Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for families during all seasons. This week we talk to Preethi Harbuck from Local Passport Family about her many trips to Yosemite. We cover the best places to stay, good hikes with kids, and fun things to do in Yosemite.
Tamara also fills us in on her most recent glamping experience at the KOA in Lincoln / Woodstock, New Hampshire and how it compared to her stay at the Huttopia glamping resort nearby.
ON THE PODCAST
00:30 – Talking with Tamara about her recent glamping trip
12:32 – Talking with Preethi about RVing
15:12 – What to keep in mind when visiting Yosemite
17:45 – Where to stay outside of the park
19:48 – How long to stay
21:50 – When to go
24:35 – Where to stay
26:40 – Activities and family-friendly hikes in Yosemite
29:55 – History of the Park
35:10 – Global Children’s Book Club
38:20 – Preethi’s Favorite Travel Gear
40:40 – What Preethi is doing now
41:20 – WINNER!
ABOUT PREETHI HARBUCK
Preethi is an exploring mom of 5 who writes about education and diversity in and through travel. She helps families recapture curiosity and connection by connecting with the world.
TIPS FOR VISITING YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK WITH KIDS
- Keep in mind that Yosemite National Park is popular and can get very, very busy. If you can you might want to plan your trip during off season.
- June, July, and August is peak season for the Park. Late May and September are ideal times to visit, but it can be very beautiful in the winter as well.
- If you are planning on camping in the park you will want to look into where you would like to go and make reservations far in advance.
- The Valley is the most popular camping area and you will need to make your reservations well in advance for your trip.
- Due to Covid restrictions you will now need to make reservations just to go into the park not just for camping. You will want to plan well in advance and avoid the disappointment of being turned away at the entrance.
- If you can’t get a reservation to stay and camp inside of the valley, you will be looking at a 45-60 minute drive to get there if you stay outside.
- Mariposa is one of the closest small towns to the Valley which has some hotels and even RV parks.
- If you want to take a trip and explore some of what Yosemite has to see, you will want to spend at least three days. You could make your trip longer and explore some more in Yosemite or you can travel a few more hours and visit a few other National Parks that are nearby.
- All four seasons in Yosemite are magical in their own way. But if you want to keep to the warmer weather, May or September are perfect! The park is going to be quieter than visiting in the main summer months but you will still have the beautiful weather. September will give you more dry weather to get out and explore, while in May the waterfalls will be big and the river flowing heavily, which is really incredible to see.
- The Upper Pines Campground is a great place to spend your time while visiting Yosemite. It is located in the Valley, right near the river and beautiful with tons of trees. From this campground you can access a lot of the Valley by bike.
- If you are willing to drive a little farther you can stay at the Rush Creek Lodge which is located right outside one of the entrances to the park. If you have young kids that may not be too into camping outside, this may be the place for you. They have a big game room, heated pool, playgrounds and every night they offer s’mores over the fire pit.
- Sentinel Dome Hike is a great hike to take with families. The hike is two miles and it doesn’t have a lot of elevation. The hike starts from Glacier Point Road, which unfortunately will be closed in 2021 for repairs.
- A great way to visit Mirror Lake is to bike up the trail. The ride is mostly flat making it great for families. You can rent bikes if you don’t have your own or don’t want to transport it.
- If you are interested in the history of Yosemite National Park you can visit the main visitors center that has an exhibit that takes about the Indigenous People who lived there. There is an old story called Two Bear Cubs that talks about the Miwok Native American People that lived on the land. This is a great book to read to your kids to help them learn more about the park’s history.
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