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Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Things to do in  Yosemite National Park

Welcome to Yosemite National Park

You’ve seen Ansel Adams’ black-and-white photographs. You’ve got the wallpaper on your laptop. But nothing can prepare you for witnessing Yosemite in real life. Mammoth granite walls tower over giant sequoias, flowing rivers, and golden valley meadows in this pinch-yourself-to-believe-it national park. You can see Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls—the most popular things to do—on a day trip. But pack your hiking boots (or climbing shoes) and stay a while to uncover the enduring magic of this California icon.

Top attractions in Yosemite National Park for Spring

#1
Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

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The highest measured waterfall in North America and the sixth-highest in the world, Yosemite Falls is the superstar attraction in Yosemite National Park. With a cumulative drop of 2,425 feet (739 meters), Yosemite Falls comprises three falls and is especially stunning in late spring when the snow melts and water flow is at its peak.More
#2
El Capitan

El Capitan

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El Capitan is the largest exposed-granite monolith in the world and among the most popular rock-climbing destinations in the US. Rising 3,593 feet (1095 meters) above Yosemite Valley, El Capitan was once considered impossible to climb. However, since Warren Harding first conquered the "nose" in 1958, El Capitan has become the standard for big-wall climbing.More
#3
Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

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Yosemite Valley is the heart of Yosemite National Park and the place to see all of the well-known sights, from El Capitan and Half Dome to Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls. The valley is also a paradise for outdoorsy travelers; visit for endless opportunities to enjoy hiking, climbing, photography, and other types of adventures.More
#4
Tunnel View

Tunnel View

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Tunnel View is the most visited scenic overlook in Yosemite and the site of Ansel Adams’ famous shot. When driving into Yosemite National Park from the south, Tunnel View offers your first glimpse into Yosemite Valley. At the end of a tunnel, a magical valley is revealed, with towering granite peaks and domes, and waterfalls spilling over cliffs.More
#5
Half Dome

Half Dome

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Iconic Half Dome rises 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) above the floor of Yosemite Valley. Perhaps one of the most famous hikes in Yosemite National Park, Half Dome was once considered impossible to climb. Now hundreds of park visitors reach this magnificent granite formation’s summit each day, and countless more gaze at its towering face from below.More
#6
Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall

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One of the first waterfalls that you'll see as you enter Yosemite National Park, Bridalveil Fall is a towering, plunge-type waterfall measuring some 620 feet (188 meters) in height. It flows year-round and reaches its peak around May. On windy days, it sometimes almost looks like the waterfall is falling sideways.More
#7
Glacier Point

Glacier Point

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Yosemite National Park’s Glacier Point affords an incomparable bird’s-eye view over Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, all with very little physical effort involved. Don't miss the small Geology Hut situated to the side of the paved trail leading to the main overlook either, which shows how the valley has changed over the course of the last 10 million years.More
#8
Tuolumne Grove

Tuolumne Grove

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Home to towering Sequoia trees, Tuolumne Grove is one of the most popular day hikes in Yosemite National Park. The hike to the grove is relatively short—only 2.5 miles (4km) round trip—and generally takes around two hours including the stops to crane your neck skyward and admire the ancient trees. One of the park’s three Sequoia groves, Tuolumne Grove is home to 25 of the massive trees, and also includes a “drive through tree,” which although it is no longer open to vehicles, makes for one of the more interesting photos you’ll take when visiting the park.To learn more about the history of the grove, as well as the trees themselves, you can join in a guided hike to the grove when the trail is open in summer, or experience having the grove to yourself on a snowshoeing trip in winter.More
#9
Ansel Adams Gallery

Ansel Adams Gallery

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Ansel Adams is known for his striking black-and-white photos, capturing and preserving the wild beauty of nature’s monuments. Through his poignant images of Half Dome and Vernal Fall, Yosemite became a symbol for the evocative drama of the American West, and the park took its place in the hearts and consciousness of the American public.More
#10
Ahwahnee Hotel

Ahwahnee Hotel

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Of all Yosemite’s lodging options, the Ahwahnee Hotel (formerly the Majestic Yosemite Hotel) stands out not only for its location—you can see Yosemite Falls from the legendary dining room—but also for its interior, redolent of Yosemite’s early years. And you don’t need to book a room to enjoy this National Historic Landmark.More
#11
Tioga Pass

Tioga Pass

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Tioga Pass is the only entrance on the eastern side of Yosemite National Park. At 9,941 feet high, it is the highest point on the mountain drive and one of the most scenic in the park. Views of the surrounding forests and mountains are worth the drive alone, but if you’re after one of the park’s many hiking trails the trailheads for Gaylor Peak, Tioga Peak, and the Twenty Lake Loop are all nearby. For a less active experience, Tioga Lake offers picnic facilities and trout fishing close by.Driving to and through the Tioga Pass is an adventure: full of tight curves and steep drop-offs. But you’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful views in Yosemite Valley, and once you reach the pass you’ll be in the park itself. The road through the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the highest highway pass in California.More
#12
Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows

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Located in the eastern portion of Yosemite National Park, Tuolumne Meadows provides a peaceful alternative to the popular Yosemite Valley region of the park. A large, subalpine meadow surrounded by high granite domes and majestic peaks, Tuolumne Meadows is home to a vast array of wildlife, hiking trails, pristine alpine lakes, and world-class rock climbing.More
#13
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

