Are you planning a family vacation in Yosemite National Park? The following ideas will get you covered. Yosemite National Park just might be the United States’ most famous park. In 1864 it was first protected and visitors today will find the natural beauty largely intact. But don’t think you’ll be able to see everything in a single visit. With over 1,200 square miles of land Yosemite National Park is huge. You can stay in Yosemite but you’ll need to make camping reservations well ahead of time as it’s a popular destination.
Fun Things to Do in Yosemite National Park on a Family Vacation
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- Half Dome Hike. If you want to hike Half Dome you’ll need to get advance permission. Making this climb is a rite of passage for many hikers who prepare well ahead of time. If you’re a serious hiker and want to reach the summit of Yosemite’s most iconic landmark consider a guided climb. Hiking safety gear, coaching, and inside knowledge of the history of the Valley make the experience even more meaningful.
- Take a Photography Lesson. There’s no better place to learn how to take amazing scenic pictures than in one of the most scenic locations in the United States. With the help of a professional instructor you’ll shoot images of iconic scenes while learning new skills and sharpening your skills. All skill levels can benefit but you’ll need to have all your own equipment to participate.
- Swimming. You’ll find swimming pools at most accommodations inside the park but swimming is also generally allowed in all bodies of water. Take precautions as you would when swimming in any body of water and be sure to get clearance from park rangers or staff before swimming in areas you’re unsure about.
- Take a Yoga Hike. Combine hiking with yoga to challenge your mind and body. A master yoga instructor will guide you through all movements while you soak up your incredible surroundings. No hiking or yoga experience is needed.
- See the Giant Sequoias. On a 1 hour guided hike you can walk through the towering giant sequoias that call Yosemite home. The tour will pick you up in San Francisco and whisk you off to the national park. Without the need to drive you can sit back and enjoy the view!
- Go Fishing. Fishing season in Yosemite National Park stretches from the last Saturday in April until mid-November and everyone over 16 will need a valid California fishing license before casting a line. There are regulations on where you can fish and what implements can be used so be sure to check with authorities before heading out.
- Family Treasure Hunt. The Great Yosemite Family Adventure is a fun activity for families and groups who are visiting the park. You’ll navigate 3 miles of trails using a GPS device solving clues, riddles, and puzzles to find a treasure at the end of the challenge.
- Horseback Riding is a common activity in the park. It’s also possible to take pack mule rides. Be sure to stay off bicycle paths, tram roads, and shuttle bus routes. Many tours are offered by local operators.
- Wildlife Viewing. There are more than 400 species of vertebrate found in Yosemite National Park ranging from small birds to black bears. The different types of habitats mean there is a large variety of animals that can be seen. There are 40 species within the park that have a special status under California state law as endangered species.
- Nothing! This is a family vacation after all. Relax and enjoy the natural beauty around you. Disconnect from technology, sit out with a good book, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy Yosemite National Park!
Looking for more great nature destinations for your family vacation? Check out the top National Parks in the United States.
Have you ever been to Yosemite National Park on a family vacation? What was your favorite activity?