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Rafting in Yosemite

Swimming in Yosemite National Park

At most times of the year the streams and lakes of Yosemite National Park are very chilly. But what a welcome feeling it can be after a day of hiking in hot summery temperatures! Be aware of the potential for hypothermia in cold mountain waters though and limit the time you spend in the water. Another thing to think about, especially in spring, is the currents near waterfalls and river rapids. Have fun but use caution.

There are lots of swimming spots in spring and summer in Yosemite Valley along the Merced River. One of my favorites is the sandy beach near Sentinel Bridge, with its lovely view of Half Dome. When the water level is high enough you can also swim in Tenaya Creek and Mirror Lake.

If you are near Wawona in South Yosemite you can find great places to swim along the south fork of the Merced River. If you have a desire to join the Polar Bear Club, you can practice in the icy waters of the lakes in Yosemite high country.

In North Yosemite, you can try Lake Eleanor, Lake Elizabeth, Lake Laurel or Lake Vernon or the sandy beaches of Tenaya Lake which can be found along Tioga Road. You can swim near Tuolumne Meadows too, but keep you Polar Bear Club Card handy.

There are no lifeguards in any of these swimming areas, so be cautious and safety conscious when you swim. If you are concerned about this, Curry Village, The Yosemite Lodge, the Ahwahnee and Wawona hotels have swimming pools for your enjoyment.

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