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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

Tunnel View

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#2

Yosemite Falls

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The highest measured waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls is the superstar attraction in the park, especially in late spring when the snow melts and water flow is at its peak. With a cumulative drop of 2,425 feet (739 meters), Yosemite Falls actually consists of three falls and is also the sixth highest waterfall in the world (seventh according to some sources). Though there is some discussion about its place in the world's highest list, it's an incontrovertible fact that Yellowstone Falls is the centerpiece of the valley and the park. The best views of the cascading torrent can be seen from various vantage points, including Yosemite Village and Yosemite Lodge. For active viewers, a one-mile loop trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall and also possible to hike to the top of Yosemite Falls as a strenuous, all-day hike. For a unique experience, on a clear night with plenty of moonlight and enough water to create mist.More
#3

Bridalveil Fall

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One of the first waterfalls that you'll see as you enter Yosemite, Bridalveil Fall is 620 feet (188 meters) in height and flows year-round, with peak water flow occurring in May. On windy days, it looks almost like the waterfall is falling sideways. Bridalveil Fall became one of the most photographed waterfalls in the park after Ansel Adams published his Gates of the Valley photograph, featuring Bridalveil Fall welcoming visitors to the magnificence of nature that can be found in the park. Take the short (about 20 minutes round trip), but steep, hike up to the base to see the falls close-up, but be sure to dress appropriately: you’ll encounter spray in the spring and possibly icy conditions in the winter.More
#4

Half Dome

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Perhaps one of the most famous hikes in Yosemite National Park, Half Dome was, like El Capitan, once considered impossible to climb. Now, thousands of park visitors reach the summit, but it still remains a challenge that requires knowledge and preparation. Half Dome rises 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) above the valley floor and 8,800 feet (2,682 meters) above sea level. The hike, which takes between 10 and 12 hours round-trip, is strenuous, but the vistas are more than worth it. Hikers are treated to views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap and panoramic expanses of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. In order to get those views, though, you’ll have to ascend the cables. These two metal cables will allow you to climb the last 400 feet to the summit without rock climbing equipment; if the views don’t take your breath away, the cable ascent just might.More
#5

El Capitan

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Yes, it's a big rock, but what makes El Capitan a must-witness sight in Yosemite is the fact that it's the largest exposed-granite monolith in the world. Oh, and people climb it. Rising 3,593 feet (1095 meters)—more than 350 stories—above the 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. Take binoculars to spot the little bits of color that pinpoint adventurous climbers tackling the smooth and nearly vertical cliff.More
#6

Glacier Point

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An overlook with an incomparable view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite's high country (stay for stargazing if you have the time), Glacier Point is accessible by car during the summer and by cross-country ski during the winter. Perhaps it's getting to Glacier Point that is half the fun! During the winter, skiers are rewarded only after a 10.5 cross-country tour; during the summer, hikers can choose from the misleadingly named Four Mile Trail (it's actually closer to five miles long), the nearly nine mile Panorama Trail or, for the truly ambitious, a combination of the two trails, to reach the promontory. However, if you lack the time, desire or stamina to climb the nearly 3,200 feet (975 meters) above the valley floor, consider the four-hour Glacier Point Tour, which departs daily from Yosemite Lodge.More
#7

Tuolumne Grove

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#8

Ahwahnee Hotel

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Of all Yosemite’s lodging options, Ahwahnee Hotel stands out - not only for its location, set amidst the park’s most recognizable features (you can see Yosemite Falls from the legendary dining room), but also for its interior, redolent of the dawn of Yosemite as a national park. A National Historic Landmark, the Ahwahnee Hotel was the product of a need for “luxury” in the park. Completed and opened to the public in 1927, the hotel has 123 guest rooms comprised of 99 hotel rooms, four suites and 24 cottage rooms on the grounds surrounding the main building. It costs a pretty penny to stay in the Ahwahnee and rooms fill up quickly; to learn the story behind the architecture and interior design of one of the most recognized "Great Lodges of the West," sign up for a free tour. If you’re not up for spending the time—or money—in the dining room, enjoy a cocktail at the Ahwahnee Bar and still experience the flavor of the hotel.More
#9

Sentinel Dome

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#10

Vernal Fall

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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What are the top things to do in Yosemite National Park?
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