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Blog Adrenaline Junkie? Here's 4 Heart Pumping Adventures in and Around Yosemite
Alex Silgalis | 02/03/2020Biking, Mountain Biking, Nature, Photography, Rock Climbing, Sports, Tours, Tours, Water Activities |   

Your palms begin to sweat. Your heart starts racing, making it feel as if it's thumping out of your chest. Should you fight or flee? Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is scary. But many say it's the key to living a more fulfilling life. While you’re embarking on a thrilling adventure, it may invoke unpleasant feelings, but afterward, you’ll look back at it in pure joy and euphoria. The next time you’re heading to Visit Yosemite | Madera County, here are four adrenaline-inducing adventures to consider alongside the peaceful joy you’ll find in the world-renowned national park.

Get Off The Beaten Path By Mountain Biking In Bass Lake

Learn more about the biking adventures available at Bass Lake

Just a few miles south of Yosemite National Park is Bass Lake. This pine-trimmed reservoir is considered by many a smaller version of Lake Tahoe. This little lake with its big alpine feel does have something its high-country cousin doesn’t. Its surface waters become blissfully warm in the summer, hovering around 75°F due to its elevation at only 3,400 feet. Within the area, you’ll find a nice assortment of singletrack trails for beginners to advanced riders. The most noteworthy trails include the 007 trail and the Goat Mountain network. For those focused more on adrenaline and less about biking uphill, you’ll find a great selection of shuttle-able trips anywhere from three to twenty miles in length. Check-in with Pedal Forward Bikes and Adventure to learn about accessing trails and renting bikes.

Off Roading Fun with Yosemite Adventure Co.

Photo by: Local Freshies

Learn more about off-roading adventures with Yosemite Adventure Company.  

Although the cathedral-like vertical walls of Yosemite Valley and snow-covered peaks of the High Sierra within Yosemite National Park are a must, the Sierra National Forest just outside of the park’s confines provides an opportunity you can’t do inside Yosemite: off-roading. In fact, the peaks just above Bass Lake are filled with trails perfect for both Jeepers and ATV enthusiasts. If you’re inexperienced or just a bit nervous about getting stuck, skip the hassle and head over to Yosemite Adventure Co. renting off-road vehicles, they provide a myriad of options for guided tours. In fact, there are year-round options to get you outside and enjoy attractions that are lesser-known like Moon Rock or unobstructed views of Bass Lake. The only thing that changes is the type of vehicle. If there’s more than a foot of snow on the ground, you’ll all hop onto a snow track instead.

Release Your Inner Mountain Goat & Go Rock Climbing In Yosemite

Photo by: Local Freshies

Book a day of rock climbing fun with Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides

Simply put, Yosemite isn’t just a rock climber’s heaven… it’s THE hotbed for the sport's evolution from its humble beginnings in 1869 with John Muir summiting Cathedral Peak (he scaled the almost 1000 foot prominence with just his hands and feet!). For those with a ton of experience and their own gear, check out the Mountain Project for a full list of objectives to scale. If you’re a newbie and want to try the sport, consider booking a guided rock climbing adventure with Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides. Offering privately guided rock climbing day trips to the best areas of Southern Yosemite, they’ll make sure you’re challenged but within your personal abilities. From easy top-roping for the family to challenging multi-pitch trad and sport routes, they’ll make sure you leave with a story AND a smile.

Test Your Mettle On The Merced

Sure, you can do a lazy float down a river but why when you can step it up a notch? As the winter snowpack begins to melt and feeds the creeks and streams, whitewater rafting season begins (around April). Although within Yosemite, the Merced lazily flows through the valley... just a few miles outside of the park’s boundaries, the river picks up speed and flow. It’s so good that the Merced offers one of the best whitewater rafting paddle trips in California via Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions or O.A.R.S.


Like what you see? Save any (or all) of these pins to your travel planning board(s) to give you an easy way to find your way back here!  Also check out our other itineraries as well as blog posts for more ideas and pins!

Alex Silgalis

Alex founded® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

Our annual Visit Yosemite | Madera County Visitors Guide can answer all your questions about visiting California's Gateway to Yosemite. From the park itself to the museums, wineries, art galleries and more throughout Madera County, our guide can help you plan the perfect vacation. Please note that we mail to the USA only, but anyone can download the guide.
Visit Yosemite - Madera County
Oakhurst Visitor Center, 40343 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
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