Welcome to the Yosemite Recreation Guide

Activities, Dining, Culture & More
Your Guide to a Good Time In the Mountains, Bass Lake, and Oakhurst

(Edited Spring 2018) Hello, and welcome to the Yosemite Area Recreation Guide!

Our aim is to deliver useful information to the travelers in our area.
We’re providing the printed Guide free of charge to our guests staying in vacation homes in Bass Lake, Yosemite, Fish Camp, Ahwahnee, Mariposa, and Oakhurst.

We realize you need more information than just how to get to Half Dome: 
You need to know where to enjoy a good meal, get a drink, rent a boat, go shopping for food or mementos, or the whereabouts of our art galleries, movie cinemas, local theater, and more.

We hope both travelers and local businesses find this Guide to be valuable in the years to come.
Please contact us with ideas on how to improve the next edition!


Upcoming Activities and Events

Past Events:

May 6-7
37th Annual Fishing Derby
Bass Lake

May 6, 6:30pm

Live Music — Executive Rocker
Queen's Inn By The River, Oakhurst

May 12, 6:30pm
Live Music — Square One
Queen's Inn By The River, Oakhurst

May 12 10am

Bass Lake Farmers' Market
The Pines Village

July 1-2
Loggers Jamboree

North Fork

July 4
Fireworks at Bass Lake

July 7
Live Music: Mike Hammer and the Nails
Sierra Meadows

July 8
Bass Lake Veteran's Car Show
The Pines Resort, Bass Lake

July 9
Railroad Melodrama
Performed by the Golden Chain Theater
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

July 21
Jazz on the Lake — NiteFlite
The Pines Resort - Gazebo Deck and Garden, Bass Lake

August 4
Jazz on the Lake — Electric Grease
The Pines Resort - Gazebo Deck and Garden, Bass Lake

August 18
Jazz on the Lake — Par Avion
The Pines Resort - Gazebo Deck and Garden, Bass Lake

August 25
Live Music: Bells Atlas
Sierra Meadows

September 1

Jazz on the Lake — Final Show
The Pines Resort - Gazebo Deck and Garden, Bass Lake

October 27

Pines Village Autumn Craft Fair
The Pines Village

November 25

Pines Village Holiday Bazaar

Top Yosemite Sights & Sites

When you’re visiting Yosemite, there are more wonders of nature to see than most travelers can fit into one visit.
(Many of us who’ve lived near here for years haven’t seen half of it!)

But here are our favorite places that you just can’t miss:

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
From the South Gate into Yosemite Park, turn right to drive a few miles to one of the largest groves of the largest trees in the world.
This area is undergoing serious renovation, with parking lots and some pedestrian areas being closed off for a year. See it while you can, or be sure to visit it next time you come to the park!

Glacier Point
Glacier Point offers the best views of Yosemite Valley that are easily accessed: you can drive almost right up to the viewing area.
From an elevation of more than 7,000 feet, you’ll overlook the full valley below, seeing Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, and more.
Pass the South Gate entrance on the way into the Valley, and turn right up onto Glacier Point Road.

Yosemite Valley
Hike and bike through the 2.8 mile-long Yosemite Valley to gaze at impressive waterfalls, high cliffs, unusual rock formations, sunny meadows, groves of pine and oak and sparkling rivers and lakes.

Tunnel View
Yes, this is likely the most iconic view of Yosemite Valley. You’ll see El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall.
How do you see it? Well, if you are driving into the park from Oakhurst, you can’t miss it! The main road, Hwy 41/Wawona Road, goes through the tunnel as you head into the valley.

Bridalveil Fall
In the valley, Bridalveil is the first waterfall you will drive near — the parking lot for it is right off Wawona Road as you enter the valley. Get out of the car and walk right up to the base of the Falls — it’s well worth it!

Half Dome
This is a granite dome rising 8,800 feet above sea level.
The adventurous can climb the summit using the seasonal steel cables.
The rest of us can appreciate the sight from many vantage points throughout the valley.

Vernal Falls and the Mist Trail
Vernal is a 317-foot waterfall that gushes from the Merced River into the valley.
The Mist Trail is a mostly paved path to the base of the cascading waterfall, where you can feel the namesake mist (or get soaked by it during peak seasons).
If you’re feeling energetic, continue on up past Vernal to Nevada Falls.
While we recommend the free shuttle, the nearest parking lot is just past Curry Village.

