Car is Necessary
Inside the park gates, and centrally located between three of the most popular park destinations, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, our rental is the perfect basecamp for exploring the park.
Access hiking and running trails right from the neighborhood. Plus, Badger Pass Ski Area, and all the skiing, snowshoeing and other snow play activities are only ~7 miles away in the winter.
Here’s a list of recommended things to see and do in Yosemite in no particular order:
1) MIST TRAIL. Significant effort depending on how far you go, but the most intimate and spectacular trail I’ve ever seen. Crowded but fantastic. If you are ambitious you can go all the way to the top of Half Dome, which takes all day, unfortunately requires a permit, and makes your feet very sore.
2) YOSEMITE FALLS, BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, and GLACIER POINT. These are no effort, and you must do this during your stay.
3) THE MILE TRAIL FROM THE VALLEY FLOOR TO GLACIER POINT. This requires a (two) car shuttle or you have to figure out the tour trolley to take you back to your car. If your knees are good you can take the trail down from Glacier point or (my preference) get a workout by walking up. NOT RECOMMENDED: a round trip without the car shuttle. If you have never seen the Valley, it’s a life-changing experience to take this trail down from the top for your first visit.
4) SENTINEL DOME HIKE to the top from the rim. This is relatively easy 2 mile hike, with a slight altitude factor. The road to Glacier Point has to be open, so this isn’t accessible in the winter. Spectacular way to see the high country and the Valley from the top with very little effort.
5) GLACIER POINT DOWN THE PANORAMA TRAIL. Amazing views. You can go downhill to anywhere you want to turn around. Or go all the way down the Mist Trail to the Valley with a car shuttle, or even climb Half Dome from Glacier Point, to Panorama Trail then return to the Valley via the Mist Trail. This is probably easier than going from the Valley to top of Half Dome and back to Valley.
6) HIKE FROM HAPPY ISLES TO MIRROR LAKE. I’m not much of a fan of this, it’s completely flat and easy and if you’ve never been to the Valley it’s spectacular.
7) WALK ALL THE WAY UP FROM THE VALLEY FLOOR TO SEE THE TOP OF YOSEMITE FALLS. Long dusty difficult hike not for the faint of heart. If you really want a test, hike to the top of El Capitan.
8) YOSEMITE VILLAGE, YOSEMITE LODGE, AND CURRY VILLAGE. Food, mountain shops, junk stores, ice cream, Ansel Adams art, books, various hotels.
9) AHWAHNEE LODGE. This is worth a look, it costs a small fortune to stay a night, but you can stroll around for nothing. Consider Sunday brunch buffet if you want to get a big feed and maybe drink.