Planning Guide

Planning Guide

Experience Yosemite Valley in One Day 

Although Yosemite Valley is only a small part of Yosemite National Park, it's the most visited part and home to famous icons such as Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and El Capitan.  No trip to the park would be complete without a visit to Yosemite Valley, but if you only have one day to experience it, this planner will help you take in all of the sights and get the most out of your day.

Pick Your Perfect Day for a Trip to Yosemite

Ideas for Guests Riding Public Transportation to Yosemite or Who Wish to Leave Their Vehicle Behind

“Pick Your Perfect Day” Planning Guides provide ideas for enjoyable, fun-filled day-long experiences during warmer months in Yosemite without driving your personal vehicle.  These guides suit a wide range of interests, ability levels, and ages.  While these guides were originally designed for guests riding public transportation to Yosemite National Park, all park guests are encouraged to leave their cars parked and use these Yosemite trip planning guides to have their own perfect day in Yosemite.   Check back often for new and exciting "Pick Your Perfect Day" Planning Guides.  Better yet, join us on our Yosemite Facebook Page for updates and to share your ideas for a perfect Yosemite trip.    

Tour and Trail Ride
Start the day with the wind in your hair, and then saddle up for a true western adventure! We’ll take you around Yosemite Valley for a breathtaking open-air Valley Floor Tour led by a Yosemite Park Ranger.  After the tour and some lunch, you’ll saddle up for a guided trail ride on mule or horseback.  During this perfect day, you’ll see the world-famous icons of Yosemite Valley and hear all sorts of stories about Yosemite’s natural and cultural history.

Bike and Hike
You can really soak it all in on your own terms with a day of biking and hiking in Yosemite Valley.  If your Yosemite trip is all about big waterfalls, then this this day  - and its hike to Vernal Fall - will put a smile on your face (even when other seasonal waterfalls are dry).  Round out your perfect day discovering the stories of Yosemite’s natural and cultural history with visits to the Valley Visitor Center and Yosemite Museum.

Legacies and Luxuries
Spend the day tracing the footsteps of some of Yosemite’s legendary characters and discovering the luxuries hidden among the mountains and waterfalls of Yosemite Valley.  See Yosemite in a new light on a guided photo walk and discover the beauty that has inspired photographers for years.  Afterward, treat yourself to an afternoon of elegance and nostalgia with lunch and a tour at the historic Four-Diamond Ahwahnee hotel.

Fun with Kids 
Treat your kids, and your own inner child to a perfect day that starts with a Children’s Theater performance filled with laughter and entertainment. Then fill your day with fun Junior Ranger activities that guide your exploration of the Valley using the free shuttle buses. At the end of the day, your child can be sworn in as an official Yosemite Junior Ranger in the Visitor’s Center (Adults can be Junior Rangers too. Don’t be shy.)

Family Fun
You and your young one will have a blast in Yosemite!  The fun starts with an outdoor theatrical performance just for families.  Then jump on some rental bikes to explore Yosemite Valley--you never know what you might find!