Yosemite Falls
In early Spring, you can experience the thunderous sound of Yosemite Falls throughout the Valley. The main Valley loop road takes you to the main access point to it. Enjoy an easy hike up to the base of the Falls.

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is a nice hike up from the Valley to the “half” side of Half Dome and the slow moving stream that runs at its base. While not as deep as in the days when it got its  name, you can still peer into it from certain angles and see the rocky walls of Half Dome reflected in its mirror surface.

El Capitan
This monolith is known as the largest exposed slab of granite in the world. It’s especially striking when lit by the sunset, which you can best see as you head West toward the Valley exits, and it’s on your right.

Big Architecture in the Big Valley
Visit the big hotels:

The Awahnee, Wawona and, just outside, the Tenaya Lodge — all are magnificent buildings well worth seeing!


Riding your bicycle is one of the best ways to feel nature all around you while at the same the enjoying a rush of healthy exercise.
There are more than 12 miles of paved bike paths in Yosemite Valley. You can also ride along the regular roads (while obeying traffic laws).
In Yosemite Valley, you can rent bikes at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, and Curry Village.
You can also enjoy riding your bike all around Bass Lake and throughout the many camp grounds and housing areas.

Bike Rentals:

Yosemite Bicycle & Sport
40680 Hwy 41, Suite C, Oakhurst
We sell and service bicycles, with all the parts, accessories, clothing, helmets etc. to go with them.
We  have a custom map of all the roads and trails in Eastern Madera county.
Join in: We lead mountain bike rides on Sunday mornings.
Hours: 11-6 M-F, 10-5 Saturdays.

Bass Lake’s sparkling waters are surrounded by the Sierra National Forest. It’s a beautiful vacation spot year round.
The lake is a tree-trimmed reservoir about a half-hour’s drive south of Yosemite National Park’s south entrance.
Bass Lake’s elevation is almost 3,400 feet, and it’s surface water temperature is comfortably warm in summer at about around 75°F/24°C.
The lake is nearly 5 miles long.
Popular activities include water skiing, wake-boarding, and riding wave runners.
There are also sheltered coves for swimming, sailing, kayaking, and pedal boating.
Boat rentals are available on the lake.
On land, there are also plenty of trails leading into the Sierra National Forest, ready for hiking and mountain biking.
Bass Lake was made when the electric company dammed Willow Creek in 1901.
• Location — Sierra National Forest, 14 miles from Yosemite’s south gate entrance.
• Elevation — 3,369 feet
• Length — 4-5 miles
• Width — ½ mile
• Depth — 98 feet
• Shoreline — 18 miles
• Speed limit: None.

Boating & Rafting
Of course the best way to enjoy Bass Lake is to be on it — in a boat, kayak, raft, or waverunner.
If you didn’t bring a boat of your own, there are rental options available:

Bass Lake Watersports
54406 Marina Drive
This company rents Pontoon boats with slides, ski boats, patio boats, jet skis, fishing boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, canoes, and more — including the Bass Lake Queen pontoon party rental boats. It has a full service marina on Bass Lake, with a store, fuel , boat rentals, mechanic, and launch ramp right in the middle of Bass Lake. 

Miller's Landing Resort
37976 Road 222
Boat docks, rentals, and sales.
(Also: a general store, and a hamburger grill restaurant.)

Zephyr Whitewater River Expeditions
209-532-6249, 800-431-3636
Take a half-day up to a 3-day rafting trip,  on the Merced, Tuolumne, and Kings rivers. 
Zephyr has been in operation since 1973, and is the largest outfitter on the Merced river near Yosemite, and one of the original outfitters on the Kings river near Sequoia/Kings Canyon. 
One the Merced river, Zephyr offers both morning and afternoon 1/2 day trips covering 11 miles, and full day trips covering 16 miles — including a great deli lunch served on the river!

Rafting in Yosemite
One of the best excursions around is a beautiful and relaxing cruise down the Merced River through Yosemite Valley.
The length of the Yosemite rafting season changes from year to year and depends on river depth, water temperature and climate.
Rafts can be rented at the Curry Village Recreation Center.

Bass Lake is known for rainbow trout, kokanee, largemouth bass, and more.
You can cast off from the beach, or drag a line from a boat… just make sure you have your license first!

