Things to do in Yosemite!

Yosemite Rafting & Water Sports

Written by Anne Driscoll for Paradise Springs

We are so lucky to live and work near one of America’s most beautiful national parks. Here we share some warm weather activities to look forward to during your visit!

Stay cool on a warm day by spending some time down by the water.  Whether you’re serious about fishing, or just serious about fun, the many rivers and lakes in Yosemite can provide just the right source of recreation.

In Yosemite, rafting is a fun, relaxing way to cool off and take in the views.  Gather your friends and family, rent a raft and float leisurely down the Merced River. 

Whether you are interested in lounging by the river or splashing at one of our swimming pools, at Yosemite, swimming is a restful and refreshing way to spend an afternoon.

The Park has spectacular fishing in both the front and backcountry.  Yosemite Fishing licenses are available at select locations within the park.

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The Incomparable Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

An unlimited array of possibilities await you in Yosemite Valley. Most involve sightseeing and learning about the scenery.

Ranger Programs

Rangers give walks and talks every day about Yosemite’s natural and cultural history.

Walking and Hiking

From easy walks to Lower Yosemite Fall, Cook’s Meadow, and Mirror Lake to strenuous hikes to the top of Yosemite Falls or Nevada Fall, Yosemite Valley has a wide range of walking and hiking possibilities.


Several miles of bicycle paths wind through Yosemite Valley. You can use your own bicycle or rent one from Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village. Bikes are only allowed on paved bicycle paths.


The Valley Floor Tour is a 26-mile, two-hour open-air tram tour narrated by a park ranger (weather permitting). The tour departs Yosemite Lodge several times daily. The Glacier Point Tour leaves Yosemite Lodge at 8:30 am, 10 am, and 1:30 pm daily when the Glacier Point Road is open. One-way tickets are available for those who want to hike down from Glacier Point. The Grand Tour includes the Valley, Glacier Point, and the Mariposa Grove. An experienced guide narrates each tour. The tour departs Yosemite Lodge at 8:45 am daily. Call 209/372-1240 for reservations or inquire at the tour desks at Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Village, Curry Village, and The Ahwahnee.

Mule & Horseback Rides

Horse or mule rides begin at the stable near North Pines Campground. Stable hours are 7:30 am to 5 pm daily. Information: 209/372-8348 (reservations strongly recommended).


Some of the famous landmarks in Yosemite Valley include:

Yosemite Falls gives the Valley an extra touch of life when it’s flowing with spring runoff. You can walk to its base or take the strenuous trail to its top (see page 17).

  •  Half Dome, Yosemite’s most distinctive monument, dominates most views in Yosemite Valley. Forces of uplift, erosion from rivers and glaciers, and rockfall all shaped this famous feature into what we see today. Cook’s Meadow, Sentinel Bridge, Tunnel View, and Glacier Point, are just a few locations with stunning views of Half Dome.
  •  El Capitan, a massive granite monolith, stands 3,593 feet from base to summit. From spring to fall, climbers come from all over the globe to scale El Capitan.
  •  Happy Isles is a place to see dramatic natural processes at work. It is easily reached by shuttle at
    stop #16 or by walking from Curry Village. Cross the footbridges onto the isles or wander through outdoor and indoor exhibits detailing Yosemite’s geologic story.
  •  Tunnel View, along Wawona Road (Hwy 41) provides a classic view of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, and Bridalveil Fall. It is spectacular at sunset or after the clearing of a storm.

For more information about booking a vacation, retreat, reunion or special event at Paradise Springs visit