DAY TRIPS & HIKES:
Cool treks in Yosemite Valley starts with rising very early with a pack lunch and going to Vernal Falls and Tenaya Valley. Park at the lot past Curry Village and walk or bus into Happy Isles or Mirror Lake bus stops. Vernal Falls runs all year and is misty and cool into the summer. For Tenaya Canyon, do the loop about it's base for great flora and fauna once past the dry Mirror Lake. Think about taking Snow Creek Falls Trail to the top of the rim for an inspriring view of Half Dome, Quarter Domes and Clouds Rest close up.
Half Dome hike is all day long, exhausting and scary at places. You will need a permit from the Wilderness Center or online. you must take planty of water, lots to eat and start before dawn from the Bug. Would any of this stop me? No. But for groups of friends look at other options.
Four Miles Trail is cool and has exceptional views, but Glacier Point above it has throngs. So for the exceptional switchback efforts put in, just go a bit further to Sentinel Dome's 360 degree stunnning views.
For those with a car and less patience, drive up towards Glacier Point and stop instead at the Sentinel Dome Trailhead and do the Taft Point and Sentinel Dome loop for my favorite summer rim hike.
HIGH SIERRAS & TUOLUMNE MEADOWS
Definitely the option to choose if you have a car and the time. If you are smart you will take a canoe on your vehicle for the lakes in the high Country. On the route up you can stop and walk into Tuolumne Sequoia Grove, swim in Lake Tenaya, take pictures from Olmstead Point of the backside of Half Dome, romp onto the backs of smaller High County Domes like Lembert. Along with Lembert Dome's elevated High Sierra Views we recommend the grand hike to Cathedral Peak.
Plan on this route when travelling into or out of the Park before your stay here from Las Vegas, Death Valley or Tahoe! If so make the the extra time to see spectacular Mono Lake and it's tufa towers, Bodie Ghost Town, Cinder Cone trails, and many hot springs like Buckeye. We will not be upset if you spend a night there, you will not be dissappointed!
This grove is grand enough to avoid the the whole day drive to get into and out of Sequoia National Park. Spend some time here. The Lower Grove has the trophy trees like supermassive Grizzly Giant but the Upper Grove is a true surround-view of the orange and green monsters against the Galen Clark cabin and museum. Go a bit further to the forgotten Wawona Point for a smooch. Plan a day out maybe with Sentinel Dome.
CLIMBING is the true extreme sport of Yosemite. It is dubious to discuss since most climbers already know everything about Yosemite before arrival. However, there are local classes & rentals available at the Yosemite Mountaineering School. If you want a go at it; take the time to prearrange a class that is fully worth the experience. We know many climbers stay at Camp 4, but those international travellers like to stay here coming into or out of the park for climbing for great food and the spa
Many an intrepid backpacker will show up at the Bug his first nite looking for camping or backpacking equipment or spots. Campsites are generally sold out in Yosemite Valley in the summer or first come first serve on National Forest or BLM sites. . You can rent or buy equipment at the Mountaineering School, though in my world you would need only a bag, a mat, a pack and a bear canister with food and water. You will also need permits from Wilderness Permit Office for where I am gonna send ya. It's too busy to squat a sleeping spot in Yosemite Valley without a ranger letting you know it's not okay. So head to the backcountry!
EL CAPITAN Take the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail to the top and head east to the dome like top of El Capitan for a star filled night. Climbers and other adverturers are already up there. An overnite.
CLOUDS REST Take the summer bus to Tuolumne Meadows and set out past Cathedral Peak to Cloud's Rest and overnight, then up Half Dome and down past Nevada and Vernal Falls. One to two nights.
GRAND CANYON of the TUOLUMNE My favorite in Yosemite 3-5 overnights. Starting in Tuolumne Meadows to Glen Aulin down along the Tuolumne River to Pate Valley (an idea of what Yosemite Valley would be without infrastructure) and then up to White Wolf to get out. You can contiune up and around to finish at Hetch Hetchy, dammed but still gorgeous. You will need to find a ride to get out if you have no car, and it is possible.
IN TUOLUMNE MEADOWS
Drive up to Saddleback Lake and dine in the old super cool cafe there. Tuolumne Meadows has Parsons Memorial Lodge and Soda Springs to stop for. Nearby on the East side is the famous Bodie Ghost Town that is definitely worth the drive.
IN FISH CAMP
Sugar Pine Railroad is fantastic fun on an old steam train with BBQ dinner. Do in conjuction wih a trip to the Mariposa Sequoia Grove on the south entrance.
IN YOSEMITE VALLEY
Take some time to be a hero on horseback at the Stables. Also check out the new Vistior's Center if some of your party needs downtime. Take a rare stop and peek into Le Conte Memorial run by the Sierra Club. Look up the live theater of John Muir and others that runs during the summer.
Yosemite Zip Lines near Mariposa is a fun experience for anyone needing a a bit of excitement. Excellent in combination group ideas with whitewater rafting. Drop in on Butterfly Creek Winery. See our Facebook page for goings on about town.
California State Mineral and Mining Museum at the Mariposa Fairgrounds is a stunning browse. The gold nuggets are tempting for more than tourists.
For a sight of some cool old Gold Stamp mills in operation see the Mariposa History Museum in the town while checking out other gold rush era sights like the courthouse, old jail and shops at the old part of Charles Street.
Take 132 in or out of the Park when staying with us and stop at this coll little town. Have a drink in the old Jeffrey Hotel there and stop at the small museum/visitor's center and small storefronts on the "John Muir Highway"
Once a bustling gold town, now you can look for bandits in the super cool Basque bar on the town plaza. Stop on the way in or out of the Bug.