Yosemite Cemetery Halloween Tour

Park visitors won’t find tricks, treats, or haunted houses in Yosemite, but in October they will find a Halloween activity suitable for visitors of all ages. Relive Yosemite’s past on a fall evening by lantern light and visit the grave sites of Native Americans and early settlers buried in the historic Yosemite Cemetery. This little-known spot in Yosemite Village is an oasis of quiet on a busy summer day and a place of reflection in the calm of autumn. Delaware North at Yosemite interpretive guides lead a tour of the historic cemetery in Yosemite Valley each year on Halloween evening, with additional tours offered earlier during the week of the holiday.

The Yosemite Cemetery Tour is offered free of charge to all park visitors. Meet the tour guide in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, and then follow along to an evening campfire for introductions. Touring the timeline of the cemetery, guides will share history and stories at several different grave sites ranging from simple headstones to more elaborate resting places. Historic figures include native Miwok families, Yosemite’s first guardian, Yosemite’s first trail builder and the first person to climb Half Dome. From 1870 to 1956, local residents were buried in this area that had previously served as a Miwok burial ground for several centuries. Look for the tallest grave marker in the cemetery and find the final resting place of James Lamon, the first Euro-American to permanently settle in Yosemite Valley – which included spending his first winter here alone!

Though you may feel moved by the spirit of Yosemite, there are no frightening elements to this tour. Yosemite history is presented in a fun and informative way along the pathways of the cemetery. For the tour, the cemetery grounds are lighted by lantern and candle, but feel free to bring a flashlight – fall evenings are very dark in Yosemite! Tour dates for 2015 include Thursday 10/29, Friday 10/30 and Saturday 10/31 at 7:30 pm, with an additional family focused tour at 5:30 pm on Saturday 10/31.

For more tour details, visit http://www.yosemitepark.com/halloween-cemetery-tour.aspx

Want to learn more about the Yosemite Cemetery? The Guide to the Yosemite Cemetery can be purchased at visitor center bookstores in Yosemite.

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#YosemiteSocial!

Have you ever attended a social media event? Originally formed as part of the Twitter community and known as as “Tweet-Ups” (a play on meet-up, get it?), social media events have evolved to include users of all social media channels in what are often referred to as “Socials”. This week, Delaware North at Yosemite hosted Yosemite National Park’s first “Yosemite Social”. By invitation, social media influencers and social media representatives of park partners gathered in Yosemite Valley February 1 – 3, 2015 to talk about Yosemite in winter. The original event itinerary centered around winter sports at Badger Pass Ski Area – California’s original ski resort and one of only two located in a national park. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has chosen to withhold snow from the Sierra Nevada this winter and Badger Pass has closed temporarily due to lack of it. So what to do in the Yosemite winter without snow? Yosemite Social learned about activities such as hiking, biking, and ice skating in a snow-free Yosemite winter. Social media users on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can check out the experience by searching for the #YosemiteSocial hashtag on each channel.

In addition to activities, Yosemite Social was hosted at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls with a welcome dinner at The Mountain Room. After dinner entertainment consisted of a Starry Skies Over Yosemite Program, led by Delaware North at Yosemite interpretive guide Cory. Taking Yosemite Social on a cosmic tour of the universe, Cory shared his extensive knowledge of astronomy on a walking tour under the dark night sky of Leidig Meadow. The next day, Yosemite Social took a Bike-to-Hike Tour with Yosemite Mountaineering School Guide Allissa. Using the cruisers from the bike rental operation at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is an easy way to explore Yosemite Valley with occasional stops for short hikes and iconic vistas. Yosemite Social stopped mid-tour for lunch with freshly-made sandwiches at Degnan’s Deli in Yosemite Village and a meet & greet with Yosemite National Park Service staff. With grand views of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls as a backdrop, Ranger Paul provided insight into the methods and goals of social media for the National Park Service in Yosemite.

Though Curry Village operates seasonally and is often closed during the winter months, Yosemite Social had a special pizza party dinner in the Curry Village Dining Pavilion featuring Pizza Deck pies – a tradition for summer visitors. Along with local beers and a green salad, dinner provided an opportunity to learn about operations at Curry Village – originally established in 1899 by the Curry family – from General Manager Dan Cornforth and Guest Recreation Manager Sean Costello. A short walk from the pavilion provided a winter evening’s activity: ice skating at Curry Village Ice Rink. Not only are rental skates available to circle the ice under Half Dome and Glacier Point during the day, take a break to gather around the fire pit during evening skate sessions with a S’mores Kit for dessert. Ice rink staff will even loan you long-handled forks for marshmallow toasting.

On the last day of the event Yosemite Social joined The Ahwahnee‘s General Manager, Brett Archer, for breakfast in the Ahwahnee Dining Room. Since Chefs’ Holidays at The Ahwahnee was still in full swing for its last sessions, Yosemite Social also participated in an exclusive Ahwahnee Kitchen Tour for a close up look at baked bread, desserts and the hardworking kitchen staff in this historic hotel. Many architectural elements are original to the hotel opening in 1927, including giant Hobart stand mixers haven’t been available in decades. Each winter in January and February, Chefs’ Holidays hosts famous chefs from around the country for cooking demonstrations, historic kitchen tours and a gala dinner in the Ahwahnee Dining Room.

