WATER AND WONDERS: You've seen El Capitan from your car, yes? You probably pulled over (wise move), the better to do a bit of gawking and shutterbugging. Likewise with Half Dome, and Bridal Falls, and the other majors of Yosemite Valley. Perhaps you've even seen the wonders from a tram. Perhaps you're one of the rare few who've actually seen El Capitan *while on the cliff face* of El Capitan. Big props there. But how about seeing the classics in a fresh way? We're talking about eying them from the lovely Merced, that not-so-little river that gurgles and twists through the heart of the national park. Rafting season just opened, on Thursday, July 14, and will run through Labor Day (ish). DNC Resorts is the rafting operator.
THE DETAILS: The three-miler means that you'll see a good amount of the Valley without spending a full day on the river. Curry Village Rec Center is your HQ for all things oar-y and guide-y, and the cost is $28.50 per adult. Kids are permitted -- tickets are a bit less for the 12-and-under set -- but note there is a weight requirement. So read all before making for the Merced (and be careful and pointing out any major monuments with that oar).