Family Friendly Yosemite Travel Tips
We took a family trip to Yosemite Valley, California in the Spring. The waterfalls were flowing tons of water. There was still snow on the mountains. We only stayed one night which was perfect to see everything as it is early spring and not all the roads are open due to snow. Military receives free annual pass to all National Parks.
We took a 3-1/2-hour road trip from Monterey, California which we left at 8am and arrived in Yosemite National Park by noon. Know that arriving to the park after 830am to expect a line to get into the gate.
We started our journey off with Bridalveil Falls which is a nice paved trail which is stroller and wheelchair accessible. It was a windy day so the spray of the water was stretching out far which means you might want to prepare to get wet as you walk on the trail. I also noticed that Bridalveil Fall restrooms had a long line so plan accordingly.
We stopped at a few places on our way to lunch to take pictures like El Capitan. We ate at the Yosemite Lodge Food Court (not the greatest, but it was convenient). We walked from the Food Court to the Yosemite Falls trail. On the trail, to the right, there was still snow on the ground (looked to have been there for a few days). We walked to the waterfall which is stroller and wheelchair accessible. There is restrooms right at the beginning of the trail.
We stayed at Yosemite View Lodge that we booked with booking.com. Our hotel room was perfect for us. It was a little older but it was clean and in good condition. The room had a fireplace, a Jacuzzi tub in the room (which we had a huge bubble bath for my daughter), a huge 2 dual shower head shower, a kitchenette and an incredible view of the river from the balcony (see pic above). The property also has an arcade, several pools and spas, a restaurant and pizzeria. We ate dinner at the Pizzeria which was very good.
We started our 2nd day at the park by arriving at 815am which already had a small line of 5 cars. We decided we loved Bridalveil Falls so much we had to see it again. This time there was no wind so we didn’t get wet.
We also drove to the top of the mountain to Valley View for the most incredible view into the valley. It is a must see! If you have kids with you go through the tunnel right past the view which is 1/2-mile long. We went through the tunnel turned around and came back to park in the parking lot for Valley View. It is much easier to get into the parking lot that way. Also, be patient as there could be a line for parking. On the other side of the parking lot is Inspiration Point. You can hike up there – it is vertical in spots, so not so kid friendly.
We drove to the end of the trail and walked through Half Dome Village (formally Curry Village). We saw the Staircase Falls and Half Dome from this stop. There is also a gift shop in the village and small snack shop. Also, a restaurant and coffee shop. Half Dome Village seemed like a fun spot to camp as there was a pool, the area smelled like a camp fire and a lot to do in this area. We stopped on our way out of the park and had lunch at Degnan’s Cafe.
When you head to Yosemite have fun, bring snacks and drinks. Be a tree hugger!