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Yosemite National Park

Spring is in the air. Because of a late arrival of winter in Yosemite, the waterfalls are now roaring to life! Not only are the falls flowing, but the animals are emerging to enjoy the spring weather, and the flowers are starting to wake up after the winter freeze.

Here are a few of our favorite spring activities in and around Yosemite National Park:


Pack a picnic lunch and hang out at the base of Yosemite Falls. Spend some time just listening to the falls and hiking the easy Yosemite Falls trail where you can listen to the powerful sounds of the falls, watch as the falls empty into the river below, look for animals in the river, and meet new friends along the trail. Early spring is an exceptional time to visit Yosemite, with the Pacific Dogwoods in bloom and the meadows green with new life. Best of all, you'll beat the busy summer crowds.

Hop Aboard a Steam Train

The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is located just before the south entrance to Yosemite along Highway 41. This historic railroad opens each year in early spring. Ride the 100-year-old steam train along a 4-mile journey through Sierra National Forest. Hop Aboard a Steam Train

Do an Easy Hike to a Lake

Take a hike out to Mirror Lake shadowed by the majestic Half Dome. It's a 1-mile easy walk (each way) or a 5-mile around- the-lake trip.

Enjoy a Farm-Fresh Dinner

Stay in the Highway 41 gateway town of Oakhurst (only 20 minutes from the southern entrance to Yosemite.) After an amazing day in Yosemite, enjoy a farm-fresh dinner at South Gate Brewing Company along with their handcrafted brews and some local wines from Idle Hour Winery. If you're a wine lover, the Madera Wine Trail is a fantastic way to meet local winemakers and taste wines from one of California's oldest wine regions.

Visit Beautiful Bass Lake

Bass Lake was named one of the West's Best Lakes by Sunset Magazine. With an abundance of water activities for any season and many lodging and dining choices, Bass Lake is a local and visitor favorite.

More information to help you make the most of your visit to Yosemite National Park:

There is so much to explore in Yosemite National Park! We have put together several suggestions of things to do in Yosemite to jump start your planning:

  • Yosemite in a Day: The can’t miss sites of Yosemite through the seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
  • Yosemite Hikes: Tony Krizan gives an insider’s guide to Sentinel Dome & Taft Point Hikes.
  • Fossils to Falls: A 4-day tour of history, Bass Lake, and Yosemite waterfalls.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that one of the best ways to see the park is with a little help from a knowledgeable Yosemite tour guide. You get the best Yosemite Park information, without someone having to miss out on the beauty because they're driving. Guided tour companies and adventure tours specialize in making your Yosemite Trip memorable.  

YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transit System) is another way to get to and from Yosemite from the gateway towns.  YARTS operates in the southern gateway towns of Fresno, Coarsegold, Oakhurst, Bass Lake & Fish Camp along Highway 41 from mid-May through mid-September.

Finally, here are a couple outside sources that we recommend incorporating into your planning arsenal:

Stay in and Around Yosemite
Activities in Yosemite
Videos & Guest Stories in Yosemite
Deals in Yosemite
Dining & Shopping in Yosemite
Itineraries in Yosemite

Main Visitors Center
40343 Highway 41,
Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
Email us!

Chowchilla Visitors Center
at the Fossil Discovery
Center of Madera County
19450 Avenue 21-1/2
Chowchilla, CA 93610
(Exit 164, off Highway 99)


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