Fish & Game Department: 559-658-7142
Children Fishing info: 559-642-3201
And there are even more fishing opportunities throughout Yosemite National Park.
Want some guidance? Here are two tour companies:

Yosemite Bass Lake Fishing Tours

Sierra Fly Fisher


Sierra Meadows Country Club
46516 Opah Drive, Oakhurst

River Creek Golf Course & Restaurant
41709 Road 600, Oakhurst

Golf Cart Rides And Rentals

Pines Village Golf Cart Rentals
54362 Rd 432
Cruise around the lake in comfort and style — without having to worry about parking! It's the economical way to get around the lake — and the most fun! 

Hikes And Tours

In Bass Lake, there are four primary hikes to enjoy.

Willow Creek Trail & Angel Falls
This is the primary water source for the lake, and it makes for a wonderful walk upstream, with plentiful swimming holes and waterfalls. There are nearby parking areas from North Shore Road and off of Road 274.
Be prepared: the full hike is almost three miles, and can be a steep climb at times. But it’s worth it. (But stay on the trail: some people have died leaving it. Really.)

Goat Mountain
On the south side of Bass Lake, the Goat Mountain Trail begins in the Forks Campground, and takes you up to the lookout station. Along the way are great views of the lake.

Spring Cove Trails
The Spring Cove Trail begins east of the Spring Cove Campground entrance, and also goes up for good look-outs.

This “Interpretive Trail” features signs along the way that highlight the history and lifestyle of the Mono tribe that once lived there. The loop trail is about a half mile long, and starts across from the Little Denver Church day use picnic area.

Other hikes in the area include:

Lewis Creek National Recreational Trail
North past Oakhurst  on Hwy 41 is a great hike to two falls: Red Rock, and Corlieu, which is 80 feet high. It’s all along the historical Sugar Pine Lumber flume route.

Nelder Grove — Shadow Of The Giants Trail
Giant sequoias await you in Nelder Grove, a peaceful and relatively undiscovered hike, located above Oakhurst, off Sky Ranch Road.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy Yosemite is taking a hike. Some of the best hikes in the Park include:
• Yosemite Valley
• Glacier Point Road
• Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
• Tuolumne Meadows

Here’s the park service’s guide to Valley hikes by difficulty and distance.

Remember to stay on the trails. Straying off the path, even in search of a shortcut, is dangerous and illegal.

Want a guide on your hike?
Check out these businesses:

Yosemite Trails Pack Station

Mountain Area Ski School (MASS)

Crossroad Tours & Limousine

Skytime Helicopter Tours

Discover Yosemite

Photo Safari Yosemite

Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides

Yosemite Hiking  Guides

Central California Explorations & Majestic Mountain Loop Tours
559 298 8528, 877-581-0745
Info@CentralCalWow.com; CentralCalWow.com
Your adventure starts here, whether you are looking for the thrill of the National Parks, caves, caverns, trails, the history of the taming of the West, exploring the culinary offerings of the agriculture capital of the world, or experiencing the crashing waves of the mighty Pacific Ocean against the craggy cliffs on the Pacific Coastal Highway!
Central California Explorations offers packages for the young and young at heart to explore Central California.  They come complete with car rentals, accommodations, sightseeing activities, and both self-drive and guided tours.
The Majestic Mountain Loop Tour takes you to 3 Parks in 3 Days, with meals, accommodations, and more.

Railroad Rides

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
56001 Highway 41, Fish Camp

Travel back in time on an exciting 4-mile railroad excursion, on a powerful steam train. Gold panning, Thornberry Museum, gift store and deli lunch. Moonlight Special with entertainment, dinner & barbecue. Open seasonally.
In season, the Logger Steam Train runs seven days a week.
Your best bet? The Moonlight Train Ride & BBQ. “Along the way you will recall the days of the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company’s logging operations, and discover the trees of the Sierra National Forest. At the stopover at Lewis Creek Canyon, you’ll have fun and entertainment featuring live music or theatre.
Hear the whistle blow and see the Shay’s firebox glow under the night sky on your trip back to the station.

Zip Line Rides

Zip Yosemite
45800 Calvin Crest Rd., Oakhurst
Experience a family friendly adventure at Zip Yosemite! 
Located off Hwy 41, minutes from Yosemite south entrance, Zip Yosemite the closest zipline tour to Bass Lake, Tenaya Lodge, Oakhurst, and Yosemite!
Signature tours are available daily, and offer spectacular views of Sierra National Forest — while enjoying the cool mountain breeze at 5,000 feet elevation. 
The state-of-the-art experience are fully guided, and require no hand braking — creating a perfect experience for all ability levels. Tours average 1.5 hours.

Yosemite Ziplines & Adventure Ranch
4808 Highway 140, Mariposa