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Family-Friendly Yosemite - A Kid's Outdoor Paradise

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Yosemite National Park is a child's dream, with kid-friendly tours and organized activities year-round. Besides the many planned events, there are plenty of other age-appropriate opportunities for kids that will get them close to nature, and challenge their outdoor skills.

Kid-sized hikes


Yosemite National Park has several easy walking trails for your little adventurers. They are well-maintained, often flat, and very safe. Nevertheless, there will still be plenty of chances for children to enjoy face-to-face encounters with the local wildlife. You can pick up maps and trail guides from any of the concessions in Yosemite Village.


Great Yosemite Family Adventure


This 3-mile guided family hike through Yosemite Valley is disguised as an interactive treasure hunt. You navigate using GPS, and can learn the park's history from an interpretive guide.


Tel: +1 209 372 4386


Great Yosemite Family Adventure website


Night Prowl


Night Prowl is a 1.5-hour after-dark hike in Yosemite Valley. A guide will teach your kids all about the natural adaptations of nocturnal creatures, such as bats and bears. Advance registration is required.


Tel: +1 209 372 4386


Night Prowl website

Swimming from beaches


You are allowed to swim in almost all bodies of water inside the park. A popular option among kids is to dip in from the sandy beaches found along Merced River, in Yosemite Valley. There are also outdoor pools at 2 of the park's hotels, and at the camping area at Curry Village. These are free to overnight visitors.


Swinging Bridge swimming hole


The swimming hole below Wawona Swinging Bridge, near the southwest park entrance, is considered among the finest in the Sierra Nevada. It isn't maintained by park personnel, but is safe and quiet, and is frequented mainly by families with children.



Swinging Bridge swimming hole website


Gazing at the stars


As magnificent as it is in daylight, Yosemite National Park is equally enchanting for children and adults alike after dark. Far from the glare of California's cities, the park affords a clear view of the stars, comets, and the Milky Way. It is also an ideal spot to watch for meteors, especially during the Perseid meteor showers in summer.


Starry Skies Over Yosemite


A popular nocturnal activity for kids is to join a stargazing program. On clear nights, knowledgeable rangers help you explore the stars, planets, and constellations. The program lasts 1.5 hours, or 1 hour as a walking tour.


Tel: +1 209 372 4386


Starry Skies Over Yosemite website


Story time


Listening to tales of nature and history has long been a preferred way for kids to unwind after an active day in the outdoors. And story time is a long-standing tradition at Yosemite National Park. Programs are often spur-of-the-moment, but Yosemite's Weekly Program Listing will keep you informed about forthcoming events.


Yosemite Fireside Storytelling


Evening fireside story time is a Yosemite favorite, with constantly changing programs to keep your kids enthralled. Many of the park's staff are expert storytellers.


Tel: +1 209 372 1153


Yosemite Fireside Storytelling website

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