Sentinel Beach Picnic Area

Vacation Travel Guide
Sentinel Beach Picnic Area

Calm crystal-clear water, a sandy beach and a mountainous backdrop make this a perfect area to enjoy a picnic or relaxing break with your family or friends.

Sentinel Beach Picnic Area offers an idyllic escape from a hectic world amid the relaxing setting of California’s Yosemite National Park. A sandy beach borders the serene Merced River as the water flows past tree-lined banks, while towering rock formations demand attention. Give in to the desire to be part of this landscape and immerse yourself in the area’s great beauty. Raft down the river and enjoy its placid flow.

Not far from this area the Swinging Bridge crosses the river, offering a picturesque photo opportunity of the geological formations Three Brothers, El Capitan and Columbia Rock. Bring your swimsuit because the bridge stands beside a popular swimming hole.

If you have a rubber raft, travel farther upstream to Stoneman Bridge and then drift back to Sentinel Beach. Stay close to shore when approaching the bridge and be attentive to watch for people jumping off Swinging Bridge unaware of rafts floating below.

Hiking is a popular activity in the park. A trail near Swinging Bridge goes past Yosemite Valley Lodge and joins the Yosemite Falls Trail, which snakes up beside the falls to the breathtaking scenery at the creek at the top.

Buy hiking items not far away at Yosemite Village. Find places to stay, such as the historic Ahwahnee hotel. Visit the village’s Visitor Center, Yosemite Museum and Ansel Adams Gallery of photographic art.

Stroll along the paths of Ahwahnee Meadow, near the village and offering superb views of rock formations. Follow the trail at nearby Cook’s Meadow that brings you in proximity to breathtaking Yosemite Falls and provides excellent views of Half Dome, Glacier Point, Sentinel Point and Royal Arches.

Find Sentinel Beach Picnic Area along the park’s Southside Drive. In the warmer months if the picnic area is full, park at Yosemite Village and hike, cycle or ride the shuttle bus around the park to see the sights.

Top things to do in Sentinel Beach Picnic Area

Top Hotels Close to Sentinel Beach Picnic Area

Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $90 per night from Nov 15 to Nov 15
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Merced River and Yosemite Mountaineering School. Ahwahnee Meadow and Yosemite Valley Chapel ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (31 reviews)
"Central location and walking is nice."

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2021

Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Yosemite Falls, Cook's Meadow, and Merced River. Yosemite Falls Trailhead and Swinging ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (198 reviews)
"Amazing views and close to trails. Absolutely a great time"

Reviewed on Mar 18, 2021

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Situated in a national park, this campground is within a 10-minute walk of Merced River and Ahwahnee Meadow. Yosemite Mountaineering School and Yosemite Valley ...
3.5/5 Good! (105 reviews)
A really fun place to stay in Yosemite
"I was dubious about this place when I booked it as I don't like camping and I do like my creature comforts, but actually I really loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Yosemite. Firstly, it's a really affordable option in Yosemite where the hotels and ..."

Reviewed on Sep 9, 2016

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Housekeeping Camp
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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Best Lodging Options Near Sentinel Beach Picnic Area

Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
The price is $90 per night from Nov 15 to Nov 15
Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Housekeeping Camp
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The Ahwahnee
PaPa Bear Cabin
PaPa Bear Cabin
Yosemite National Park, CA
PaPa Bear Cabin
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
2.5 out of 5
11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA
The price is $162 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
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
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.