Visiting nature is a great way to unwind, relax, and enjoy some time away from daily life. Located in the stunning Californian wilderness, Yosemite National Park is no exception. First time visitors as well as returning visitors may be curious about what activities and experiences the park has to offer. Here are 7 memorable and fun things to do on your next trip to Yosemite National Park.
1. Enjoy A Hike
Whether you’re looking to get in a workout or you’re looking for a casual nature walk, Yosemite is home to several day hikes that are perfect for your goals. If you’re looking for a scenic but short hikes perfect for families or beginners, check out Lower Yosemite Fall Trail. This 1-mile roundtrip leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, consider going to see the iconic Giant Sequoias at Mariposa Grove.
Shuttle buses are not operating this season, however, visitors can still hike to the grove. The hike to Mariposa Grove is a 4-mile round trip hike, with access to the California Tree Tunnel an additional 1.5 miles up the trail. It should be noted that there is an elevation gain in this hike – guests should plan on bringing plenty of water and may want to take the semi-steep incline into consideration.
2. Take A Dip
Cool off after a day of exploring Yosemite National Park with a swim! There are several spots in the park where swimming is allowed. In previous years, guests could also swim at the public pools at Curry Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge. Due to COVID-19, public pools are closed this season. Don’t fret, though – swimming is still available at several natural bodies of water. Visitors can find numerous soft sandy beaches, as well as inviting waters in the Merced River. Tenaya Lake is another popular – and scenic – swimming spot. Visitors planning a trip to the park soon may want to keep in mind that some bodies of water, especially rivers, may still be cold and contain faster currents in the spring.
3. Try Your Hand At Fishing
Here’s another fun water activity in Yosemite – fishing! The river fishing season opened at the end of April, and fishing is permitted in lakes and reservoirs year-round, meaning it’s the perfect time to try your hand at some fishing. Fishing regulations do exist in Yosemite, including the requirement that those 16 and older have a valid California fishing license. Additionally, there are some site-specific regulations – be sure to ask a ranger or check out any applicable regulations prior to heading out to a new location.
4. Go On A Trail Ride
Experience the park from a unique viewpoint – the back of a horse. Several different day ride routes are offered in the area that are perfect for riders of all levels. The riding season generally runs from late spring through late summer – perfect for upcoming trips to the park.
5. Get in Some Rock Climbing
In addition to being a popular hiking, camping, and vacation destination, Yosemite is also a popular location for rock climbing. The park is home to a number of climbing routes, varying from easier climbs to multi-day aid climbs. Wilderness climbing permits will be required for overnight climbs as of May 21st, 2021.
6. Take An Art Class
Love art? Looking to get out of your comfort zone? Whether you’re an absolute beginner or you’ve had a long-time interest in art, why not experience Yosemite in a completely unique way by taking an art class. There are several such classes offered within the park. Aspiring photographers might want to check out the Ansel Adams Gallery, which offers photography classes in the park six days a week. If painting or drawing is of more interest, Yosemite Conservancy offers a number of outdoor workshops in the park. Both the Ansel Adams Gallery and Yosemite Conservancy currently require reservations for joining a class, so be sure to plan ahead for your upcoming artistic venture!
7. Camp In The Park
If you’re looking to experience the great outdoors, there’s no better way than a camping trip. Yosemite National Park offers a wide variety of camping spots with various amenities, including RV and horse camping sites. Due to the pandemic, reservations are currently required for all campsites – a shift from previous years, when a number of first-come, first serve sites were available. Public showers are also not currently available at any of the sites, meaning aspiring campers may want to consider bringing with them a portable or camping shower. On the bright side, those looking to bring along a furry friend will be able to find a variety of sites where pets are allowed.