Night Hiking / Stargazing, Yosemite National Park
I can't believe we skipped this. There is a standard moonlight tour that meets at Yosemite Lodge, shuttle stop #8, costs $20 and lasts about 2 hours. The times vary depending the moonlight. That sound great enough, but the one night we were in Yosemite happened to be a full moon. The staff at our hostel suggested that we do the moon tour, but we couldn't find out enough information once we arrived in the park. Apparently, it meets up at Glacier Point and you hike along with a park ranger (a relief considering the bears!). The moonlight shimmering off the rocks is something I'll have to only imagine for now, but if you ever have a chance to do it, please do!
Okay I admit I've put this tip in elsewhere - however it is so good it needs to be mentioned twice!!
The moonlit tours operate during the summer just before and after a full moon - I was very fortunate to get on a tour during the full moon night.
The tour was amazing and the park has this slivery glow which is beautiful.
If you are really lucky you will also see the odd shooting star. Stargazing out in one of the meadows away from any man-made light pollution is a great thing to do.
Dress Code: Warm clothes!
There are slide show programs and Ranger talks regarding the night life at Yosemite. There are programs about bats and Buffalo Soliders.
In the summer, there is campfire programs.
Oh Yeah.. there is also a little bar in Curry Village if you are looking for the traditional night life!
Any day of the month when the moon is half full or more offers excellent oppritunities to stroll around the valley! During a full moon a flashlight isn't always needed! If you're in the park in spring when the waterfulls are at their fullest, take a moonlit hike out to the bridge at Lower Yosemite Falls during a full moon and you can see the eerie phenomenon known as a moonbow, a rainbow created by the glow of the moonlight!
Glacier Point on a clear night allows you to see literally thousands of stars covering every piece of the sky! Glacier Point is also wonderful at night because you can view the valley below in the darkness. Try to figure out what is what! Don't do this alone though as bears love to prowl Glacier Point at night when all the tourists have gone for the day!
On this webcam you have a beautiful view on Half Dome. The webcam is from this website
This is a picture taken from the webcam on Thursday 14th November 2002 in the late afternoon. But when you go to the link, you can see the current conditions in Yosemite. At night the webcam turns dark and you don't have a view of Yosemite anymore.
I love looking at the sky in the night though. A pity I had rain when I was here. But being in a park like this, and look up the sky and the twinkling stars and a beautiful moon would have been magical. That is all the nightlife there is in Yosmite, but it is more than enough for me, I love it.
Being able to see so many stars, galaxies and constellations with the naked eye is priceless! It is amazing how much America is built up and that there is little opportunity for anyone to see astronomy at its finest.
Dress Code: Warm jacket as it gets cool at night
Bundle up, grab a flashlight, put on your Sorels, and take a walk in the snow, especially if the moon is out.
There is a tour that is about 2 hours long that runs thru the Valley at night.
The tour is available late spring thru late fall on full moon nights.