The Most Popular Activity in Yosemite National Park: Revealing the Top Choice for Visitors

Choose the activity you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 16, 2023 07:26
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions truly matter! Today, we're on a thrilling adventure to discover the most popular activity in the breathtaking Yosemite National Park. With its awe-inspiring landscapes and endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, it's a true haven for nature lovers. So, what's your top pick? Is it hiking to the majestic Yosemite Falls? Maybe it's rock climbing the iconic El Capitan, or capturing the perfect shot of Half Dome at sunset? Perhaps you prefer stargazing in the open meadows or embarking on a horseback ride through the serene valleys? Whatever it is, we want to hear from you! Cast your vote or suggest a missing option to help us create the ultimate Yosemite bucket list. Together, let's uncover the hidden gems and celebrate the wonders of this spectacular national park!

What Is the Most Popular Activity in Yosemite National Park? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    Llumeureka · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Yosemite is well-known for its extensive hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the park's granite cliffs, waterfalls, and lush forests. There are trails for all levels of hikers, from easy strolls to challenging multi-day treks.
    Hiking is an outdoor activity that involves walking or trekking on trails and paths in natural environments, typically in the mountains, woods, or countryside. It is a popular recreational activity that allows individuals to connect with nature and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
    • Physical Activity Level: Moderate to high
    • Terrain: Varied, includes hills, mountains, forests, and trails
    • Duration: Can range from a few hours to multiple days
    • Equipment: Appropriate footwear, backpack, navigation tools, water, and snacks
    • Benefits: Physical fitness, mental well-being, stress relief, and exploration of nature
    Hiking in other rankings
  2. 2
    Rock Climbing
    Chris · CC BY 2.0
    Yosemite is a world-renowned destination for rock climbers, with iconic granite walls such as El Capitan and Half Dome attracting climbers from around the world.
    Rock climbing is a challenging and adrenaline-pumping hobby that involves scaling natural or artificial rock formations using specialized equipment and techniques. Climbers use their physical strength, mental focus, and problem-solving skills to navigate the obstacles and reach the summit or endpoint of a climbing route.
    • Physical Fitness: Requires high levels of strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.
    • Mental Agility: Demands concentration, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
    • Technical Gear: Utilizes specialized equipment like harnesses, helmets, ropes, carabiners, and climbing shoes.
    • Grades: Routes are graded on difficulty, ranging from easy (5.0) to extremely challenging (5.15).
    • Types of Climbing: Includes bouldering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, and alpine climbing.
    Rock Climbing in other rankings
  3. 3
    W. Bulach · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Yosemite offers a range of camping options, from backcountry camping to RV camping, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
    Camping is an outdoor recreational activity where individuals, families, or groups set up temporary shelters, such as tents or cabins, in natural environments. It is a popular summer activity that allows people to connect with nature, escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and enjoy various outdoor adventures.
    • Shelter: Temporary shelters like tents or cabins are used for accommodation.
    • Outdoor Setting: Camping takes place in natural environments, such as forests, mountains, or near lakes/rivers.
    • Recreational Activities: Camping offers various outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, and campfire gatherings.
    • Nature Connection: It provides an opportunity to connect with nature, appreciate wildlife, and enjoy the beauty of natural landscapes.
    • Escape from Urban Life: Camping allows individuals to disconnect from technology, escape the city's fast-paced lifestyle, and find tranquility.
    Camping in other rankings
  4. 4
    Dietmar Rabich · CC BY-SA 4.0


    Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
    The park's stunning natural beauty provides endless opportunities for photographers to capture breathtaking landscapes and wildlife.
    Photography is the art, science, and practice of capturing visually appealing images using a camera. It encompasses various techniques and equipment to capture and manipulate light, resulting in stunning visual representations of the world. Photographs can evoke emotions, tell stories, and provide a means of creative expression for both amateurs and professionals alike.
    • Camera Types: Digital, film, instant, DSLR, mirrorless
    • Aperture: Controls the amount of light entering the camera lens
    • Shutter Speed: Determines the duration of time the camera sensor is exposed to light
    • ISO Sensitivity: Defines the camera's sensitivity to light
    • Focal Length: Determines the field of view and magnification of the lens
    Photography in other rankings
  5. 5


    Rockstar Games
    Yosemite's iconic landmarks such as Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point are popular attractions for visitors to the park.
    Sightseeing is a popular activity in GTA Online where players can explore the vibrant virtual world of Los Santos and its surrounding areas. It allows players to take in the stunning sights and scenery that the game has to offer.
    • Activity type: Exploration
    • Game mode: GTA Online
    • Open-world: Yes
    • Map size: Large
    • Number of locations: Unlimited
    Sightseeing in other rankings
  6. 6


    Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite's backcountry offers the opportunity to explore remote wilderness areas and experience the park's natural beauty up close.
    Backpacking in Yosemite National Park is a popular activity that involves long-distance hiking and camping in the backcountry. It allows outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the stunning wilderness and explore the vast landscapes of the park. Backpacking offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of Yosemite up close, away from the crowds and developed areas.
    • Duration: Multi-day
    • Distance: Varies depending on the chosen trail
    • Difficulty: Ranges from easy to strenuous
    • Scenic Views: Breathtaking vistas, granite cliffs, waterfalls, and serene wilderness
    • Wildlife: Opportunities to encounter various animals such as bears, deer, and birds
  7. 7

