Yosemite National Park After Dark

Yosemite Valley at Night by Kristal Leonard

Yosemite Valley at Night by Kristal Leonard

Summer nights in a national park include the soft glow of the Milky Way rising over your campsite, a wilderness landscape lit by the full moon during an evening hike, and the twinkle of stars and planets from a roadside vista point. In California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park is a harbor of darkness in a highly populated state, providing an excellent opportunity to truly experience the star-filled night. In addition to all the daytime hiking, biking, rafting and rock climbing under sunny Sierra skies, the summer evenings in Yosemite can be just as full of activity and wonder.

With thirteen campgrounds and seven lodging options inside the park, summer nights in Yosemite can be filled with a range of activities such as dining in an historic hotel, socializing with s’mores around the campfire or contemplating the awed silence of fellow stargazers. For the celestially minded, Yosemite’s park rangers give sunset talks, full moon hikes, the “Stars Over Yosemite” Program as well as hosted Star Parties at Glacier Point, and Moonlight Tours aboard the Yosemite Valley open air trams. In addition to ranger programs, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite offers Stargazing Tours to Glacier Point, Full Moon Bike Rides in Yosemite Valley and the “Starry Skies” program that takes place in the meadows of Yosemite Valley. For the diners and socializers, you’ll find hospitality every evening at The Ahwahnee Dining Room and bar and the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls Mountain Room Restaurant and Lounge, including evening presentations about the natural and cultural history of Yosemite. Summer nights at the Curry Village Pizza Deck & Bar are a park visitor tradition. In Yosemite Village you can experience live theater presented by the Yosemite Conservancy, with topics ranging from historic figures to daring adventures. At the Wawona Hotel, you’ll find dinner and entertainment in the form of vintage Yosemite songs played by pianist and storyteller Tom Bopp.

Full Moon Bike Ride in Yosemite Valley

Full Moon Bike Ride in Yosemite Valley

Glacier Point Star Party in Yosemite.

Glacier Point Star Party in Yosemite.

Stargazing Tour at Glacier Point

Stargazing Tour at Glacier Point

Yosemite fun and activity after dark doesn’t stop when summer has ended. As the days grow shorter in fall and winter, there is plenty of time for evening fun with fireside storytelling and Yosemite’s Signature Food and Wine events at The Ahwahnee.  Vintners’ Holidays in the fall, the Bracebridge Dinner during the holiday season and Chefs’ Holidays during the winter include lodging and dinner packages to maximize your culinary experience. Vintners’ Holidays features prominent winemakers showcasing their vintages. Bracebridge Dinner transforms the dining room into a 18th century English manor for a feast of food, song and mirth. Chefs’ Holidays provides a cooking adventure showcasing the range of styles, personalities and trends that characterize the American culinary scene. Besides a winter’s eve filled with food and wine, you can also stay active after dark at the Curry Village Ice Rink with evening ice skating sessions and participate in a snowshoe walk under the light of the full moon at Badger Pass Ski Area. No matter the season, there are wondrous things to see and do after dark in Yosemite National Park.

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8 comments on “Yosemite National Park After Dark

  1. It would be great if the rangers at the entry points to the park were briefed with some of the information on these offerings – enabling them to direct visitors appropriately.

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  2. Pingback: Yosemite National Park After Dark | Turners in the USA

  3. DNC does a great job for their guests by providing so many family-oriented and adventuresome programs after dark. The Starry Skies Over Yosemite Valley has been a favorite because you not only get the starlore, science and stories but you often can see the Milky Way overhead and you are lying on tarps just below Yosemite Falls… fantastic. I’ve participated in fullmoon snowshoe walks from Badger Pass and those are special evenings with the light from the moon casting shadows and the snow seems to glow. Magical. Thanks for all you do to make my park stay so rich!

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    • Currently, the only way to make reservations for activities in Yosemite is by calling the activity reservation line at 209-372-4386.

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