I’m a bit bias about Yosemite National Park
I’ve been visiting this park since I was 2 yrs old, and it brings back a lot of great memories for me. Unfortunately, over the years my trips have gotten farther apart and the time I spend there has gotten shorter. I used to visit for about a week every year, and now I lucky if I can visit for a weekend every couple of years.
This particular trip was special for me because it’s the first time I visited the park with husband. I’ve been visiting Yosemite since I was two, and there is a lot I am excited to share with him.
I’ve always stayed at Housekeeping camp, and it’s a tradition I want to continue. I’ve never stayed anywhere else because I like that this area is close to the river. When you stay at housekeeping camp, you will have bit of privacy, a picnic table, and firepit area. The accommodations aren’t anything to brag about, they’re actually a bit grungy, but you’re close to nature without having to pitch a tent. There is also a little convenience store in case you forget something essential or if you want to grab a frozen dessert after a long hike.
In order to get a reservation, you’ll have to book you stay at Housekeeping camp at least 6 months in advance.
Within the park they call this “glamping” because they offer a level of comfort that you don’t have while you camp. For example, you won’t have to pitch a tent, they have communal showers, there is a small convenience store on site, and you can rent anything from bed linens to camping stoves to use during your stay. At the same time, this area offers plenty of wild life sightings, the river is a short walk away, you can spend nights around the firepit (until 10pm) and you can grill plenty of camp food.
Outside of your accommodations, Yosemite offers hikes for all difficulty levels. One of my favorite hikes is upper Nevada Falls. I like this hike because it’s actually three/four hikes in one. The hike starts at lower Vernal Falls and ends at upper Neveda Falls. For a family, this means that you can start the hike with your grandparents, the kids will probably stop at upper Vernal Falls, and the most avid hikers can continue to upper Nevada Falls. Some of the hikes around the park are a bit strenuous, but you can take breaks along the way to rest and enjoy the scenic views. When California is not in a drought, these waterfalls are powerful and their strength will take your breath away.
When these pictures were taken, California was going through one of the worst droughts so the waterfalls were more of a trickle. But even without the waterfalls, the hikes and views from the summits are incredible.
Still if you want to visit at the optimal time of year, I recommend visiting in June or July when there is still a significant amount of water and the waterfalls are at their best.
Regardless of where you chose to stay, there are a couple of things you should know that will make this trip a bit easier:
- Yosemite Valley offers a free shuttle that takes you to every trailhead, restaurant, lodging, and grocery store.
- That’s right, they have a full grocery store inside the park
- There are a variety of restaurants from high-end dining at the Ahwahnee Hotel to an outdoor pizza pub.
- Yosemite offers every type of accommodation from camping to 5 star hotels, so it can be affordable to anyone.
- Take bear precautions seriously and don’t feed the wildlife. My mother-in-law could not rid herself of a squirrel after she fed it a chip. It was chasing her for food all day and got into her tent at night.