Yosemite National Park is not only one of California's most spectacular sights, but it is also a World Heritage Site. The monstrous granite formations, sweeping valleys, and easy wildlife encounters bring the idea of conservation home to your kids before you even step out of the car. If you only have a day to visit the park, you can still pack in a ton of activities. Dig into this park through hikes, bike rides, and drives that will show your family sights they can't see anywhere else.
The drive to Yosemite is an adventure all on its own, but it isn't until you drive through the tunnel into the valley of the park that you really get a taste of what you are in for during your visit. El Captain greets you along with Half Dome and all of their friends. This is the perfect spot to grab those family photos or a Christmas card shot to show off to your friends.
If you visit the park in winter or spring you can gaze up at Yosemite Falls from below without hiking. In the summer and fall, especially if it has been a dry year, you may not see any water trickling down the falls at all. If the falls are running, plan to hike up to the lower falls at the very least. If your family is up for it, hike to the upper falls too.
Yosemite Lodge offers beach cruiser bikes for every member of the family. Adult bikes, kid bikes, tandems, and even kid carriages are available at reasonable prices. You pay by the hour, but it is worth the money if you didn't bring your own bikes. Ride your bikes to Mirror Lake to snap photos of Half Dome from below. In dry months the lake may be nothing but a desert of sand, which holds its own beauty. Be prepared to do a little hiking to the lake. There are bike stands to leave your bikes at a certain point and then walk the rest of the way to the lake.
Bring your baby carrier if you have a baby or toddler, and hang on tight to younger kids who can hike, but may not have the fear they need to survive the trip. The hike up to Vernal and Nevada Falls is possible for families; you just need to be prepared. Pack your water, and warn the kids that this is not going to be an easy hike, but the views will be more than worth it. If you need an easy hike, head to Bridalveil Falls. The paved path has a mild incline that is perfect for kids of any age and skill level.
You've had a full day already, but there is once last stop. Drive up to Glacier Point with a few snacks, and snag your spot to watch the sunset. From high above the park you will see waterfalls you didn't know were still running through the dry season, and look down at all of the tiny cars and people driving the same paths you drove earlier in the day. It's a peaceful way to end your day together, as you marvel at all Mother Nature can do, and remember that you helped to protect this land through your entrance fee and tax dollars.
Have you been to Yosemite? What was your favorite experience there?
Your bag when backpacking is heavy enough. Here's how travel insurance can help take some weight off your shoulders.
Travel insurance comes at a price, but so could opting out of it.
Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
Travel smarter with travel insurance from RoamRight. Get your free, no-obligation quote online today.
View all Blog Authors
View Countries with Blogs
Sign up for RoamRight's FREE monthly email newsletter to get travel tips, tricks, news, ideas, and inspiration!
The RoamRight mark is used by Arch Insurance Company and owned by its parent company, Arch Capital Group (U.S.). All insurance products are offered and underwritten by Arch Insurance Company. The term "Partner", as used on this website refers to any unaffiliated third party entity that may offer or disseminate Arch RoamRight travel insurance. The term has no legal meaning whatsoever and Arch RoamRight hereby disclaims any such legal meaning that may be ascribed to it. Click here for privacy notice.
Copyright© 2019 Arch Insurance Company. All rights reserved.