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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 10 attractions in Yosemite National Park

#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
Tunnel View

Tunnel View

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As you drive north on Highway 41 towards Yosemite Valley, you'll pass through a tunnel and, on other side, you'll be treated to an epic view: Bridalveil Fall spills over granite cliffs into a verdant valley while El Capitan and Half Dome stand sentry. Originally constructed in 1933, Tunnel View is the most famous—and visited—scenic overlook in Yosemite.A 2008 renovation included a more accessible viewing area, improved traffic flow and educational exhibits. Every vista from Tunnel View is picture-worthy, but for frame-worthy light, try to time your stop at Tunnel View to coincide with sunset, when the light turns to shadow and sweeps across the valley.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
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
#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
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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

Recent reviews from experiences in Yosemite National Park

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
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
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
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
Exciting Yosemite tour
Timothy_W, Jul 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Would encourage all to visit.
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
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
Yosemite day trip
vbala2019, Jul 2019
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
We saw the main attractions and had a great time overall.
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
yosemite trip
Joanne G, Jun 2019
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
A beautiful place to visit The driver knew so much about Yosemite and made the trip very interesting.
star-5
This was an extraordinary day! I...
Eileen L, Sep 2016
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
I highly recommend this tour especially if this is your first visit to Yosemite and/or only have a day to see Yosemite.
star-5
Awesome way to see the park! Our...
Donni G, Oct 2016
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Awesome way to see the park!
star-5
It was a fabulous experience. The...
Linda A, Apr 2016
Guided Yosemite Hiking Excursion
We had lunch in a beautiful meadow near the river before we hiked out to see El Capitan and some more of the beautiful waterfalls Yosemite has to offer this time of year.
star-5
Well worth the money!!
Nancy_L, Jul 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
We used the first full day on this tour and it allowed us to visit all the "must see" spots without my family screaming at each other over reading a map and trying to figure out where we were going!
star-5
The guided hike in Yosemite was one...
William_H, Sep 2016
Guided Yosemite Hiking Excursion
We completed a challenging hike, which was an 11 mile round trip from Glacier Point the best views of the park I have ever seen down to Nevada Falls.
star-5
Grateful for the Tour!
Forrest_H, Jul 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
If we had gone there on our own for the first time we would not have known what to do or where to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
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