If you’ve been to Yosemite National Park before, you’ll know the drill when it comes to packing. But if this is your first trip, you might be wondering what clothing, footwear and other national park essentials to bring. We’ve put together a list of the top items you should pack for a successful trip to Yosemite.
Essential packing list for Yosemite National Park
The top items to pack for Yosemite include:
Warm and cold clothing layers
Sunglasses, a sun hat and sunscreen
A reusable water bottle
A quick-dry towel
1. Hiking boots
Hiking is by far one of the best ways to experience all that Yosemite has to offer. A sturdy pair of hiking boots or sandals will ensure your feet are comfortable while you’re out exploring all the amazing trails in the Yosemite wilderness. Look for boots that support your ankle and are suitable for the activities you'll be doing.
Tip: If you’re buying new boots, break them in before you go.
2. Water shoes
Summer in Yosemite is hot and you’ll most likely want to go for a refreshing dip in the river or splash around in one of the alpine lakes to cool down. There are also plenty of water activities like kayaking and white water rafting. Flip flops often don’t cut it (let’s face it, we’ve all had to wave goodbye to a flip flop as it gets taken by the river). Water shoes are a great option as they cover your toes protect the soles of your feet.
Tip: You could save money by buying a pair of hiking sandals that double up as water shoes.
3. Hiking pants
No one likes scratches or insect bites. Long, lightweight and preferably waterproof hiking pants will save your legs from branches and they also add an extra layer of protection from the sun and those pesky mosquitoes.
4. A raincoat
A lightweight rain jacket is essential for any US national park trip. It rolls up small and you can pop it in your daypack for easy access in case of a downpour. Avoid buying a rain jacket that is only ‘water-resistant'. We’ve made that mistake before and it wasn’t fun.
5. Warm and cold clothing layers
The temperature in Yosemite can change quite quickly, especially in the mornings, evenings and at higher elevations. Bring plenty of warm and cold layers that you can pop on whenever you need to keep safe and comfortable. Tank tops, t-shirts, long-sleeved tops and a warm fleece are all good layers to bring.
6. Sunglasses, a sun hat and sunscreen
Protect yourself from the sun's powerful rays with a good pair of sunglasses, plenty of high SPF sunscreen and a sun hat that covers your entire head and face. The sun can be particularly strong in the summer and early fall.
7. A reusable water bottle
There are water refill stations dotted around the park, so be sure to bring a decent-sized reusable water bottle. Hydroflasks are great for keeping your water nice and cool in the warmer months.
Tip: Don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day. Bring sachets of electrolytes with you on big hikes to keep your energy levels up.
8. A quick-dry towel
A quick-dry towel is super handy to bring on a hike in case you fancy taking a dip in a lake. It’s lightweight and dries in no time.
9. A daypack
A lightweight daypack is a must for every adventurer. Bring your water, raincoat, snacks, towel, camera and whatever else you need with you. Look for breathable daypacks that have smart packing compartments.
Check out our ultimate packing guide for a full list of packaging essentials and packing tips.
Our Yosemite National Park tours