These adventures might not be as chilling as Sabrina’s, but they sure are as thrilling! The US national parks are works of art, for sure, but most of them are also packed with experiences every thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie simply must cross off that bucket list, and Yosemite National Park is no different.
On the contrary, it’s full of thrilling activities and exciting things to do: how about challenging rock climbing, super-fast mountain biking, or hanging out with bears, does any of that tickle your fancy? I bet it does – and that’s the case for anyone who’s into adventure travel, no doubt!
So, ready for your next adrenaline fix? Fantastic. Let’s do this.
Pro Tip: Don’t underestimate the noses and curiosity of the black bears hanging around: keep anything with a scent adequately contained. Even if it’s a chapstick. Bears have broken into cars for less.
The most obvious activity, right? We might even mention it again. We probably will. Because there are rocks, cliffs, and mountain walls scattered all over the beautiful Yosemite, perfect for every climber. Beginner? No problem. Expert? Keep reading! The views themselves are pretty damn cool, but combine them with the physical challenge, and you’ll hit the jackpot. Just make sure to follow the minimum impact practices, so the next generations can enjoy the climb as well!
Yep, this is the bear one! I know you’re barely able to contain your excitement – and why should you?! Go camping in the wild, with nothing in between you and the untamed wilderness. Including bears, yes. You need a permit, but once that’s sorted you can head out and put your survival skills to the test while embracing the wonders gifted to us by Mother Nature. Do read up on how to deal with bears, though. It costs nothing to have good manners.
Let’s face it: mountain biking is quite good pretty much anywhere. That, however, doesn’t mean that some places are a teeny bit better than others – yes, the area around Yosemite falls under this category. Just outside the park, you’ll find miles – hundreds of them! – of single-track trails, each one more challenging and thrilling than the next. Or perhaps they’re all as impressive as each other? It’s hard to tell: you be the judge!
Back to climbing! Now, this is not for the faint-hearted, no; only experienced, well-prepared climbers should attempt to tackle the beast of a mountainside that is El Capitan. Does that sound like you? Well, you’ve got a day of fantastically challenging climbing and equally magnificent views to look forward to! If you’re not there yet, you can still get a second-hand adrenaline rush from watching all the crazy climbers. Keep at it, and you’ll soon be one of them!
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve hopped into that boat, hearing the water roar and smelling the excitement in the air: it’s always gonna be as good as that first time, if not better now that you’ve mastered the art of paddling and know the rush from taking on the water in its own element. Merced River is great for beginners, but if you want a real challenge, you want Tuolumne River. That’s where all the action is.
Not nearly done with water yet? Good. Nor are all the waterfalls with their power and beauty – Yosemite Falls are the highest one in North America, how about that?! And they’re far from the only ones worth a visit – you can hike to the top of the super-powerful Vernal Fall, and go on up the steep, sometimes slippery switchbacks to where Nevada Fall starts, where you’ll feel like Chance in Homeward Bound. Tip: if you happen to think about the ending, just say you got waterfall drops in your eyes.
You’ve been waiting for this one, haven’t you? Well, it’s definitely worth the wait because this is one of the good ones (and our favorite)! The Half Dome all but reaches the sky and we should think of a new word for ‘view’ because this is something else entirely. A full day of hiking or climbing will take you to the top and (this is the best part!) there are cables that make the trek super-thrilling and mega-memorable. Can we go right now?!
To be honest, just seeing the great park fall into a slumber, covered by a blanket of frosty fluff, is an adventure in itself – hang on, did we say slumber? That’s most certainly not correct because there are tons of snow thrills and chills just waiting for anyone brave enough to face the cold weather. Skiing, snowboarding, and sledding are all available, as is ice skating – you can wander off with only your snowshoes as your company, and even backcountry camp in the frozen wild!
Not a physical adventure this one, but how cool would it be to find a nugget or two of actual gold? Really cool? Super-awesomely cool? Coolest thing ever? All of the above? There are experiences where you can learn about the golden era (no pun intended) of gold panning while carefully sifting the gritty sand, but you can also go out on your own. Sometimes for a fee, but some places are completely free. You’ll officially be a gold digger!
Adventures hosted by Mother Nature are second to none, mainly because they combine that power and beauty we talked about before with a whole bunch of exciting fun. Do you agree, and if so, do you have any exciting activities you’d love to try that we should check out? Don’t be a stranger – we’d be thrilled to hear about what you think!