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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
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
#2
Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows

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Located in the eastern section of Yosemite National Park, Toulumne Meadows provides an alternate view from the popular Yosemite Valley section of the park. A gently rolling, sub-alpine area near the Tuolumne River, the Meadows is home to a wide variety of wildlife, several alpine lakes, hiking trails and plenty of rock climbing.Try the easy hike to Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge or trek up to Gaylor Lake for spectacular high-country views. Less crowded than the Valley, Toulumne is worth the approximately two-hour drive from the Yosemite Valley to experience this idyllic setting.More
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#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
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
#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
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
#10
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

Recent reviews from experiences in 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.
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
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
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.
star-5
Great tours and great guide.
blunierzach, 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
Great day, worth the money
Wendy_E, May 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
There’s no way to see all the sites in Yosemite in one day but we saw almost all the famous ones, and from multiple view points, top to bottom, which made it all the more cool.
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
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
What a great day!
Adrianne_S, May 2021
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
What’s the hurry happy to see that we were put in a small into the group with just one other couple.
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
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
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
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
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
The guided hike in Yosemite was one...
will_hudson, 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
Excellent driver, perfect day in Yosemite
Carol, Jul 2020
Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Including Hotel Pickup
Lovely lunch, stops that we would have never made on our own (secret spring for fresh water, Native grinding spots, perfect spot in a field for viewing El Capitan)—just allowed us to enjoy our one day in Yosemite worry free.
star-5
I had the best time on the tour...
Jenny B, Apr 2016
Guided Yosemite Hiking Excursion
I had quite the adventure at the top of Upper falls, we walked into a snow storm and it quickly became the highlight of the hike.
Frequently Asked Questions
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