4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer Yosemite Trip

May 23, 2024Things to Do, Yosemite National Park

As summer approaches, adventurers and nature lovers set their sights on one of the most iconic destinations in the United States: Yosemite National Park. Summer in Yosemite brings a kaleidoscope of experiences, from cascading waterfalls to lush meadows and granite peaks. To ensure your Yosemite trip is unforgettable, here are four essential tips tailored for the summer season in Yosemite.

Plan Early

Summer is peak season in Yosemite, attracting visitors from around the globe. To secure a hotel room, campsites, and permits for popular activities like hiking Half Dome, it’s crucial to plan and reserve well in advance. Yosemite’s lodging and campsites often fill up months ahead, so start planning as soon as possible. Consider visiting during weekdays or shoulder seasons for a quieter experience if flexibility allows. Also, be sure to understand how the new Yosemite National Park Reservation System works and whether or not you need to secure a spot. 

Beat the Crowds with Early Starts

Yosemite’s beauty is no secret, which means popular spots can get crowded during the day. Beat the crowds and make the most of your time by starting your adventures early or after 4pm. 

Head out for sunrise hikes to iconic viewpoints like Glacier Point or Sentinel Dome for breathtaking vistas without the masses. Early mornings also offer better wildlife viewing opportunities as animals are more active during cooler hours.

Sunrise at Yosemite overlooking a clif

Embrace Water Adventures

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy Yosemite’s water features, from thundering waterfalls and rushing rivers to tranquil lakes. Take a refreshing dip in the Merced River at designated swimming areas, rent a kayak or raft for a leisurely float downstream, or hike to waterfall destinations like Yosemite Falls or Bridalveil Fall for cooling mist and stunning views. 

Stay Hydrated and Sun-Smart

Yosemite’s summer days can be hot and dry, especially in the valley. Stay hydrated by carrying plenty of water during your hikes and outdoor activities. Additionally, protect yourself from the sun’s rays by wearing sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and lightweight, breathable clothing. Consider hiking early or late in the day to avoid midday heat, and take breaks in shaded areas when needed. Or take it a step further and go stargazing to avoid the sun!

A summer trip to Yosemite promises unforgettable adventures amidst stunning natural beauty. By planning early, embracing early starts to beat crowds, enjoying water activities, staying sun-smart and hydrated, and exploring beyond the valley, you’ll maximize your Yosemite experience and create cherished memories. Whether you’re a seasoned Yosemite visitor or embarking on your first trip, these tips will help you make the most of your summer escapade in this iconic national park.