FAMILY LIFE Travel

Guide to Hiking, Biking & Rafting in Yosemite National Park

Have a trip planned to Yosemite National Park but aren’t quite sure what to do once you arrive?  This is the perfect post for you!  On a recent trip to Yosemite National Park we had the best time hiking some easy trails, biking through the valley floor and rafting down the Merced river.  Keep reading to learn more about my guide to hiking, biking & rafting in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.

Guide to Rafting down the Merced River

Rafting down the Merced River was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip for me.  I love rafting.  Check out my experience white water rafting last summer in Wyoming.  I love to cool water off in the Merced river during the warm days in Yosemite.  We brought our kayaks and used those on the river.  We joined our friends who rented rafts and had the best time during our relaxing float. 

It takes 2- 2 1/2 hours for the whole experience.  That morning we visited Glacier Point and still had plenty of time to come back down to the valley to float the river. 

We soaked up every minute of the breathtaking scenery around us.  You cross under many bridges and each one has a different look and feel.  The river is very calm which makes the rafting very chill.  You can easily bring a pool tube and float on your own. (BTW, I saw many people doing exactly this :-).)

Hiking, Biking & Rafting in Yosemite from Kelly Luvs
Rafting the Merced River
Yosemite National Park - a guide for exploring the park during summer at Kelly Luvs.
More beautiful views of Bridalveil Falls
My family on the river
One of the many beaches to visit
Part of my tribe
Hiking, Biking & Rafting in Yosemite from Kelly Luvs
One of many bridges you pass under

Guide to Bike Riding in Yosemite Valley

I have always wanted to bring or rent bikes while visiting Yosemite and on this trip, I finally did it!  The Yosemite Valley floor has lots of bike trails to explore the sites.  

We rented bikes in Half Dome Village (previously known as Curry Village).  It was easy and straight forward.  I suggest arriving by 10am to rent your bikes.  They have lots but Yosemite is one of the busiest National Parks. We arrived around 10:15 and had no problem renting 12 bikes (for 6 adult and 6 kids). 

Biking Map

Make sure you take a photo of the bike map since they do not have hard copies.  Plan out your route, bring water and have a great time.

Be prepared for crowds on the bike trails.  Between other bikers, hikers and walkers we often hit a traffic jam of people.  But it didn’t detour us in the least bit.  Check out my two biking videos:  video I , video II  ENJOY!

The Bikers

We biked around the valley floor to the hike at mirror lake and Bridalveil Falls.  Read on to learn more about our hikes

Guide to easy Hiking in Yosemite

Ok, by no means did we scale Half Dome during our visit.  Well actually I have before and its a one and done for me.  Don’t get me wrong I love to hike but and I loved it but I’am good now.  However we (again all 12 of us) did venture out on some great hikes. 

Both hikes took place as part of our bike ride through the valley floor.  I really wanted to hike up to the footbridge or either Nevada or Vernal Falls but my crew was not having it.  Instead we opted for the easier hike to mirror lake.  The mirror lake hike was a great hike for the kids. Its fairly flat (compared to most Yosemite hikes) and is only 2-3 miles round trip.

Hiking, Biking & Rafting in Yosemite from Kelly Luvs
Mirror lake (dried up) but still beautiful

We also hiked up Bridalveil Falls.  It was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.  Having the rushing water spraying your face felt amazing. We went off trail for this one. Up and over a lot of rocks.  At some parts it was challenging but worth every step. And the payoff was beautiful.

Kelly Luvs goes biking and hiking in Yosemite National Park. www.kellyluvs.com
Waterfall crew

Hiking, Biking and Rafting in Yosemite National Park is a MUST DO!  Its a great way to spend 1/2 or full days having the absolute best time!  To learn about my top sites to see in Yosemite National Park click here.  If you have more time to spend in California check out my advice for Kings Canyon Sequoia National Park too.

On to the next adventure! 

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As always, thank you for your support

Hiking, Biking & Rafting in Yosemite from Kelly Luvs
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