Active Things To Do in Yosemite National Park

Popular Places

  • South Entrance (Wawona)
  • Yosemite Village
  • Neighborhoods

  • Highway 41 corridor
  • Yosemite's best active things to do can keep the outdoorsperson busy for a joyful lifetime, with four seasons of recreation opportunities. While some think of Yosemite as a sanctuary, a museum or a cathedral, the active tribe recognize it as a playground. Indeed, the above descriptors can be applied at the same time; this refuge was set aside by our wise predecessors for all of us to enjoy in our own ways.

    Rockclimbing may be the first active pursuit that comes to mind for this place. The park's peaks and kilometer-tall cliffs fill the dreams of granite addicts around the world. Nowhere on earth has so much easily accessible vertical terrain, where a beginner can get a taste of climbing with the Yosemite Mountaineering School or an experienced rock star can barely make their way up the most technical routes. Even for those who don't rope up themselves, climbing has become a popular spectator sport.

    Yosemite has 800 miles of hiking trails that lead the admiring traveler on and on through jaw-dropping Sierra terrain. You need a permit for overnight backpacking, but there's lots of landscape to go around. There's also no shortage of world-class dayhikes from Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Hetch Hetchy or Glacier Point.

    In the winter there's ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country and downhill skiing or snowboarding at the historic Badger Pass Ski Area. Backcountry ski touring is another option.

    In a popular place like Yosemite, 'Leave No Trace' practices need to be employed so that the park's beauty is sustained. Swim, bike (no mountain biking in the park, but plenty in four adjacent National Forests), fish or kayak; Yosemite IS a playground.

    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...
    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...
    read more

    Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions

    Main St
    (P.O. Box 510)

    Raft the Merced or Tuolumne Rivers... read more

    Mount Dana

    Cathedral Lake Trail

    P.O. Box 577
    The trail head is off Tioga Rd., at the west end of Tuolumne Meadows, west of Budd Creek

    Popular subalpine route to beautiful lakes and peaks... 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

    Top of Nevada Falls Hike

    user rating

    East end of Happy Isle Loop Road
    (Yosemite Valley)

    A strenuous but astounding day's round-trip to a 600-foot waterfall... read more

    Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

    user rating

    Camp 4 near Shuttle Stop #7
    (Yosemite Valley)

    Superb views of Yosemite Valley from above on this tough 3.5 mile climb... read more

    Ostrander Lake Trail

    P.O. Box 577

    6.3 miles southeast from Glacier Point Road...
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