadows. Mountain bikers aren't allowed to ride the trails in Yosemite, but the nearby Mammoth Mountain area has a bike park that's hosted numerous national competitions and is surrounded by miles of riding.

    Less adrenaline is involved, though endorphins will flow for artists and photographers who follow in the tracks of Thomas Hill, Chiura Obata, Carlton Watkins or Ansel Adams. If you only have an hour or two for a Yosemite visit, spending it walking along the river wouldn't be a bad way to go.

    Ansel Adams Gallery Camera Walk

    Yosemite Valley Area

    Footprints on film... read more

    Badger Pass

    Glacier Point Road

    Since its opening in 1935, Yosemite's Badger Pass Ski Area, has been a favorite vacation spot for generations of skiers... read more

    expert pick

    Half Dome Trail

    user rating

    East end of Happy Isle Loop Road
    (Yosemite Valley)

    The best hiking adventure for the very fit...
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    expert pick

    The Mist Trail

    user rating

    East end of Happy Isle Loop Road
    (Yosemite Valley)

    3-5 miles round-trip, steep ascent, huge waterfall!... read more

    Yosemite Mountaineering School

    Southside Drive & Happy Isle Loop Road

    Learn to rock climb inside the park... read more

    Yosemite Bike Trails

    Yosemite Lodge and Curry Village

    Paved bike trails in Yosemite Valley's east end...
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    Yosemite Art and Education Center

    Yosemite Village

    Free art classes in Yosemite Village... read more

    expert pick

    Lower Yosemite Falls Day Hike

    user rating

    Northside Drive
    (Yosemite Valley)

    An easy half-hour loop to the base of a park icon...
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    Lembert Dome Trail

    P.O. Box 577
    The trail head is at a parking lot north of CA 120 in Tuolumne Meadows at rd. marker T-32. Follow the nature trail that starts here and take off at marker no. 2

    Popular climb that leads to a spectacular view...
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    Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

    user rating

    Southside Dr
    (Yosemite Valley)

    Scenic views and a strenuous 3-4 hour hike...
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