Sincere thanks goes to the participants of the first ever Yosemite Social: Annie from NatureBridge, Amber and Noel from Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, Trevor from Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Annie from Outdoorsy Mama, Kim from Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau and travel photographer Zach Glassman. Would you like to attend a Yosemite Social? Look for future event announcements on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Earth Day in Yosemite National Park

Earth Day YosemiteEach spring on Earth Day, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite partners with Yosemite National Park to celebrate our commitment to the environment by sponsoring an event located at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. The Earth Day Mall Celebration takes place on Earth Day April 22, 2014 and features food, fun and scheduled activities for all ages available from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Park visitors are invited to have lunch at the sustainable ingredient salad bar, participate in a ranger walk or talk, finish spring cleaning by recycling electronics at the Yosemite Village Recycling Center, take a photography walk with the Ansel Adams Gallery, and introduce children to yoga with a family-friendly session.

In addition to the mall celebration, the Earth Day Bike Ride in Yosemite Valley occurs the weekend prior to Earth Day on Saturday April 19, 2014. On the Earth Day Bike Ride, explore Yosemite Valley with Yosemite National Park and park partner staff for a fun and educational guided bike tour. Park partners include the Yosemite Conservancy, NatureBridge and Balanced Rock Yoga. This guided tour of Yosemite Valley bike paths features stops at information stations that provide the latest news about Yosemite’s environmental efforts. Subjects include preservation of endangered wildlife such as the Pacific Fisher, restoration of Yosemite’s trails and native habitats, identification of lichen and moss and techniques for conifer tree removal to maintain the health of Yosemite’s trees. Earth Day Bike Ride participants meet at 2:00 pm at the Curry Village Bike Stand. Each ride tours Yosemite Valley on designated bike paths with scheduled stops at information stations directed by a volunteer tour leader. The bike tour is appropriate for all experienced riders and lasts approximately three hours.

Park visitors are welcome to bring their own bikes to participate in Earth Day Bike Ride and bike rentals are available for experienced riders at the Curry Village Bike Stand. The cost of Earth Day Bike Ride is $5.00 per person. This fee includes bike rental for the tour. Space is limited and advanced sign up is required. Information and tickets are available at any Tour & Activity Desk in Yosemite Valley and by calling Yosemite Activities Reservations at 209-372-4386.
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Yosemite Spring Openings

Trail rides in Yosemite below Half Dome

Trail rides in Yosemite below Half Dome

With spring’s arrival, Yosemite is experiencing the typical hallmarks of spring, beautiful weather, gushing waterfalls, blooming wildflowers and the reopening of Housekeeping Camp, Yosemite Valley Stable and the open-air Valley Floor Tours.

Housekeeping Camp is scheduled to open for the season today, Thursday, April 25. A Yosemite family favorite, Housekeeping Camp is ideal for those who like to camp outdoors without the hassle of setting up a tent. Each of the 266 Housekeeping Camp tents, which can sleep up to six people, consists of three concrete walls, a concrete floor and a canvas roof. A canvas curtain separates the sleeping area from a covered patio featuring a grill and picnic table. Spring and summer reservations are still available for Housekeeping Camp and other Yosemite Valley accommodations.

Yosemite activities opening for the spring and summer season include two-hour mule and horseback rides at the Yosemite Valley Stable and the popular open-air Valley Floor Tours. Yosemite Valley Stable opens on Friday, April 26 for the two-hour guided rides to picturesque Mirror Lake. Cost for the two-hour rides is $64 per rider. Half-day and full-day rides will open at a later date pending conditions. The open-air Valley Floor Tours are now open for the season. On this two-hour tour, park rangers introduce some of Yosemite’s most famous sightseeing points in Yosemite Valley and describe the history, geology, plant and animal life of the region. Cost for the tour is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and $13 for children. There is no fee for children under the age of five.

Other spring activities available include bike rentals and family programs. To sign up for any of these activities please call (209) 372-4FUN (4386) or stop by one of the tour kiosks. Kiosks are located at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, on the parking lot side of the Village Store, and in Curry Village behind shuttle stop 13B.

New Tour Buses in Yosemite


This morning, six beautiful new clean-diesel buses pulled into Yosemite for their first tour of their new home. The new buses are a nice improvement over their predecessors, with greater fuel economy and 90% lower emissions. They come equipped with several convenient ADA features. Not only do they ‘kneel’ to make it easier for people to step inside, but they also have lifts to make it easy for wheelchair users to enjoy the tours. Plus, all riders will appreciate the outlets located next to each seat so that you can conveniently charge your camera or cell phone on your trip.

The convoy of buses drew attention all along their trip to Yosemite due to the beautiful imagery decorating both sides of the buses, and drivers reported that several people stopped to take pictures.

Keep your eyes open for these buses on the longer Yosemite tours such as the Grand Tour, Glacier Point Tour, or the Tuolumne Hiker’s Bus. Next year, three more of these new buses will complete the transition to the new fleet.