Sentinel Beach in Yosemite National Park

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Sentinel Beach

Sentinel Beach is a sandy beach on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park where visitors can enjoy the summer sun, refreshing water and plenty of incredible scenery.

  • Enjoy beautiful Sentinel Beach on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park
  • Take in the breathtaking sights from nearby Swinging Bridge
  • Experience the excitement of a rafting trip down the river
  • Hike to Glacier Point on the Four Mile Trail
  • Be sure to bring your camera to capture the views


Sentinel Beach in Yosemite is a popular destination in the park, with amazing sights from the nearby Swinging Bridge and a number of recreational opportunities. The unique beauty of this area draws folks to return again and again.

Location & Information

Sentinel Beach Yosemite is on the Merced River in Yosemite Valley, next to the Swinging Bridge. You can get there from Highway 140 driving down Southside Drive. Watch for signs.

Sentinel Beach is accessible all year, but summer, of course, is the best time for getting in the water.

Contact information:
Yosemite National Park
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389


Sentinel Beach Yosemite National Park offers great swimming and water fun but that’s not all:

  • Floating
    Bring a raft or rent one and float down the Merced during the best summer weather of June and July. Start at the Stoneman Bridge and take in the sights down the river to the Sentinel Beach Picnic Area.
  • Viewing the Wonders of the Park
    Right next to the beach is the Swinging Bridge. You will find incredible views from this spot, including the Three Brothers, El Capitan, Columbia Rock and much more. Don’t forget your camera! You’ll want to capture some of these sights to take home.
  • Hiking
    The Four Mile Trail is close by and you can take a long hike to Glacier Point. There is road access at both ends of this trail, so you can hike one way and take a shuttle back. Another popular hike is taking the trail from the Swinging Bridge past Yosemite Lodge and picking up the Yosemite Falls trail.

Fun Facts

If when visiting Yosemite Sentinel Beach, you decide to go floating down the Merced, beware of those who illegally jump off the bridges. Sometimes they actually try and land near rafters. Try to stay to the side in shallower water to avoid an unpleasant surprise.