The quintessential Yosemite experience is this three or seven mile hike with up close, feel-the-spray views of two of Yosemite’s most magnificent waterfalls. This signature hike has amazing views, including one that encompasses Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and the back of Half Dome. If you’re not up for a five-hour hike, turn around at Vernal Fall (approx. two hours total) although the crowds thin out if you keep going. The best time to go is in the spring and early summer and as early in the morning as you can manage.
Yosemite is one of the most well-known national parks, and for good reason: it’s got extraordinary vistas, wildlife and history. And while the best things to do in Yosemite include breathtaking walks, enormous waterfalls, and stunning vistas – hiking isn’t the only thing to do there. Sure, the two most popular Yosemite activities are hiking and camping – either at busy campgrounds on the valley floor or in the backcountry reached by making a more solitary jaunt – but there's so much more to Yosemite.
Looking for something to do besides hiking and camping? Yosemite really has it all, from active pursuits like horseback riding and skydiving to contemplative art-making, photography and yoga. You can drink fine wine and get a massage at a hotel, or rough it by filtering river water to drink in areas of the park where few people venture. You’ll be surrounded by bears, whether seen or unseen, and appreciate spectacular granite monoliths and giant sequoia in this park that sparked the nation’s discussion of preserving land for its natural beauty.