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.