Hiking is the best way to appreciate the beauty of this natural wonderland.
Probably the best way to experience the grandeur of Yosemite National Park is by hiking or backpacking through it’s fields, forests, and paths. Every turn displays different natural wonders; each path brings you closer to the environment. And it’s easy to get started.
Day hikes range from flat walks to robust climbs, with distances from the valley of under one mile (to Bridalveil Fall, easy) up to 17 miles (to Half-Dome, very strenuous). Visitors will see waterfalls, especially strong in the spring, glacial ravines, panoramic views, forests and meadows.
You can also hike above the valley floor south in Wawona, where you will see covered bridges, open pine forest, and the Giant Sequoias Grove. Shuttle bus service is available for tired trekkers to return to Wawona from the Grove. From the nortern part of the park, you can visit Soda Springs, Cathedral Lakes and follow the John Muir Trail. Longer hikes lead to Tioga Pass and the High Sierra Camp.
• Be careful; trails are not patrolled or maintained outside the valley. You are responsible for your safety.
• Stay on trails. It’s safer and less damaging to the environment.
• Bring lots of water. If you acquire water from park springs, rivers, etc., chemically treat or boil it.
• Some trails follow alongside stream passages, so you may get wet, especially on falls hikes.
• Bring sturdy shoes, preferably with a heavy rubber “treaded” soles for traction. Lightweight athletic shoes and sandals may cause pain and blisters from a lack of support on uneven ground. You can dayhike with light hiking boots.
• Weather is sunny and warm during peak visiting months. It’s not a bad idea to bring a sun hat to minimize exposure and overheating