Yosemite with Kids - One Enthralling Experience!

The Yosemite National Park is perhaps one of the best places for a family getaway in America. The number of activities, brilliant facilities including some spectacular family cabins, and opportunities to do the unusual besides the mundane city romp add a huge dash of an absolute wilderness; make this national park a favorite of adults and kids alike. The summer break is just around the corner, and if you still haven’t taken your kids there, you must, now! Here is a low down on some facts of Yosemite national park and of course things to see in Yosemite with kids. Rest assured you and your kids are bound to have one amusing time!

1. Hiking - An experinece kids will want to have again & again

Image source: pixabay.com

The entire expanse of the Yosemite National Park is nothing but a plethora of hiking prospects. A good assortment of short, mid-length and long hikes beguile you to get that adrenaline rushing. The longest trail does not exceed 5 miles, so good thing, it doesn’t take a lot of time. Haul up the little ones at the classic wall climbs or just let them trace their own hike!

Where:

  • Bridalveil Fall: One of the most kids-friendly trails at the park, spanning at 0.5-mile roundtrip, at an approximate elevation of 80 feet.
  • Vernal Fall Footbridge: While the Vernal Fall may get a little overwhelming for the kids, they can easily hike up to the bridge. This is a 1.4-mile roundtrip, at an approximate elevation of 400 feet.
  • Mirror Lake: Reward the kids with magnificent views of the Tenaya Canyon and much more at this 2-mile round trip hike, at an approximate elevation of 100 feet.
  • Tenaya Creek: Stretching at a comparatively taxing 5-mile roundtrip, the Tenaya Cheek lies at an approximate elevation of 100 feet. En route kids can get some rappelling lessons too.
  • Glacier point: The premier point in the national park, Glacier point beguiles unparalleled views of the park overall. A hike up here is a 2.2-mile roundtrip.

Tips:

  • The park features some really sharp ascents, so be steer clear of regions other than the following ones.
  • Go for a moonlight hike for one cherishing experience. The Starry Skies Over Yosemite/Wawona program is brilliant for this.

2. Retrograde to history

Image source: nps.gov


History outside the classroom, can, in fact, be so much more fun. If you are wondering 'what to do in Yosemite in one day' and are not too keen on hikes and other adventurous activities, you still have a lot to do and going back in time is perhaps the best one. Given Wawona’s rich history, the Yosemite National park features some brilliant places to enlighten the kids on erstwhile happenings.

Where:

  • Pioneer Yosemite History Center: Essentially a collection of the national park’s well assorted historic buildings, this center is a sweet antiquity delight. Reminisces how the early explorers of the 18th century made adapted to the parks and much more.

Tips:

  • The South Fork Merced River at a short distance from the Pioneer Yosemite History Center is a great place for children to take a dip in the water, perfect to cool off in the sweltering heat
  • A ranger-guided tour advised

3. Green dragon tour Yosemite

Image source: yosemite.com

Probably the best way to get introduced to the park, the Green Dragon Tour is apt for just everyone, even you are exploring Yosemite with a baby! Being an open-air tram, you are bestowed with the highlights of the park on this tour. A ranger-guided excursion, you can get the best of knowledge as you venture the national park. The tour takes a round trip of about two hours.

Where:

  • The tour begins and ends at the entry point to Yosemite Lodge, placed near the falls

Tips:

  • Come spring or full moon, you can take the tour at night too. An absolutely exclusive experience, this "The Moonlight Valley Tour” will leave you awestruck!
  • If you are a first timer, start your Yosemite National Park sojourn with this tour
  • Book well in advance

Quick Guide to Yosemite National Park
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4. Wee wild ones Yosemite

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A brilliant program specially designed for kids under seven, the Wee Wild Ones spontaneously becomes a kid’s favorite. Stretching at a brief 45-minute duration, this program includes children’s’ favorites like art and craft, story-telling sessions, song and dance and lots of other games. The program adapts well as per the changing of the seasons, meaning outdoors in the glorious summers and indoor at a fireplace in the winters!

