Bicycling is a great way to see the park from the road!
Follow the winding Merced River, ride up to waterfalls, take a thrill ride down the hill from Glacier Point, visit alpine meadows. You can get to a good number of scenic attractions by bike, and bicycles are a good way to move from location to location while in the valley. The only restriction is that bicycles are not allowed off-road, so you must use paved paths or roads.
Most trails are on the valley floor, but you can ride on park roads to outlying areas if you are careful. There are 12+ miles of paved paths alongside roads, through the campsites, etc. Bikes (beach-cruiser types) are available for rent from the park concessions vendors located at Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village. Rental stands are open from spring through the fall (no winter rentals), weather permitting. For more information, call the Yosemite Lodge bike stand at (209) 372-1208. You can also bring your own bicycle with you. Common-sense tip: take a lock if you do.
Some more serious rides are possible as well — for example from the valley floor to Tuolumne Meadows, a challenging hill climb of about 40 miles R/T, with a 5,000 ft elevation, or to Glacier Point, another rigorous ride of about 40 miles R/T, also around 5,000 ft elevation. The return downhill is quite a blast.
If you want to find out about organized rides in Yosemite, contact the Sierra Fat Tire Association, a mountain bike club in the Southern Yosemite area whose members ride in and maintain trails in the Sierra National Forest. Their address is P.O. Box 3413, Oakhurst, California.
Rules For Biking in Yosemite
- Bikes are allowed only on paved bikeways and park roads (unless the road is closed to bicycle use).
- All bikes are prohibited from pedestrian and hiking trails.
- Bicyclists must obey all posted traffic signs and travel with the flow of traffic when on roadways used by automobiles.
- Rental bikes may not be ridden to either Mirror Lake/Meadow or Lower Yosemite Fall.
- Helmets are required in park for all riders under 18 (CA law), but are provided free with rentals.