Yosemite 1-Hour Bicycle Tour


After dealing with the buses, RV’s, and campers that clog Yosemite Valley’s main arteries, I gave up on the car, and selected a better way to explore the park: by bicycle.  You can rent bikes at Yosemite Lodge for a few bucks an hour, and keep them all day, if you’d like.

Even though I rented my bike just one hour before the rental stand closed, I still managed to see more of the park than I ever could have, on foot or in a car.  The next three pages of photos were all taken in less than 60 minutes, as I looped around the valley.

While I wouldn’t dare compare myself to Ansel Adams, it is kinda cool to know that we both probably stood in the same place, taking similar pictures of the park’s granite giants.

While I still pledge not to complain about my problems navigating Yosemite Valley, I will give the park credit for one thing: it has developed an excellent network of paved bicycle paths that are mostly flat and easy-to-pedal, even for riders who are a little out of shape.

Stop for a minute at Yosemite Chapel, or for an hour on Sunday mornings, if you’d like.

Another shot of Yosemite Falls, from a distance this time, and from the other side of the Merced River.

Yosemite has clearly chosen Half Dome as the park’s icon.  The rounded granite peak is unmistakably Yosemite, and you’ll find its likeness on almost every park souvenir.

As you can tell in these photos, it’s quickly getting dark, even though it’s still hours before sunset.  Don’t forget that when you’re in the valley, you’re below the horizon, so you’ll be in the shadows of the valley walls well before sunset.

A few more pictures taken during my pedal-powered tour.

Note: This trip was first published in 2004.

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