Where:

  • Summer: The Curry Village Amphitheater
  • Winter: The Ahwahnee's big fireplace

Tips:

  • It is essential for every child to be accompanied by an adult
  • The restroom is far from the usual location of the Curry Village Amphitheater

5. Biking Excursion

Image source: pixabay.com

Biking in Yosemite National Park can be one lifetime of a memory, for more reasons than one. The vividly gorgeous terrains bestow you an interesting topography to work that bike. The experience is only further enhanced by the mesmerizing sights of numerous waterfalls and the scorching mountains. The paved biking route sprawls over a good 12 miles.

Where:

  • The Half Dome Village is the starting point for most biking excursions
  • From Yosemite Valley Lodge

Tips:

  • A helmet is an absolute must for children below 18 years
  • You can bike the regular roads to unless you observe general traffic rules
  • There are renting facilities inside the park
  • Biking not permitted on the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail and Mirror Lake Hill
  • One rider per bike
  • Do not venture outside the park on a rented bike

6. Yosemite Junior Ranger

Image source: nps.gov

As a child, I remember being highly inspired by the ranger on our tour; good thing, kids can now enjoy being a Yosemite Junior Ranger! What this program basically does is lets kids explore the park at their own leisure and understanding guided by a senior ranger. The program also has a rather well-thought condition, with regards to keeping the park clean, in order to be enrolled. If a kid pursues enrolment, the kid must first find some trash or a trash bag!

Where:
  • Yosemite Valley Visitor Center
Tips:
  • Only kids between the age group of 7 to 13 years can enroll in this program
  • The self-guided booklet provides good basic knowledge so as to be eligible for the program

7. Photography lessons

Image source: wikimedia.org


There is no doubt, how photography can easily turn out to be a well-nurtured hobby. In our opinion, this is one of the best places worldwide to institute photography. Not only will the kids have a great time, doing something novel and so rare, but you too will be taken over by the rich nature, this place is blessed with.

Where:
  • Throughout the park
Tips:
  • If not the kids, you can enroll yourself in "The ONLY Yosemite Workshop"
  • There are occasional photography workshops happening throughout the more
  • For more information visit their visitors center

8. Nature Centre

Image source: yosemite.com

As if an induction to the park, the nature center is a good opportunity to enlighten the kids before you start exploring the region. Accommodating information on all the species of plants and animals found in the park, the nature center gives you a good amount of fundamental information. The interactive displays especially will set the kids in a good mindset to take on further park explorations.

Where:
  • Happy Isles
Tips:
  • This place is free of cost
  • Do not touch the imitation of the regional wildlife, stuffed and intricately designed, there are high chances of disturbing it

9. Rafting - an incredible experience for children

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A love-hate relationship with water, make kids very subjective to water sports and activities. But rafting in Yosemite is one thing that will have them looking forward to this adventure! With thrilling water stretches throughout the park, rafting here is a unique experience. Throughout the year, the levels of rafting may vary.

Where:
  • Merced River
Tips:
  • Spring is the most difficult time of the year to raft, with the level being at an inconsistent 3-4
  • Summer decreases the difficulty levels to about 2-3
  • Do have a conversation with the rafting managers, the very warm-hearted Zephyr and Jimmy Gado

10. See a meteor shower

Image source: wikimedia.org

No surprise, that the splendid location of Yosemite National Park will have some of the most gorgeous night skies! Depending on the time of the year you visit, you can witness magical meteor showers, that leave both you and the kids literally start struck! Given the easy of predictability for the next meteor shower, there are packages and provisions to amplify this stellar experience.

Where:
  • Tenaya Creek Trail
Tips:
  • Ask for meteor shower packages while checking into the Tenaya lodge
  • The package includes a telescope and basic gear for this mighty experience, don’t forget to carry it
  • Transportation too is included in the package
  • The Tenaya Lodge is also one of the best places for the highly contemplated "Yosemite with kids where to stay”

Above mentioned activities certainly, guarantee one cherished venture at the Yosemite National Park!

Featured image source: pixabay.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEEMA NANDE SEEMA NANDE

A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternally quenching for new experiences. There is no poison for her as restorative as Life, she is the one who will give you the cliched 'I-am-high-on-life', should you offer her a drink. She gets hungover on the feel of a new place, food and conversations with strangers! All this adding to the way she feels and writes!

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