Exciting Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

Top Extreme Activities & Thrilling Things to Do in Yosemite National Park, CA

Exciting Things to Do in Yosemite National Park for Thrill Seekers

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What travellers are saying

  • TheExplorerFamily
    Somerset, NJ6,333 contributions
    This gorgeous area, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, was the third to get its status as a National Park on October 1, 1890, and is still wowing every visitor today, even after 250 years. The Park’s diverse landscape supports more than 400 species of wildlife. It is known around the world for its towering granite cliffs, its deep Valleys, the ancient giant Sequoias (that can grow up to 300 feet in height with trunks 27 feet across), Ponderosa Pines, massive Oaks, and its Waterfalls. It also helps that photographer Ansel Adams made it even more famous by his amazing, fiery sunset photos of two of its formations – El Capitan and Half Dome.

    It was one of the most incredible Parks that we have ever visited. Our jaws dropped as soon as we exited the Tunnel from Route 41, and got our first glimpse of the classic panorama of the Yosemite Valley, and the iconic sites of the Half Dome and the Bridal Veil Falls. We parked at the Village, and took the Shuttle to all the most-visited fabulously scenic spots, and were fortunate to capture some fantastic photos. The breathtaking views must be experience firsthand, because no photos or words do it any justice. At the end, we hiked up to Mirror Lake to take a mini-break before heading back home. It is no wonder that John Muir described this Park as “the brightest and the best of all the Lord has built”.

    We felt fortunate to have stepped foot in this National Park, and were also happy to add a Sticker and a Stamp to our Parks Passport.

    Absolutely, a “Must Visit” destination in everyone’s lifetime. It is like visiting Heaven on our Earth.
    Written 18 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • AdventureGal
    Sacramento, CA11 contributions
    We hiked up half dome last weekend. We were a group of 6 (3 adults-2M/1F in their late forties, two 17 yrs old boys and one 13 yr old girl). The adults had been practicing hiking every Sunday for last 2+ months. Kids only went hiking couple of times. On the hike day we woke up by 4:30 and got ready to leave House Keeping camp by 5:15. We parked at the trail head parking and at 5:40 am we were at the Happy Isles to start our hike.
    We reached Vernal falls by 6:40 am, and took 45 mins break there for breakfast and restroom.
    We reached Nevada Falls by 8:15 am, took another break for snacks and restroom.
    We walked the Little Yosemite valley, it felt long and never ending. We reached bottom of base dome by 11:30am.
    We reached base of half dome by 12:15 pm. Climbing base dome was very tiring.
    We started the cables section around 12:30 and reached the top by 12:50. I felt the cables was the most challenging and dangerous part of the hike.
    We ate some snacks on top, posed for pics at the iconic lip/wedge and then started descending the cables around 1:30 since rain was in the forecast.
    Reached the bottom of the cables around 1:50, wind had picked up speed by then, it was blowing at 25m/h and it rained for couple mins which scared everyone.
    We kept walking till we reached bottom of base dome where there was less wind. We ate our sandwiches for lunch and then started the long walk to Nevada Falls. It again seemed never ending. We soaked our tired feet in the river near Nevada falls and rested for some time and then took the John Muir trail to reach the foot bridge of Vernal falls. The 2 teenage boys were ahead of us and reached the parking 2 hrs before us. By the team we reached parking lot it was around 7pm. Overall it was a beautiful hike but everyone was exhausted by the end of it.
    Written 19 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • 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.
  • TheExplorerFamily
    Somerset, NJ6,333 contributions
    El Capitan is the most revered of all sites in this National Park. This towering sheer granite monolith rises to a height of 3593 feet above the meadow. The sleek striated surface glows red at sunset and the shadows cast on it by the passing clouds during the daytime are very intriguing.

    We took the Shuttle to the El Capitan Meadow Stop Number 9, and a short walk back across a wooden bridge took us to the base of the giant rock. We just stopped and stared in awe.

    There was a nice photographer there with a camera on a tripod which had a massive lens, and he let us look inside to try to view the rock climbers on the sheer cliffs. Even with that amazing zoom, the climbers looked like ants.

    Nobody leaves the park without a visit to this famous icon.

    We captured wonderful photos of this massive and superb rock from several angles throughout our visit.
    Written 20 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.
  • AVNISH SINGH
    Bengaluru, India316 contributions
    One of the most recommended trails in the Yosemite valley. The Yosemite falls are visible from a distance, no matter you are in Yosemite. So, being able to climb to the top of the waterfall and get a bird’s eye view of the valley is simply surreal. The trail also provides stunning views of the waterfall at different vantage points. We saw two rainbows at the base of the falls.

    This is slightly harder trail, with a total distance of around 7 miles and an elevation gain of 3,000 ft. So take plenty of breaks and give yourself at least 5 - 6 hours to complete this. Alternately, you can also visit the lower Yosemite Falls, which gets you closer to the base and is a much easier hike.
    Written 26 July 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.
  • TheExplorerFamily
    Somerset, NJ6,333 contributions
    These waters cascade more than 600 feet down a sheer rock surface. They are very high up, and the wind currents there blow the falling waters into a fine mist. The Native Americans called this the “Spirit of the Puffing Wind”.

    When the sun shines down on the water at the right angle, people can even see a rainbow. We saw a very light one, and even that was very eerily beautiful.

    This Waterfall is distinguished from other Falls by the formation of the rocks that looks like a dolphin’s Head bobbing up and looking towards the sky.

    The people park right along the road side, just to make a quick stop to click a few photos. We also did that, and then hurried ahead knowing that better sites were coming up inside the park.

    Worth a look, for sure.
    Written 18 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • JAH
    Lewisville, NC42 contributions
    If you don't mind a long hike with plenty of elevation change , then this is a trail you must do. Gorgeous views , quite a bit of shade and the reward of getting to the water falls ( Nevada and Vernal ) is hard to beat. DO IT!
    Written 8 July 2021
    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.
  • S D B
    Brooklyn, NY138 contributions
    nice from the short trail to soda springs. its behind you on your way to the springs but right in front of you on the way back through the meadow. Beautiful!
    Written 6 September 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • William L
    Sandown, NH1,019 contributions
    On our through hike of the JMT, we headed off trail to Sunset Lake for water and to camp. The next day we climbed Clouds Rest. I was not prepared for how incredible this hike was. After 9 days on the trail, we had our legs and climbed past many day hikers to the summit over that knives edge section to one of the best viewpoints on our hike from VVR to Yosemite. Simply a day to treasure as well as a trip of a lifetime.
    Written 17 September 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.