Free Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

Top Free Things to Do in Yosemite National Park, CA

Best Free Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

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What travellers are saying

  • John P
    Santa Clara, CA250 contributions
    With an elevation close to ten thousand feet, Tioga pass is one of the highest pass in Sierra Nevada.
    Written 8 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • AFischer3
    Grandville, MI14 contributions
    I enjoyed this hike, but it is harder for shorter people, as some of the steps are tall. The path was wet, so wear good non-slip shoes. Stop along the way and take photos.
    Written 17 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jack R
    New York City, NY15 contributions
    This trail is good. The terrain isn’t anything extremely hard (wait until the end) at the beginning, and you can see the waterfall from a bridge halfway through! But if you want to go to the top, you have to go up strenuous steps and hard terrain! But the view is worth it! And on my trip we even saw a bear family from a safe distance!
    Written 11 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • PacificNWFamily
    Washington State95,760 contributions
    Since Glacier Point Road is closed this year, it’s not really feasible to enjoy the short hike up to the top of Sentinel Dome. So this year we just viewed Sentinel Dome from North Dome across the Valley. It is a very different perspective to look at Sentinel Dome rather than being on Sentinel Dome.
    Written 17 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BT3rd
    Datchet, UK5,804 contributions
    We parked by the lake, sat on the lakeside stones and had lunch. With the sun shining bright the lake looked beautiful with the mountains in the background.
    Written 2 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BT3rd
    Datchet, UK5,804 contributions
    These meadows are a sight as we came down from the mountains on the road to Tioga pass. Very serene and peaceful with lovely views
    Written 2 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sally S
    Fort Littleton, PA53 contributions
    Wow, it was crowded but this was my favorite trail. DO NOT GO BACK DOWN THE STEPS! Go up the steps and then past Nevada Falls take the John Muir trail down. There will be less people on the John Muir trail and you'll have magnificent views. The park rangers should make this trail one way. if everyone was headed the same direction you wouldn't have to wait in the narrow parts of the steps. It would be much safer.
    Written 25 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • badmaru
    San Jose, CA243 contributions
    Tuolumne Grove is an awesome plane to visit even in the winter. The area is so beautiful and quiet especially in the winter. We did not wear snowshoes, but still managed to do some hiking. If you have then, definitely bring them to make it easier. If you have young kids, a sled makes a big difference. Our kiddo enjoyed the trail because she didn’t have to hike and she got to sled.
    Written 1 May 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • doublemdoublet
    Clifton, VA1,069 contributions
    On a Friday afternoon - Not a Saturday - I passed no fewer than 10 Brides headed to the Point for Sunset Wedding Portraits. Some in Wedding Gowns with Groom and photographers in tow. Others with full wedding parties, lugging coolers and valet bags. The most Congratulatory Hike full of beautiful brides and grooms I've ever been on and also, as reviews indicate, one of Yosemite's best views. TIP: You won't see a bride on this trail in 2022. The Road will be closed for repairs for the entire season.
    Written 9 August 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • PacificNWFamily
    Washington State95,760 contributions
    I have visited the History Center in Wawona many times. This time I spent most of my visit in the new Chinese Laundry Building that is across from the gray barn. It was fascinating to learn about the contributions from this group in the development of Yosemite NP. I enjoyed the signs, information, and photos.
    Written 17 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Ashvp
    San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala50 contributions
    We only spent 1 day in Yosemite Park and this was our first hike. While it's says '4 miles' it is actually closer to 5 miles to get to the summit at Glacier Point, an elevation climb of 3,200 feet.There are other connecting hikes you can do to further extend this, which we didn't have timefor.

    We started at 10.20am, later than we had hoped because the YARTS shuttle bus was very late and took a long time to get to the village. The weather was favourable, cloudy and mild which really helped. We carried 1.5L of water each plus some energy bars.

    There were very few people on this hike so felt like we had the place to ourselves.The road tourists previously used to get straight to the viewpoint at Glacier Point had been closed for resurfacing, which luckily meant very few tourists.

    The climb up is tough but views are absolutely breathtaking. You can see both Yosemite falls, El Capitan and Half dome as you make your way up plus the Reverse Tunnel view. We managed to reach the summit at Glacier point in 1 hour 38mins - which we were ecstatic about after being told 2.5-3.5 hours is the usual time taken to go up. The view from the top is worth the time and effort and a lovely place to sit, eat a picnic lunch and relax. We could have spent hours there but decided to decend back down.

    We descended in 1hr 31mins stopping off at another viewpoint a third of the way down.

    Overall a fantastic experience surrounded by jawdropping scenery!
    Written 2 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TheExplorerFamily
    Somerset, NJ6,333 contributions
    This small and pretty lake is located in the Tenaya Canyon. The hike is a 2.4 mile round-trip from the Shuttle Bus Stop, and was our final activity for the day. Most of the path was paved, but a few parts of the hike were steep, a little arduous and slippery. Luckily, there are plenty of trees that provide shade.We saw some massive boulders, and quite a few squirrels.

    The Mirror Lake is a popular swimming hole that is quite shallow, and a lot of people come prepared to take a dip in there.

    We thought it was over-hyped, and were a little disappointed at not seeing enough water in the “Lake”. Yes, the sky and the rocks were reflected in the water, but the water was not clear enough to create a mirror effect.

    Make sure you wear good walking shoes if you plan this hike.
    Written 21 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Claudia10229
    Dallas, TX316 contributions
    Plenty of parking to view wonderful scenery. You can climb on the rocks and there are steps going down to a path. Walk the entire length of the sidewalk to view different parts of the park.
    Written 25 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Live Happy 123
    19 contributions
    This place is absolutely breathtaking! We finally checked off another bucket list item. The walk to the lower falls was easy and the views were spectacular. Definitely worth the drive to see Yosemite! Hopefully, we can return to visit again and stay longer.
    Written 28 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Edward V
    Brentwood, CA459 contributions
    Short hike from parking area, nice river view, bridge, summer play in the water. For camera people like me great river shots going through big rocks, summer has emerald looking waters.
    Written 12 November 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.