Top 10 things to do in Yosemite National Park

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Top 10 things to do in Yosemite National Park
Popular National Parks in California
Yosemite National Park is a stunning place to visit all year around, especially in the autumn season when leaf-peepers and outdoors enthusiast from all over the region come to Yosemite Valley to experience the fall foliage and enjoy plenty of adventurous pursuits like rock climbing.

There is no doubt that Yosemite Valley is the top 25 places to visit in the US boasting many falls, high summits, many hiking trails, pristine forests and clear creeks where you can enjoy some fishing, hunting as well as wildlife spotting.

If you’re only visiting the park for the day, or staying for a few days, below I have a list of things to and attractions to visit to suit everyone:

1. Yosemite Bus Tour


Using the Yosemite bus tour is one of the best things you can ever do at the park, especially if you’re visiting Yosemite Park just for the day to explore the valley.

With the bus tour, you’ll save time and will be able to see all the top attractions in the valley and learn about them.

2. Yosemite Village

If you’re traveling with kids and/or are looking for fun activities to do like biking, tenting, horseback riding and places to eat, Yosemite Village is a sure bet.

The village offers plenty of amenities like restaurants, a food store, bike rentals and hotel accommodation. There is also visitor center where you’ll find interesting information on Yosemite Valley and its history, as well as areas where to camp. There is also a small Native American Indian Village that you can explore around freely.

3. LeConte Memorial Lodge

Another interesting thing to do at the park is to visit the LeConte Memorial Lodge. The lodge is located not far from Curry Village camp site, and it’s a National Historic Landmark.

Today, the LeConte Memorial Lodge is a cool and interesting place to visit with the family as it offers free evening programs and special day programs in the summer such as nature walks and fun workshops.

4. Devil's Postpile National Monument‎

Devil's Postpile National Monument‎ is located on Mammoth Lakes, and the hike to Postpile is one of the most enjoyable things and easiest hikes you can ever do in Yosemite National Park.

The hike to the monument is not very demanding and kids won’t have any problems doing it. If you’re located near the Mammoth Adventure Center you can get an inexpensive shuttle bus that will take to the site.

5. Mariposa Grove

A visit to Yosemite wouldn’t be complete without seeing up-close the famed Giant Sequoias at Mariposa Grove, which are the tallest sequoias in the world.

The summer months are indeed the best time to visit Mariposa Grove as a tram is available to take through the groves and to the cabin/museum which houses interesting exhibits on Giant Sequoias.

6. Glacier Point

Glacier Point is one of the best viewpoints in the park for getting stunning views of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome, which is why Glacier Point is one of my favorite top 10 things to do in Yosemite national park

You can get to Glacier Point on a hiking trip along the Four Mile trail, though it’s a strenuous ascending 5-mile trail taking around 4 hours give or take.

You can get a round trip on the bus for around $20 from Yosemite Village, Curry Village or Yosemite Lodge, though the hiking option to the top is the most rewarding way to enjoy a trip to Glacier Point because of the memorable views along the way.

7. Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls are the highest falls in North America and one of the top 10 natural wonders in the USA, hands down!

A tour of Yosemite Falls is one of the best and most rewarding tours you can do in the valley, and it’s definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Yosemite national park.

The hike to the upper falls of Yosemite Falls (pictured) isn’t one of the easiest hikes in the park as it takes over 5 hours to complete.

However, you don’t have to get to the upper falls to enjoy staggering views, though on a hot summer’s day, the spraying water of the falls as you approach the top is priceless!

Make sure you bring proper hiking boots, plenty of sunscreen, water, trekking poles and snacks.

8. Half Dome

Half Dome is another of my favorite top 10 things to do in Yosemite national park, and if you’re looking for adventurous pursuits in Yosemite, they don’t come more exciting and challenging than rock climbing and hiking the Half Dome.

If you’re a serious hiker or are planning a backpacking trip to the top of Half Dome, you can complete the hike to the top in a day (8 miles), though it’s best to break up the ascent by staying at Little Yosemite Valley campground, which is located half way along the way.

There are few ways to get to the top, you can follow the rock climbing routes from the valley floor up Half Dome’s vertical northwest face, or hike to the top using the Half Dome cables route via the Mist Trail.

9. Ranger Programs

If you’re traveling with your family and are looking for free and educational activities that the whole family can enjoy anytime of the year, joining the ranger programs are one of the top 10 things to do in Yosemite national park.

In the warm months, the park rangers offer guided tours of the valley and the meadows to teach you about the fauna and flora of the park.

In the winter, you can also enjoy nighttime activities like wildlife talks around a campfire, and snowshoe trips.

10. Moonlight Tour

Yosemite Park offers plenty of day activities like bus tours and ranger bear strolls but at night they also offer what they called a moonlight tour, which is a cool thing to do as you get to ride on a tram and explore the park under the moon light.

The moonlight tours last a couple of hours and are offered between late spring and mid autumn, though only on full-moon.

Tip

Summer time is definitely the busiest time of the year to visit Yosemite National Park, so if you want to save yourself some hassle, avoid driving to the park to avoid the long queues to get in the park and the parking problems you’ll face once inside the park.

The Yosemite Park actually offers a free shuttle bus to get around within the park, which is a great and stress-free way to enjoy Yosemite Park.

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