Swimming in the Merced River is a popular way to cool off--but help protect the river by entering and exiting only on sandy beaches. Swimming in rivers is not without hazards, including swift currents, cold water, and hazards within the river (e.g., trees). See Water Safety for more information.
Rafting is permitted on the Merced River between Stoneman Bridge (near Curry Village) and Sentinel Beach Picnic Area between 10 am and 6 pm under the following conditions: the river stage (depth) must read less than 6.5 feet at Sentinel Bridge and the sum of air temperature and water temperature must be more than 100°F. You must have a personal flotation device immediately available for each occupant of the raft (and children under age 13 must be wearing one).
Rafting is also permitted on the South Fork of the Merced River below Swinging Bridge (in Wawona).
Some visitors enjoy kayaking the calm waters of Tenaya Lake.
The season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15. The only exception is Frog Creek near Lake Eleanor, where fishing season does not open until June 15 to protect spawning rainbow trout. The late opening includes the first 1/2 mile of Frog Creek up to the first waterfall, including the pool below this waterfall. The late opening also extends 200 feet from the mouth of Frog Creek out onto the surface of Lake Eleanor and along its shore for a distance of 200 feet from the creek's mouth. Otherwise, all lakes and reservoirs are open to fishing year-round.
There are some special regulations that apply within the park:
Did You Know?
Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) brings youth to Yosemite National Park each summer for a dynamic literacy and leadership immersion program. ARC works with students, boosting academic and leadership skills through a variety of programs, including a 40 day experience in Yosemite full of adventure and intensive learning.