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Explore 12+ Miles of Stunning Yosemite Scenery On this Bike Trail 😍

Imagine seeing the best sites of Yosemite Valley with less effort, a nice summer breeze, and in half the time. 

Well, you can do this by making use of the 12+ miles of paved bike paths in Yosemite Valley. 

And it’s so easy for anyone to do even if you don’t have your own bike!

There’s even a way to do it for free! (we’ll reveal that later in this post)

But the 12+ miles of paved bike paths aren’t all you can ride your bike on.

You can use the roads too to venture further out if you’re comfortable and obey traffic laws. 

Just remember that you shouldn’t be taking your bike on any dirt paths or any other sections where there is signage telling you not to and rentals can’t be taken out of Yosemite Valley.

🚨Useful links are included at the end of this post and there are also 2 videos in this post that show you what you could see when riding around Yosemite on your bike.

What Can I See? 

You can see pretty much everything in Yosemite Valley that you would see by walking around. 

Most of the paved walking trails that people use in Yosemite Valley can be used by people on bikes too! 

Here’s a map from the NPS website that shows you the paved bike paths in orange as well as roads (in gray) in the main Yosemite Valley area.

Yosemite Valley
NPS – Biking

This means from Mirror Lake in the east to the Valley View Viewpoint in the west, you can see it all by riding your bike and stopping along the way. 

You’ll see magnificent views of Half Dome along your ride (Northside Drive gives really good views!)

You’ll also be able to get views of highlights like Yosemite Falls.

mirror lake yosemite (1)

And don’t forget the rest of the stunning woodland that surrounds you and the Merced River following you around the valley with its constant flow. 

Just don’t forget that the paved bike paths are for walking too and you shouldn’t be going above 15 mph! 

Why Riding A Bike Is Better

The best part of this all is how easy it is to see everything without exhausting yourself. 

Most of the Yosemite Valley is fairly flat so getting around is a breeze.

But even with flat paths, imagine covering 12 miles of paved walkways on foot vs on a bike. 

By using a bike you can focus more on enjoying the stunning locations and less on getting tired feet.

You also get to avoid the shuttles around the valley which can get pretty busy during the peak season.

If you are particularly short on time then using a bike is even more recommended because it lets you cover a lot more ground than walking.

Do I Need My Own Bike? 

No you don’t need your own bike. 

Even if you don’t own your own bike you can still enjoy the beautiful views in Yosemite by renting or borrowing a bike. 

You can choose from using the Yosemite Bike Share program (free) or renting a bike for yourself. 

The Yosemite Bike Share Program (Free)

The Yosemite Bike Share is a free program that allows you to use a bike for up to two hours at a time.

It’s fairly easy to use as you just download the Yosemite Bike Share app, register with your details, and then you can unlock any of the bike share bikes around the park and get pedaling. 

The downside is that it’s only available from around June to October when around 50 standard bikes are made available in the park.

This is compared to bike rentals which are available from March through October. 

The other thing to note is that if you want special types of bikes then a rental will be a better option.

For more information on the bike share program use the link below:

Bike Rentals (Paid)

You can pick up bike rentals at Curry Village Bike Rental Kiosk, Yosemite Village Bike Rental Stand (next to the village store), and Yosemite Valley Lodge Bike Stand.

If you’re staying in Yosemite Valley you might be wondering which of these is closest to you. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Upper Pines campground – Get bikes at Curry Village Bike Rental Kiosk
  • Lower Pines campground – Get bikes at Curry Village Bike Rental Kiosk
  • North Pines campground – Get bikes at Curry Village Bike Rental Kiosk
  • Camp Curry – Get bikes at Curry Village Bike Rental Kiosk
  • Yosemite Valley Lodge – Get bikes at Yosemite Valley Lodge Bike Stand.
  • Camp 4 – Get bikes at Yosemite Valley Lodge Bike Stand.
  • The Ahwahnee – Get bikes at Yosemite Village Bike Rental Stand (next to the village store)

Here are some contact details for each place:

Curry Village Bike Rental Kiosk. 

  • Tel: 209.372.8323

Yosemite Village Bike Rental Stand (next to the village store),

  • Tel: 209.372.1268

Yosemite Valley Lodge Bike Stand. 

  • Tel: 209.372.1208

The season starts in March and ends in October for these bike rental places.

Opening hours are normally 9 am to 6 pm, or 9 am to 5 pm depending on the time of year with the last bike rental being 1 hour 15 minutes before closure.

Just keep in mind that the weather can affect opening hours and if the weather is particularly bad then the bike rental stands can close. 

More information here:

And don’t worry you don’t need to reserve a rental. 

Almost all bike rentals are first come first serve, with some exceptions. 

Reservations can be made, but only for ADA bicycles. This includes hand-crank bicycles and bicycles for visually impaired guests. 

How Much Are Rentals?

At the time of writing, a standard bike is $30 for a half-day rental and $40 for a full-day rental. 

And it’s not just standard bikes that you can rent. 

You can rent Electric scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, helmets, and tag-along bikes. 

There are also rentals available for ADA bikes.

For more information on prices check out the following link:

Can I Bring An Electric Bike? 

With some limitations yes. 

E-bikes with electric motors less than 750 watts (1 horsepower) are allowed in all the same places where standard bicycles are allowed. 

For example, the people in the video below are using their own electric bikes (you’ll also be able to see some of the views they managed to see).

Key Info When Using Bikes 

Remember that there are rules in place that you should be following. 

Here are some rules from the NPS website:

  • Bicycling on Yosemite’s roads means sharing them with both recreational and passenger vehicles of all sizes.
  • Helmets are required by law for children under 18 years of age.
  • E-bikes with two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and electric motors less than 750 watts (1 horsepower) are allowed everywhere bicycles are allowed. Speed limit on bike paths is 15 mph.
  • Electric scooters are allowed on the bike paths but not on park roads. Speed limit on bike paths is 15 mph.
  • Off-trail riding and mountain biking, and use of motorized scooters on bike paths are not permitted in Yosemite National Park.

Top Things To Do In Yosemite

If you need some ideas on what to do in Yosemite then have a look through this list of things you can’t miss. 

  1. Hike to Half Dome
  2. View Yosemite Falls
  3. Do the Mist Trail Hike and see Vernal Falls
  4. Go rafting in the Merced River
  5. Stop at viewpoints like El Capitan Meadow, Hanging Valley Viewpoint, Yosemite Valley Viewpoint
  6. Stop at the serene Tenaya Lake just off Tioga Pass
  7. Go ice skating at Curry Village (in winter)
  8. Visit the Yosemite Museum
  9. Swim in the Merced River
  10. Have a picnic at one of the picnic areas like
    • Swinging bridge 
    • Cathedral beach
    • Church bowl
  11. See Bridalveil Fall
  12. Go to the Tunnel View viewpoint for one of the best views in the park
  13. See the Firefall at Horsetail Fall
  14. Explore the Tuolumne Meadows 

For more details and ideas for even more things to do, check out this post below which serves as a guide to visiting Yosemite:

Related Reading: The Yosemite guide you didn’t know you needed

More Useful Information

Here are some links that provide you with all the information you’ll need to prepare for your bike ride around Yosemite.

This video below shows you a bit more of what you could see when biking around the valley.

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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