Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yosemite National Park

Two weeks ago my family and I drove to Yosemite National Park for the weekend. 
It was wonderful! We shared a video a week ago

The drive to Yosemite is not bad at all, the only thing I would warn you are the 8 miles of winding/tight curves as you go up in elevation. I get car sick easily so we just cranked the a/c on high and I just looked ahead to make it easier on me. As you drive up the hills and through tunnels you finally reach the park entrance where you pay $20/vehicle for an entire week with in-out privileges.

The views are breathtaking. You know that ride in Disney's California Adventure called 'soaring over California'? Well imagine you in the movie except now you can also touch the trees and smell the forest.

Nature is so grand and royal here. It was tree after tree, the scenery is so marvelous that it kept Adventure Boy looking out the window and pointing it out. Adventure Girl took pictures most of the ride as well as I did. I so wanted to share what I was looking at with you but just then did my cell phone reception get lost.

It took us a little over 3 hours to arrive at our hotel The Cedar Lodge, which had a spacious room with a separate bedroom that included 2 queen beds and a fully stocked kitchenette with pots, pans, cutlery, flatware, glasses and mugs. All you have to do is bring your own groceries. In the living room there was a sofa bed and also a pull out bed. This rooms sleeps 8 people according to their description and I can attest to that as we had family visiting from the East Coast and SoCal. One thing that made us choose this hotel is the fact that they have an indoor pool and spa {hot tub} so on Sunday we went and enjoyed the facilities, it felt like we were in a bath {that's how warm the water was} and the hot tub was perfect!

Yosemite is the perfect place to take your family and reconnect with nature, there some things to keep in mind though:

Cell phone reception is non-existent. We had 4 different carriers amongst our family members and not one of them had reception. So if you are following cars consider that you will not be able to communicate with eachother {unless you are at Valley Visitor Center}.

Ride a bike. You can either bring your own bikes or rent some, it is so beautiful and has so many trails for you to enjoy while riding your bike. We saw families pulling a child trailer with their toddler in it. Just remember that you are out in the wilderness so make sure you take all the possible precautions by wearing safety gear and following the marked path so you don't get lost.

Food. If you are camping or enjoying a picnic please remember to store your food in your vehicle with windows closed during the day and at night rent a food locker, it is the wilderness and you don't want "yogi the bear" to make an appearance. 

Forgot to bring something. No worries there is a general store where to get everything from milk to ice to snacks to souvenirs. They also have ice cream! ;)

Admission to the park. Entrance to the park has a fee per vehicle and is valid for an entire week with in-out privileges as long as you keep your receipt. Vehicles are $20 and individuals {in a bus, on foot, on a bike, motorcycle, or horse} are $10. 

Clothing. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Consider it may be a bit cooler during the fall/winter season. The best way to dress is in layers and you can add or reduce as you feel. Adventure Dad didn't take a jacket and he was fine, whereas adventure kids and I wore polar fleece pants with polar fleece tops and a vest on top. 

Scenery and waterfalls. When we planned our trip we were excited to see "Glacier Point", "Bridalveil Fall" and "Vernal Fall" but as we kept getting closer to them we realized that due to low rainfall last year and not that much snow there wasn't any of these. We were looking and couldn't recognize them. Until we were explained about the rainfall. 

Roads. If you get dizzy easily {like I do} consider taking something for carsickness and keeping the windows open a bit or the a/c going so you don't hyperventilate. The views are gorgeous and you are going to want to enjoy them. 

Restaurants. Each hotel has their own restaurant, there are other options if you drive closer to the Visitor Center however we dined at our hotel and the food was pretty decent. 

Gas. There are several gas stations just so you know they might be pricier than outside the park but not that much. 

For these and more tips including a map where you may plan your trip visit National Park Service

Here is what we saw during our weekend and enjoyed so much:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" 

There was a trail that had picnic tables and a small pond, as we saw all the fall colors we decided to park and walk around. We crossed a wooden bridge that lead to the mountains and underneath it was water. It was a small beach, but we had fun skipping stones. 

And as we drove further into the park... Sunset! One we will always remember. 

Have you ever been to Yosemite National Park? What was your experience like?


  1. That looks so beautiful. I love connecting with nature and taking family vacations in places like Yosemite National Park. We never visited YNP, but it is on my list :)

    1. Oh the pictures in all honesty don't to YNP justice, it's even more grand in person. The views are breathtaking and hearing the river flow is so relaxing. Makes you feel at peace. :D

  2. We love to go to Yosemite!