Water Activities

There are a number of water activities taking place in Yosemite National Park during the warmer season.

White Water Rafting  – Rafting along the Merced River is one of the popular summer activities. Rent-a-raft services are available in June and July, but that time duration varies according to water levels. You are always welcome to bring your own or get a non-motorized vessel like a kayak. Yosemite’s administration permits rafting on the Merced River between Stoneman Bridge and Sentinel Beach Picnic Area. You can go rafting between 10 am and 6 pm as long as the river depth is less than 6.5 feet at Sentinel Bridge. The air and water temperatures should also be more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit combined. Merced River aside, you can go rafting on the South Fork of the Merced River near Wawona or in the calm waters of Tenaya Lake...READ MORE

Swimming – It is permitted to swim in all bodies of water across the park with the exception of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River, Emerald Pool and Silver Apron, Lake Eleanor Reservoir, and Wawona Domestic Water Intake. If you’d rather swim in a pool, you can go to the outdoor pools of Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge. Regardless, make sure to beware of hazards and protect the water by entering and exiting on sandy beaches.

Fishing – Definitely on the top 10 activities that Yosemite National Park offers. In streams and rivers, it starts from the last Saturday of April and goes all the way to November 15. Frog Creek is the exception as it doesn’t open until June 15.  Aside from that, fishing is available 365 days across all lakes and reservoirs. You can purchase fishing supplies and licenses from the Yosemite Village Sport Shop or at the general stores in Wawona and Tuolumne Meadows.

However, there are certain regulations you should abide by.

  • Fishing from bridges and docks isn’t allowed.
  • While fishing in Yosemite Valley and El Portal, rainbow trout should be released once caught. In addition, fishermen can only catch five brown trout per day or have ten in possession.
  • In the valley and El Portal, bait fishing isn’t allowed.
  • Bait fish, amphibians and non-preserved fish eggs shouldn’t be used or possessed.
  • Mirror Lake is a stream, which is why it’s only open during stream fishing season.


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