    Wildlife Viewing

    Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and deer, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
    Wildlife Viewing in Yosemite National Park is a popular activity that allows visitors to observe and appreciate the diverse range of animals that inhabit the park. It offers a unique opportunity to witness the natural behavior and beauty of wildlife in their natural habitat.
    • Location: Yosemite National Park, California
    • Best Time to Visit: Spring and Fall
    • Popular Animals: Black bears, mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, gray foxes, and various bird species
    • Viewing Areas: Valley floor, meadows, forests, and higher elevation areas
    • Guided Tours: Available for wildlife viewing
  8. 8
    The Merced River offers opportunities for rafting and kayaking, providing a thrilling way to experience the park's natural beauty.
    Rafting in Yosemite National Park is an exciting water-based activity that involves navigating down the Merced River on a large inflatable raft. It offers a thrilling and adventurous experience for both beginners and experienced rafters. The crystal-clear water, stunning scenery, and thrilling rapids make rafting a popular choice among visitors to the park.
    • Difficulty Level: Varies from calm and scenic sections to challenging rapids suitable for experienced rafters
    • Duration: Typically ranges from a few hours to a full day
    • Raft Type: Inflatable rafts specifically designed for whitewater rafting
    • Group Size: Can accommodate small to large groups, depending on the rafting company
    • Safety: Rafting trips are led by experienced guides who prioritize safety and provide necessary safety gear
    Rafting in other rankings
  9. 9
    In the winter months, Yosemite's snow-covered landscape provides opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
    Snowshoeing is a recreational activity that involves walking or hiking on snow using snowshoes, which are footwear designed to distribute your body weight over a larger area, thus preventing you from sinking too deeply into the snow. It is a popular winter activity enjoyed by individuals of all ages.
    • Terrain: Snowshoeing can be done on various terrains, including flat snowy fields, forest trails, and mountain slopes.
    • Fitness Level: Snowshoeing is suitable for people of all fitness levels and can be adjusted to different intensities.
    • Equipment: Snowshoes, adjustable poles, and appropriate winter clothing are the primary equipment required for snowshoeing.
    • Benefits: Snowshoeing is a low-impact, cardiovascular exercise that helps improve balance, strength, and endurance.
    • Accessibility: It can be enjoyed in both organized venues or remote areas, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals.
    Snowshoeing in other rankings
  10. 10
    Bernard Gagnon · CC BY-SA 3.0


    The Boy Scouts of America
    Yosemite's rivers and lakes offer opportunities for fishing, with trout being a popular catch for anglers.
    Fishing is a merit badge that introduces scouts to the art and science of catching fish. It encourages outdoor experiences and teaches skills required to safely enjoy the activity of fishing.
    • Age Requirements: Available to all Boy Scouts
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate
    • Prerequisites: None
    • Duration: Variable, depending on individual progress
    • Required Equipment: Fishing tackle, bait, personal camping gear
    Fishing in other rankings

Missing your favorite activity?


Ranking factors for popular activity

  1. Number of participants
    The popularity of an activity can be measured by the number of people who engage in it. Activities with higher participation rates are likely to be more popular.
  2. Accessibility
    Activities that are easily accessible to a wider range of visitors are more likely to be popular. This includes the availability of equipment, trails, and facilities needed for the activity.
  3. Seasonality
    The popularity of activities in Yosemite can vary depending on the season. For example, hiking and rock climbing are more popular during the warmer months, while skiing and snowshoeing are popular during the winter months.
  4. Skill level required
    Activities that cater to a wider range of skill levels are likely to be more popular, as they can be enjoyed by both beginners and experienced enthusiasts.
  5. Safety
    Activities perceived as relatively safe and low-risk are likely to attract more participants, and therefore be more popular.
  6. Environmental impact
    Activities with minimal environmental impact are more likely to be popular, as they align with the values of preserving and protecting the national park.
  7. Cost
    The affordability of an activity can also influence its popularity. Activities that require expensive equipment or entrance fees may be less popular than those that are more budget-friendly.
  8. Duration
    Activities that can be completed in varying amounts of time may appeal to a wider range of visitors, making them more popular.
  9. Uniqueness
    Activities that offer a unique experience or showcase the park's natural features (such as watching a sunrise at Glacier Point or exploring Mariposa Grove) can also contribute to their popularity.
  10. Social and cultural factors
    Popular activities may be influenced by social or cultural trends and the preferences of different visitor demographics. Activities that are popular among locals, international tourists, families, or solo travelers should also be considered.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular activity in Yosemite National Park. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite activity is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 193 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each activity once every 24 hours. The rank of each activity is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular activity in yosemite national park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring natural wonders in the United States. Located in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, the park is home to an array of stunning natural features, including towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and ancient sequoia trees. With over 1,200 square miles of wilderness, there are countless activities to enjoy in Yosemite, from hiking and camping to rock climbing and fishing. However, with so much to see and do, it can be tough to determine which activity is the most popular among visitors. In this article, we'll explore the various options and give you an in-depth look at what makes Yosemite National Park such a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts.