Yosem MP 2

Yosemite Lodge Patio

Yosemite National Park is close to my home, so I’ve visited this American treasure many times. The entry into the park is magical, and on every visit I look forward to my first glimpse of the majestic El Capitan and the fearless rock-climbers scaling her creviced granite walls. If you’re taking children to Yosemite and looking for an entertaining introduction to the park, check out my new book, Yosemite’s Rock-Lovin’ Bear.  It will be available fall 2016 at Amazon.

Follow this Five Day Yosemite Itinerary to tackle the parks’ major sights, and if possible, go in early June when you’ll find waterfalls flowing and wildflowers blooming. Weekdays are better than weekends and holidays. Try to stay inside the park. Nature purists recommend camping in the High Sierra campgrounds, but I prefer the Valley Floor. You may need to reserve a year in advance for peak times.

I usually stay at Yosemite Lodge because it’s convenient, and some of the units back up to a river trail, which is nice for watching wildlife. The Lodge is only minutes from Yosemite Fall and the park shuttle is close by for a quick lift to most Valley sights. You’ll find a broad range of accommodations and pricing throughout the park, so check out the amenities of all the park’s lodging and campsites to see what appeals to you.

Sentinel Beach

Sentinel Beach

Most people don’t fuss over their accommodations, though, because they come to Yosemite to experience one of nature’s most spectacular sculptured wonders. Make the Visitor Center your first stop. Their excellent exhibits provide a great orientation to the park and they explain the geology of Yosemite’s glaciated valley. You’ll want to get to know the rock stars that have made this park famous, too. Before leaving home, check out Nature Tale Books’ Yosemite Parks Map and familiarize yourself with the timeless faces of Yosemite: El Capitan, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Spires, North Dome, Royal Arches, Half Dome, and a whole host of other iconic cliffs, spires, and domes. By the end of your trip, your kids will feel like these rocks are old family friends that they’ll want to visit again, and again.

Before You Go!

Read: Yosemite Guide

Purchase Maps: Yosemite Conservancy