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Book Cathedral Beach Picnic Area Holidays
Holiday Travel Guide

Find a place to laze on the sand, watch the quiet river and rest in the shadow of a giant. Bring the family, a book and some food for simple relaxation.

The giant towering above you at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area in Yosemite National Park is El Capitan. Rising nearly 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) from the valley floor, it’s a destination point for serious climbers. El Cap is near enough to Cathedral Beach that you can see people scaling its face while you relax in the picnic area. Bring binoculars to watch climbers carefully finding handholds and footholds.

Enjoy being in Yosemite National Park surrounded by natural beauty of tall peaks. The sandy beach on the tranquil water of the Merced River may be an unexpected treat. Like most rivers that run from lofty heights, it provides a refreshingly chilly dip on a hot day. The channel is not deep and the slow motion of the river in the warmer months can be quite inviting. Jump in upstream wearing a flotation device and gently drift back to the picnic area.

Be prepared for the picnic area’s lack of commercial development. Bring your own blanket, food and water. Reach an inner serenity by being a part of this humbling natural environment.

Incredibly, despite all the surrounding beauty, this picnic area is often fairly quiet in relation to the number of visitors to Yosemite, even in the warmer months. It’s not surprising that this idyllic location is a desirable venue for wedding parties. Park your car in the designated lot for the picnic area and look for a spot by the river under mighty redwood trees or sit at a table to enjoy a leisurely meal. Toilet facilities are provided.

Visit nearby Yosemite Falls, one of North America’s tallest falls with a two-part drop of 2,425 feet (739 meters). Hikers may want to consider the uphill Four Mile Trail, which is actually 4.8 miles (7.7 kilometers) in one direction and offers spectacular panoramic views.

Find Cathedral Beach Picnic Area just off Southside Drive. Look for signs near the road to El Capitan Bridge, which crosses the Merced River.

Top things to do in Cathedral Beach Picnic Area

Top Trending Hotels Near Cathedral Beach Picnic Area

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
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Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor Center. Cook's Meadow and Yosemite Falls Trailhead ...

4.1/5Very Good! (158 reviews)

"I loved that the Upper Yosemite Falls view was outside our front door from our room."…"

Reviewed on 3 Mar 2021

Yosemite Valley Lodge
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
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Located near the slopes, this Yosemite National Park hotel is situated in the mountains, within 1 mile (2 km) of Ahwahnee Meadow and Yosemite Visitor Center, ...

4.3/5Excellent! (180 reviews)

"The hotel so clean and convenient, but some staffs liked not welcome."…"

Reviewed on 1 Mar 2021

The Ahwahnee
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
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Situated in a national park, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Yosemite Mountaineering School, Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor Center. Ahwahnee Meadow ...

4.3/5Excellent! (29 reviews)
Beautiful Yosemite

"Great stay! You will have shared bathrooms and showers, but there is plenty of space in the tent/cabin for a couple or family of four. Really enjoyed the stay in Yosemite, and the surrounding beauty!"…"

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2020

Curry Village
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Valley Lodge
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The Ahwahnee
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Curry Village
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
2.5 out of 5
11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA
The price is £111 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
Yosemite View Lodge
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
7210 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
3.5 out of 5
7507 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders El Capitan Loft 3 Bedroom
Scenic Wonders El Capitan Loft 3 Bedroom
4 out of 5
7306 Buck Brush Lane, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonders El Capitan Loft 3 Bedroom
Sweetwater Lodge: Modern Home Inside the Park
Sweetwater Lodge: Modern Home Inside the Park
7309 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Sweetwater Lodge: Modern Home Inside the Park
Deluxe Modern 3 Bed 2 Bath Home, Inside Yosemite Natl Park, A/c, Remodeled 2019
Deluxe Modern 3 Bed 2 Bath Home, Inside Yosemite Natl Park, A/c, Remodeled 2019
7299 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Deluxe Modern 3 Bed 2 Bath Home, Inside Yosemite Natl Park, A/c, Remodeled 2019
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.