“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir
It had been 7 years since we had gone to Yosemite, so we were definitely overdue for a trip there. This time, a lot of my husband's family came along, so 18 (10 were kids ranging in age from 8 months to 13 years) of us trekked around together. We spent two days there in early June and had a wonderful time. There is something magical about Yosemite, and I feel it is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
We stayed in two rental houses in Groveland. It took us about an hour to get in and out of the valley each day, but that wasn't a big deal at all. It is a great option for those who aren't up to camping in the park or spending extra money to stay in a hotel there. It was so nice to have a kitchen and extra room for our kids to run around together in the evenings.
We made sure to leave early in the mornings to beat the rush. By the time we left on the second day, there was a 2 hour wait just to get a parking spot, so we were so glad we went early each day. We parked in one spot and took the free shuttles around to the different places that we were interested in. We brought snacks, water, and lunches with us, and kept everything low key kid friendly. The places we visited were: Visitor Center, Cooks Meadow, Bridal Veil Falls, Mirror Lake, Happy Isles Nature Center (really family friendly hands on place), Lower Yosemite Falls, and Tunnel View (my favorite!). We tried to go up to Glacier Point, but there was a lot of fog and we got there too late in the day so there was a long wait (1 1/2 hours) to take a shuttle up to the view point. I guess we have another reason to go back (not that we really need one!). It was a wonderful couple of days, catching the spirit of Yosemite, enjoying the awe-inspiring beauty surrounding us, and just being together. If this place is on your travel list....go! If it isn't, add it to your list right now. I am already ready to go back.
The view on the drive in! It was just incredible.
Bridal Veil Falls Trail
Water levels were so high after such a wet winter
Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls
One of the views from Cooks Meadow
The view of Half Dome from Cooks Meadow
Tunnel View. Pictures don't even do it justice.