Yosemite Vacations

Yosemite Vacations:

With plenty to keep the entire family happy, make sure you plan you vacation accordingly. If your expecting to see waterfalls, make sure you go during peak flow times, or you may miss most of the spectacular falls your expecting to see. Peak flow time is typically May. Flow is typically from November thru early July,the rest of the year, most falls will be dried up.

Must See Sites at Yosemite National Park

Bridalveil Falls 

Perfect hike for kids, is an easy paved trail, only a 1/2 mile trek. Bridalveil falls flows year round.

Start this hike in the Bridalveil Fall parking lot.

Yosemite National Park Photos
This photo of Yosemite National Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Yosemite Falls is a must see, its 2425 ft drop and flows November through early July. Peak flow is in May. There are two ways to see Yosemite falls:

Photos of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Yosemite Falls is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Lower Yosemite Falls hike: Begin at shuttle stop #6 and it's about a 1 mile hike. You will be able to see the upper and lower falls. This is the best way to see the falls with younger children.

Upper Yosemite Falls hike: This 7.2 mile hike will take you approximately 7 hours round trip, so start early. It is a somewhat difficult trail, so do not take young children or inexperienced hikers. Start at shuttle stop #7.

Wawona Tunnel View Overlook: The most popular historic scenic overlook in Yosemite National Park. You can see Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and Half Dome. This tunnel was completed in 1933 and since has been updated to provide a safer environment to sightseers. Your going to want to include this overlook in your Yosemite vacation plan!

Photos of Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Tunnel View is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Photos of Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Glacier Point is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Glacier Point

You can drive right up to catch this view during your Yosemite Vacation. The views are breath taking! At the top, you're a couple 1000 feet above the valley floor. There is plenty of parking and a snack shop. Check it out at sunset for an unforgettable scene.

Mariposa grove of giant sequoias

What a sight! Your kids will be in awe as they wander thru 4000 year old giant trees. The lower grove is an easy walk for the entire family. If you want to see the entire grove, take the tram for around $25 a person, you get a narrated tour and a nice comfy seat. The tour lasts a little over an hour.

Photos of Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Photos of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Half Dome is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Half Dome

This hike is not for young kids or anyone afraid of heights. You need to get a permit if you want to hike to the top. It's around 12 miles round trip. Bring water, a lunch and be prepared to make a day of it. A difficult hike, but worth it.

Sentinel Dome

This is a perfect Yosemite hike for families with younger kids that can walk on their own and follow directions. You can see Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan, Half Dome and Nevada Falls from the top. Round trip should take about 45 mintes to an hour. Get there early as the parking fills quickly. Don't forget to include this gem in your Yosemite vacation.

Photos of Sentinel Dome (Loyemah Dome), Yosemite National Park
This photo of Sentinel Dome (Loyemah Dome) is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Just For Kids
on Your Yosemite Vacation

  • Junior Rangers Program: Little Club for ages 3-6, junior Rangers 7-13. This programs allows kids to become an honorary park ranger and explore the park. This is their top childrens attraction. Be sure to include this in your Yosemite Vacation.
  • Story Time: For children 12 and under, brings the park to life with tales about the history of Yosemite.
  • Wee Wild Ones: For children 6 and under. Crafts, singing, and games.
  • Ranger Ned's Big Adventure: A theatrical production for all ages. ( Friday -Monday only)
  • Yosemite & Indian Village Museum: Free. Open 9-4 and closed for lunch.Perfect for kids of all ages.
  • Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad: a 1 hour narrated train ride thru the Sierra national Forest. Tickets are approx. $19.50 per adult and $9.50 per child ages 3-12. You can also pan for gold, train rides during the day and they also offer a moodlight special ride which is $49 per adult and $24.50 per child.  Check out their website for pricing, ticket s and schedules. Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.
  • Nature Center at Happy Isles: Open during the summer and some weekends during the fall.
  • Horesback riding
  • Biking
  • Rock Climbing

Accommodations 

Where should we stay on my Yosemite vacation? Well, it depends, are you a camping family or a resort family?

Most families will camp in Yosemite to get the full experience.

Best Yosemite Campsites:

 Yosemite Valley, Upper PInes Campground, Lower Pines & North Pines. 

Each campsite includes a fire ring, food locker, picnic table and is close to a bathroom with potable running water. Daily fee is around $20 and pets are welcome. You must have reservations. For more information on Yosemite Camping Sites, see Yosemite National Park Website.

Photos of Upper Pines Campground, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Upper Pines Campground is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Best Hotels:

Outside the Park

The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, This hotel is not located in the park , it is near the Hetch Hetchy entrance, so there will be a short drive involved to get to the park. That aside, this hotel is a fantastic value when you consider the rates inside the park will be at least double.

They offer private cabins from a deluxe queen at $250 to a 2 bedroom family cabin for approx. $390 per night. If you want to camp and you don't have the gear, they also offer fully furnished camp sites for up to 4 people for around $115 per night. All accommodations include use of the pool, rec center, play ground and they also have a general store, bar and tavern.

Photos of Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, Yosemite National Park
This photo of Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Inside the Park

Photos of The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park
This photo of The Ahwahnee is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Ahwahnee: This hotel is located inside Yosemite National Park. This historic lodge was built in the early 1900's. Most rooms will have a view of Yosemite Falls. There are restaurants, bars and even a pool. The prices here are steep, expect to pay around $600 per night for a standard room. If you can swing it, this is the place to stay on your Yosemite vacation.


Yosemite Vacation Planning Tips:

  • Don't forget the insect repellant
  • Bring snacks along
  • Make reservations as far as you can in advance, hotels and camp sites book early
  • Buy tickets to any attractions before you get there
  • Bring bottled water with you
  • Make a daily schedule or plan so you dont miss anything


Thank you for visiting our Yosemite Vacations page. Now start planning that vacation!

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