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Activities

Recreation
Spring is a time of transition in Yosemite. Around the beginning of April winter comes to a close and the park begins to welcome in summer. The highlight of spring-time in Yosemite is the waterfalls, which are at their peak in the spring months. Another benefit of spring-time in Yosemite is enjoying a variety of activities opening for the summer season with less crowds. Sometimes Mother Nature can be unpredictable and certain summer activities will be delayed in opening. Please visit www.yosemitepark.com or check the current issue of Yosemite Today and Yosemite Guide for detailed information about recreation activities.

Recreation Offerings
Climbing, Hiking, Camera Walks, Biking, Ranger Walks, Ranger Talks, Educational Seminars, Stable Rides, Golfing, Yosemite Live Theater performances, Art Classes, Rafting, Fishing, Swimming, Backpacking, Evening Programs, and Camping.

Tours
Discover the park’s incredible scenery on board a sightseeing tour with a trained guide who will explain the park’s unique geology, history and wildlife along the way. Tour reservations can be made once in the park at the Yosemite Lodge Activity Desk or by calling (209) 372-1240 up to seven days prior. However, same day reservations are typically fine. Please visit www.yosemitepark.com or check the current issue of Yosemite Today for tour schedules.

Tours Offerings
Valley Floor Tour, Grand Tour, Glacier Point Tour* and Big Trees Tram Tour*
*The roads to Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias typically open in late May. Please check current road conditions with your hotel information desk or at any park entrance station.

Museums and Historic Buildings
Yosemite National Park is rich in cultural history. Visit some of these locations and learn about Yosemite's past. Please refer to the current issue of Yosemite Today and Yosemite Guide for locations and hours of operation.

Yosemite Historic Buildings and Museums
The Yosemite Museum, LeConte Memorial Lodge, Happy Isles Nature Center, Historic Yosemite Cemetery, Ansel Adams Gallery, The Ahwahnee, Pioneer Yosemite History Center at the Wawona, Mariposa Grove Museum*
*The Mariposa Grove Museum is located deep in the Grove and is accessibly only by foot or by going on the 1-hour tram tour of the Grove and is open May through September.

Things To See
Yosemite Valley is home to countless waterfalls, landmark rock formations and spectacular vista points. Don’t miss these most popular sights listed below, most of which can been easily accede from Valley Floor roads.

Yosemite Falls
Half Dome
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Bridalveil Falls
El Capitan
Vernal Falls
Cathedral Rocks
Glacier Point
Mirror Lake
Sentinel Rock
Tunnel View


Favorite Day Hikes
Enjoy the beauty of Yosemite first hand with a hike. There are many hikes accessible from the Valley Floor but here are some of the favorites.

Bridalveil Fall
Difficulty: Easy
Roundtrip time/distance: 20 minutes/0.5 miles
Start: Bridalveil parking area, at the beginning of the Wawona Road (highway 41)
This short walk to the bottom of Bridalveil Fall provides a great view of the fall.

Lower Yosemite Fall
Difficulty: Easy
Roundtrip time/distance: 20 minutes/0.5 miles
Start: Lower Yosemite Fall shuttle bus stop, across the street from Yosemite Lodge
This short walk up a paved trail to the bottom of Lower Yosemite Fall provides great views of all of Yosemite Falls, plus a close-up view of the lower fall.

Mirror Lake Meadow and Half Dome
Difficulty: Easy
Roundtrip time/distance: 1 hour/2.0 miles
Start: Mirror Lake trailhead shuttle bus stop (about 0.5 miles from Curry Village)
The walk to Mirror Lake Meadow is a leisurely walk either along an old, paved road or along a slightly longer dirt trail. The "lake" is really a large pond in spring and a meadow the rest of the year. Despite this, you're still right at the bottom of Half Dome, and you have a great view of it from Mirror Lake/Meadow. You can also hike the 3-mile trip around the lake in about one additional hour.

Valley Floor Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Roundtrip time/distance: 5-7 hours/13 miles
Start: Lower Yosemite Fall shuttle bus stop, behind the bathroom
Walking along the valley floor is a great way to see Yosemite Valley in slow motion. While this trail remains close to the road for parts of the hike, you will not see very many hikers on the trail. To take the short version of this hike, be sure to cross the bridge just east of El Capitan Meadow for your 6.5 mile and 2-4 hour hike.

Vernal Fall (Mist Trail)
Difficulty: Moderate
Roundtrip time/distance: 1.5 hours/1.6 miles to the bridge
Start: Happy Isles shuttle bus stop, about half a mile south of Curry Village
This hike is nearly all uphill but once you get to Vernal Fall footbridge you get a view of the 317 foot high Vernal Fall. The further you go on this trail the better the views become. If you continue past the bridge, you can go all the way to the top of this waterfall. The trail becomes so that it takes a staircase of 600 granite steps to get to the top. In spring and early summer expect to get wet. To the top of Vernal Fall is an additional hour and a half hike of 1.5 miles.

Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point
Difficulty: Strenuous
Roundtrip time/distance: 6 to 8 hours/9.6 miles
Start: Four Mile Trailhead just west of the Swinging Bridge picnic area
This trail takes you up the switchbacks to the Glacier Point, along the rim of Yosemite Valley. The trail offers spectacular views up and down Yosemite Valley, not to mention the views once you get to Glacier Point. Please note due to winter conditions this trail is closed from December to mid-May.