We have been to Yosemite National Park four times now. And we realized on this most recent trip that we definitely have a Yosemite routine:
- We catch lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli near Mono Lake on our way into the park.
- We go on at least one epic hike.
- We spend at least one day in Tuolumne Meadows.
- We eat dinner at the Curry Village Pizza Deck EVERY night.
- We try to catch a show at the Yosemite theater.
- We make the drive up to Glacier Point at least once during our stay.
Despite our routine, we try to fit in new experiences. In a place like Yosemite, it would take a lifetime to see and do it all.
This year, one of our “new to us” activities was renting bikes from the Curry Village Bike Stand and riding around Yosemite Valley for a morning. We’ve talked about renting bikes on previous trips, but we never got around to it. This year, we had a coupon from the Yosemite Conservancy — We took it as a sign to finally do it!
Renting bikes in Yosemite is super easy. After filling out some paperwork, you enter a huge tent filled with bikes. Look around for a bike that fits, try it out, and if it’s good, you’re ready to ride!
There’s a 7-mile bike path that loops around Yosemite Valley. It even took us through areas of Yosemite Valley where we had never ventured before. We finally made it to the Swinging Bridge, which we were both pretty excited about.
After Swinging Bridge, we rode over to the LeConte Memorial Lodge, home of the Sierra Club in Yosemite. We have passed by this unique building more times than I can count, so it was fun to finally go inside.
As we took off on our bikes again, we came across a coyote crossing the road right ahead of us. He trotted along in front of us for a while, and then darted into the woods along the trail. We kept pace with him for about a half mile or so. I had never seen a coyote so close up before.
We grabbed lunch from the food truck at Happy Isles and watched people start on their journeys up the Mist Trail. From there, we continued along the loop and headed back to Curry Village.
Seeing Yosemite Valley from the bikes was a totally different experience, and we both loved it! I think it’s safe to say that a Valley bike ride will make it into our regular Yosemite routine in future trips.