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Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is home to more than 500 mature giant sequoias, the world’s largest tree species. Nestled within Yosemite National Park, this spot is easy to access from the road and contains 1,900-year-old trees up to 210 feet (64 meters) tall.More
#14
Mist Trail

Mist Trail

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Hiking the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls is one of the most popular day hikes in Yosemite National Park. As you climb to the top of Vernal Fall, you’ll quickly find out how the Mist Trail got its name. The path hugs the cliff along the river and the spray coming off the falls drenches hikers.More
#15
Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall

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This towering flow of water is one of Yosemite’s best known waterfalls, accessible on the ground by a moderate hike. Its volume depends on the season, though it generally runs year-round.Depending on the amount of water, there is either one massive waterfall or several smaller strands falling across the rock to the valley below. Vernal Fall flows from the Nevada Falls above before plunging over the rock. The waterfall is about 317 feet tall, so it’s impressive (and often a bit damp) standing right at its base. Aside from the water there is often lots of greenery surrounding the falls, which adds to its scenery. The falls also produce a fine mist that can create rainbows.The steep hiking trail that leads to Vernal Fall is mostly rock steps, but the views are worth the climb. There is also plenty of natural scenery, of Merced River and Yosemite Valley, to enjoy on the way up. If you’d rather see it from a distance, Vernal Fall is also visible from the Glacier Point overlook.More

Recent reviews from experiences in Yosemite National Park

star-5
Wonderful tour! Okay
Kim_P, May 2022
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
We got to see climbers.
star-5
Yosemite spectacular
David_H, May 2022
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Brides Veil Falls and Half Dome were all phenomenal.
star-5
Great trip. Worth the price.
Jeffrey_W, May 2022
Jeep 4 X 4 Yosemite Park Tour with Hotel Pickup
Seeing the Yosemite Falls was a terrific experience and seeing the rock climbers on the mountains was really neat.
star-5
A great way to see Yosemite
Vincent_L, Jan 2022
Semi Private Yosemite Tour with Ahwahnee Lunch - with Hotel Pickup !
Having Laura as our guide was an amazing way to see Yosemite.
star-5
Worthwhile Adventure
Christie_W, Oct 2021
One Day In Yosemite Private Tour:Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point & Giant Sequoias
We only had one day in Yosemite, and this was the best and easiest way to see the most in such a short period of time.
star-5
Family friendly
Suwetha_K, Apr 2022
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
We visited Yosemite with young children and were able to see so much more than if we had done it alone.
star-5
Personal hiking for beginners
Hiking, Jun 2020
Guided Yosemite Hiking Excursion
Personal attention to our wants and needs made this the best way to see the highlights of Yosemite!
star-5
Great tours and great guide.
Zachary_B, Sep 2018
Yosemite Valley Private Hiking Tour
He took us the best routes and we were able to see amazing things that we wouldn’t have unless we booked the tour.
star-4
Our tour guide was very informational...
e_hammontree, Dec 2017
Yosemite Valley Private Winter Hiking Tour
We toured Yosemite Falls, the valley as well as Mirror Lake.
star-5
Just a Great Yosemite Day!
Dianne_H, Apr 2022
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
We were promptly picked up at our hotel, had a fabulous full day (with tasty picnic lunch), and were really sorry to see it end.
star-5
WORTH EVERY PENNY
Scott_P, Sep 2021
Jeep 4 X 4 Yosemite Park Tour with Hotel Pickup
In addition to everything promised on the itinerary, we stopped by the side to watch climbers challenge El Capitan, we sniffed bark on a tree to learn how to tell the difference between a Jeffrey tree and a Ponderosa, we lunched by an idealic river bed, my son climbed boulders to see if we had what it took to take on El Capitan (we don't ;-) and my hubby and I took a quick dip in a stream.
star-5
Waterfalls everywhere during our tour!
Kristie_C, Apr 2022
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Mick made a special point to slow down & point out all of the flowing waterfalls throughout our drive.
star-5
Amazing Experience
Trek393515, Apr 2019
Private Guided Hiking Tour in Yosemite
We started at lower Yosemite falls and ended at Mirror Lake.
star-5
Awesome tour
Kathleen C, Jul 2018
Yosemite Valley Tour with Transport from Oakhurst
The trip took us almost 11 hours since it included Glacier Point however it was the best way to see everything and not have to deal with parking.
star-5
Excellent guided tour of just a...
Tom R, Apr 2018
Private Family Hike in Yosemite
We went on about a 6 mile hike, with a rise in elevation of 1400', and saw a number of Yosemite's highlights, including Half Dome and El Capitan, as well as tons of waterfalls, rock formations, and other natural wonders.
star-5
I am finally getting around to...
Theresa G, Sep 2017
Guided Yosemite Hiking Excursion
The views from all of those spots were breathtaking, and it was a beautiful way to see the best of Yosemite.
star-5
Great winter experience in Yosemite
Dali_F, Feb 2022
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
The tour guide Fred was great and the winter view of Yosemite was fabulous.
star-5
It was fantastic.
Janice_G, Sep 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Getting to see a mama bear and her cubs and the beautiful scenery.
star-5
Best Tour Guide
Sonia_S, Aug 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Excellent way to see Yosemite National park.
star-5
Exciting Yosemite tour
Timothy_W, Jul 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Would encourage all to visit.
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