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Yosemite in Fall - Kim Lawson - Visit Yosemite Madera County

Green Friday: Family Hiking And Biking Around Yosemite

MOUNTAIN AREA — Togetherness is one of the simple ideals behind the Thanksgiving holiday and its ensuing weekend. Rather than eat, shop, and repeat, local lovers of the outdoors have a suggestion for the entire friends-and-family entourage: try a little Green Friday.

As compared with the (when-did-it-become?) traditional Black Friday — a nearly-sacred day for those who love to shop a bargain — the goal of Green Friday is to get people outside and moving. The planners and adventurers at Visit Yosemite Madera County are encouraging people to work off some of that extra gravy and sample the terra firma on Green Friday, and they’ve kindly compiled a list of places to do just that.

“What better way to burn off Thanksgiving calories than to go for a hike or bike ride out in Mother Nature?” asks Therese Williams, Director of Public Relations at Visit Yosemite Madera County.

Therese says that, since fall weather really is perfect for outdoor activities, people can check out Yosemite for fall foliage, hiking and mountain biking, while enjoying cool mornings, sunny days and starry nights.

A search for quaking aspen, for instance, can be found in some favorite glades within the park. Easy for leaf-peepers to drive by are roadside stands of quaking aspen along the Tioga Road near the Tuolumne Grove trailhead, and the Yosemite Creek picnic area. More isolated aspens grow along the Glacier Point Road past Summit Meadow. Or consider a gentle walk along the old road from Badger Pass ski area to Bridalveil Creek Campground that leads to aspen groves.

Hiking Trails Around Oakhurst

Moderate | Lewis Creek – 4 miles one way.
Note: Entire trail is from Sugar Pine in the north to Cedar Valley in the south (or vice versa). See next hike for trail description.

Easy | Lewis Creek – Highway 41 Trailhead to Sugar Pine – 2 miles.
Note: Beautiful walk; may encounter snow/ice toward Sugar Pine in winter.

Moderate | Lewis Creek – Highway 41 Trailhead to Cedar Valley – 2 miles.
Note: The trail is steep, with switchbacks, to bottom of Corlieu Falls. Trail can be slippery and has plenty of poison oak. Caution is advised.

Hiking Trails  in Yosemite

You’re here at a delightful time because you have the park almost entirely to yourself. Nature has carved out a special spot, a magical place where you can lose yourself in the beauty around you. From expansive meadows to dramatic rock formations blanketed in snow, to beautiful, cascading waterfalls, Yosemite delights the senses and refreshes the spirit.  

Outside Yosemite in the Bass Lake area is a mountain biking-Mecca, allowing people to experience the vast landscapes from an intimate perspective.

Easy Bike Trails near Oakhurst

Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park
Located on Highway 49 approximately 10 miles outside of Oakhurst.  This large acreage park has many trails for walking and biking.

Biking Trails Bass Lake

Intermediate Trails:
Goat Mountain | Forks Trail – 8 miles round trip. Note: Bike to top of Goat Mountain to the Fire Lookout tower. Watch for poison oak.

Goat Mountain | Spring Cove – 8 miles round trip. Note: Bike from Spring Cove campground to Fire Lookout tower. Watch for poison oak.

Advanced Trails:
Bass Lake – Central Camp Road |Trail 007 – from 3 miles to as long as 20 miles. Note: Best done on a long travel full-suspension bike.

Willow Creek Trail – from 3 miles to as long as 20 miles. Note: This is a double-black-diamond ride best don on a full-suspension bike with at least 5 inches of travel.

Biking Trails Inside Yosemite

Wawona | Swinging Bridge – 4 miles round trip. Note: From the Wawona store, ride out 2 miles on paved Forest Drive to the entrance to the Swinging Bridge area. Park your bike at the entrance and walk the .75 mile round trip to the bridge (and swimming hole).

Wawona
| Meadow Loop – 3.5 mile loop. Note: Ride a lovely, forested flat meadow.

Yosemite Valley | See current Yosemite Guide newspaper for areas where bikes are permitted. Note: Bikes are not permitted on dirt or trails leading out of the valley …

Wawona | Swinging Bridge – 4 miles round trip. Note: From the Wawona store, ride out 2 miles on paved Forest Drive to the entrance to the Swinging Bridge area. Park your bike at the entrance and walk the .75 mile round trip to the bridge (and swimming hole).

Wawona
| Meadow Loop – 3.5 mile loop. Note: Ride a lovely, forested flat meadow.

Yosemite Valley | See current Yosemite Guide newspaper for areas where bikes are permitted. Note: Bikes are not permitted on dirt or trails leading out of the valley floor.

With so many hiking and bike trails in and outside of Yosemite, you may want to take a look at the Visit Yosemite Madera County website for suggestions and itineraries as you plan your Green Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photos by Kim Lawson for Visit Yosemite Madera County

 

 

 

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