Cool Things To Do in Yosemite National Park

Popular Places

  • South Entrance (Wawona)
  • Yosemite Village
  • Neighborhoods

  • Highway 41 corridor
  • There is no shortage of cool things to do in Yosemite, especially if you're fit and outdoors-oriented. There are 800 miles of trails that access the 1200 square miles of some of the planet's best landscapes. Two big rivers drain the high country via crystalline pools and dashing waterfalls. Vertical cliffs, glaciers and high elevation peaks call the climbers and mountaineers to explore.

    On a mellower plane, there are cool things for artists and photographers to appreciate, too. Yosemite phenomena like the 'firefall' waterfall, frazil ice, snowstorms and summer thunderstorms, black bears and Steller's jays are very cool items for the observer to encounter. There are a thousand cool perches from which to just sit and meditate within the immense montane terrain.

    In the high country there are lots of tasty treats to be pursued: try Mt. Conness from a choice of several routes, or Mt. Dana's hike up from Tioga Pass. In Yosemite Valley, Half Dome is one cool rock and a remarkable hike that will tax mind, body and spirit, while Snow Creek Trail has big views without big crowds (and no permit needed).

    Take a lesson with the Yosemite Mountaineering School and get up on the park's world-famous big wall routes in the footsteps of cool folks like Lynn Hill, Royal Robbins and Ron Kauk. Whitewater rafting on the Merced or the Tuolumne, or a float through Yosemite Valley are literally cool on a hot summer day.

    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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    Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions

    Main St
    (P.O. Box 510)

    Raft the Merced or Tuolumne Rivers... read more

    Yosemite Mountaineering School

    Southside Drive & Happy Isle Loop Road

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

    Mount Conness

    user rating

    Saddlebag Lake Rd

    Climb the peak and get stunning views... read more

    Mount Dana

    Lee Vining Canyon

    user rating

    Tioga Pass

    The best ice climbing in the Sierras... read more

    Snow Creek Trail

    P.O. Box 577

    A breathtaking hike up the wall of Tenaya Canyon...
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    Pate Valley Trail

    P.O. Box 577

    A serious grunt of a canyon descent... read more

    Tuolumne River

    24545 Highway 120

    California's premier whitewater river... read more

    Buena Vista Trail

    P.O. Box 577

    A fine hike to a glacial cirque off the Glacier Point Road... read more
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