While Yosemite is known primarily for its hiking (and you should definitely check out our hiking recommendations here), there are other activities that can be added on to compliment your trip in Yosemite. Want us to plan all your activities and hikes for you? Check out our Itinerary Planning Service.
Experienced climbers from all over the world call Yosemite a mecca for big wall climbing. If you haven’t seen the movie Free Solo, make sure you watch it before you arrive!! Still, it’s not all expert routes; there is plenty here for the beginner as well! Guided climbing options (half-day or a full-day), climbing lessons, and equipment rental available in Yosemite village. Pick your own adventure based on your skill and budget! You can read more about climbing in Yosemite including timing and prices for beginners/intermediates here.
Families in particular will enjoy renting a bike from Half Dome Village, and cruising the 12 miles of paved, mostly flat, paths available to the public around the Yosemite valley. The 12 mile loop will take you around 2 hours to complete if you ride without breaks, but we would recommend taking a day or an afternoon, and stopping to do some smaller walks at Mirror Lake and Merced River. Pack a picnic and enjoy a cruise-y few hours exploring Yosemite. Note that the bikes do not have baskets, so a backpack is a must!
SEQUOIA/ KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Just two hours south of Yosemite lie two other amazing national parks worth checking out. Home to the largest tree in the world, Sequoia National Park offers beautiful hiking in forests of epic proportions. Kings Canyon has the largest remaining grove of sequoia trees in the world, as well as spectacular soaring granite walls. These two parks boast incredible scenic drives (don’t miss the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, and then take the flat walk into the Zumwalt Meadows), plus easy walks to points of interest such as the Grand General, General Sherman and Morro Rock. If you want to stay the night, consider staying at Lodgepole Campground, which can be booked on Recreation.gov and are available in mid-March for the rest of the summer season.