Vacation time is always in shortage. While driving on US roads is an absolute pleasure (unless you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic), distances can make travel challenging. So, even though the kids and I have visited the Bay area many times before, making it to Yosemite was always a wish, but we could never find the time to make it a reality. Then, finally during one of our visits, we made it a priority with the help of extended family. This is what we were able to accomplish. We travelled at the end of May.
Day 1 (late afternoon): Drove to Yosemite. Thanks to it being a Friday evening, rush hour made our journey a lot longer than expected. We reached Yosemite early in the night after a dinner stopover. My family rented a cabin in Wawona which gave plenty of space for everyone to thoroughly enjoy the visit.
Day 2: After breakfast, we drove towards Half Dome stopping at various lookouts along the way, soaking in Yosemite. The kids had a blast enjoying the views at Half Dome. Next, we headed towards Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We parked our car at the designated spot and took a shuttle. We really enjoyed walking through the grove and bumped into a couple of animals as well (not just tourists!). We headed back to the cabin for a break and an afternoon nap.
Late afternoon we headed to and walked up to Bridalveil falls. The kids enjoyed hanging around the area for a bit – goofing off (carefully of course!).
Later, just before sunset, we headed towards the village and El Capitan in Yosemite valley. Spending time at sunset in that area was simply amazing and it was crowded with professional and amateur photographers alike, all trying to capture that unforgettable image.
Once it got dark, we headed back to the cabin and whipped up an amazing dinner and spent an awesome family night just playing games and chilling out.
Day 3: After breakfast and winding up at the cabin, we headed to Yosemite village and went on the shuttle tour. We got down at the Vernal Falls stop to follow the Mist Trail up to the falls. The views along the way were spectacular, but, the trail was pretty steep at various stretches as well. So, make sure you are fit for the hiking before starting. After the hike, we took the shuttle back to the village where we had lunch.
After lunch, we headed back home and reached by evening. Wish fulfilled!
There is a reason folks keep going back to Yosemite. Tons of different staying options (camping, hotel to cabins) combined with changing views throughout the year make sure you are never bored. The hiking trails are pretty cool and the opportunities to capture amazing pictures are plenty. Time, time, time, that is all you need!