This is where I stayed on my first visit to Yosemite and have amazing memory of the beautiful rooms and on site restaurant. When visiting Yosemite with kids you are likely to spend most of your time in Yosemite Valley where many of the attractions and facilities are located.
Travel with Children
Yosemite valley is the most popular part of Yosemite and where many of the must see sites and activities are. Please note: Mariposa grove is currently close and is due to reopen in spring The perfect location for a birds eye view over Yosemite valley. Tours from the valley make their way here in summer and the path is wheelchair accessible. Tioga road is famous for being scenic and views are what attract people here.
Depending on the age of you children, your physical shape and their willingness to engage with activities, you can spend lazy days in the valley or challenge yourself to hikes, cycling or even a rafting experience!
Best Regions for Kids
Yosemite valley is mostly flat and cycling around is a fun and easy way to cover good distances. Bikes are available in the park: we rented ours in Half Dome Village and got equipment for the kids too. We had lots of fun but if you have never pulled a trailer, be aware that it is VERY heavy!
Cycling Yosemite valley is a great family activity suitable for all ages. Just be aware of the heat as, as you can tell from Little Ms E face, may take a toll on little ones in the summer!
Nature must be respected at all times and the delicate ecosystems of National Parks mean that some areas are off limits to the public. However, some areas can be easily enjoyed and one of them is the Merced river where kids and adults bathe to cool off during hot summer days. The streaming water is a delight and some areas are shallow enough for small kids to be safe too. Yosemite has stunning waterfalls, falling from the high peaks all the way down to the valley floor. In summer, the water may not be abundant but you still get an idea of their might.
You can get quite close to Yosemite Fall and Bridal Veil Fall but be careful as when you get close, the rocks can be slippery! Our cycling expedition brought us to the nature center in Happy isles, in Yosemite Valley. This is a small but well equipped nature center where kids can learn about the wildlife in Yosemite and get to grips to why you must always use bear boxes to store food the old car with the door ripped off by a bear made quite an impression on our two! The center is informative and the area immediately outside lovely, good to stretch your legs without majour effort.
My bear with his toy bear learning about bears in Yosemite. Yosemite really comes into its own when you hike and some of its paths are suitable for families. A lovely area is Toulumne Meadows , which in summer you can reach with the park shuttle. Here you have a visitors centre and store.
9 Things You Didn’t Know About Yosemite National Park | U.S. Department of the Interior
I love the junior ranger programme. We discovered it in Joshua Tree and it is perfect for the kids. Yosemite has one too. Kids can be awarded the junior ranger badge if they complete the several activities in the park booklet and answer the questions about the park wildlife conservation threats and history. One of the easiest way to learn about Yosemite is to take a valley tour on an open air vehicle. They happen in the summer only and are very popular book in advance!
They follow a 26 mile trail and the commentary explains the history of Yosemite, its geology and wildlife. Ranger led activities are a big part of what is available for kids in Yosemite and, for me, where one of the highlights of our stay. Our kids participated in a fun workshop about trees and later an an activity for adults took place where they showed an old film about the history of Curry Village and the Yosemite fire fall tradition.
Glacier point is famous for towering over Yosemite valley and offering stunning views of the park. We love sequoias and saw in Muir Woods as well: their record breaking characteristics they are the tallest living thing in the world! Yosemite Valley. Majestic Yosemite Hotel Ahwahnee Hotel. Tunnel View.
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