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[Yosemite]

suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Postby mazar » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:21 pm

Hi,

I'm heading up to Hogeden Meadows this weekend and was planning to spend Saturday in the valley. This is the first time for the majority of our group and we also have a toddler with us. Can you suggest any places to see or go? I have heard that there are a couple waterfalls to see that have less than a mile hike on paved paths. Also any nice places to have a picnic?

Also with the crowds, would it be advisable to just go early and park in one location? Or would we be able to to park, walk to a waterfall, drive to the next site, park, etc.?

Any advice would be appreciated!

-m
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Re: suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Postby dan » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:16 pm

Here's a map of picnic areas in Yosemite National park:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/u ... careas.pdf

My favorite picnic area is Church Bowl. Has a great view of Half Dome and Glacier Point and Ahwahnee Meadow. It's on the road to Ahwahnee hotel.

Swinging Bridge is popular because it's near the water. It's awfully crowded though. I would prefer Cathedral Beach if you want water.

I recommend parking at the day use parking just south of Yosemite Village and the Village Store. You can take the shuttle bus loop to the Yosemite Falls stop. It's a short walk to the base of the lower falls. If hauling the toddler stuff with you is too much work, there's parking in Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, which is near the falls, of course. I don't think they encourage day use parking there, but nothing is stopping you.

Bridalveil Falls is right next to the road too. And El Capitan is nearby. No shuttle bus access.

Consider taking a tour in the open air shuttle tram. It's led by a ranger and they show you the major poins. Sign up at any of the hotels--Yosemite Lodge, Curry, Ahwahnee.
http://www.yosemitepark.com/Activities_ ... rTour.aspx
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Re: suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Postby Nacci » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:23 pm

Don't try to move your car after you have parked. Yosemite Valley has been crazy crowded over the past few weekends. Some folks reported it took two hours to drive just a few miles.

I think you should drive up to Tunnel View for a quick view, then down to Bridalveil Fall (before that parking area is full) for a drenching waterfall experience. Then drive into the valley and park in one of the parking lots dan described. Leave your car there for the day.

Toddlers are often happy with little things ... pinecones, sticks, grass in the meadows, puddles. Just take your child along with you to see what you'd like to see, and allow plenty of time to experience the little things.

I wouldn't take a toddler on a tour with someone else talking for two hours. Actually, I don't think I'd take any kids at all but definitely not a toddler.
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Re: suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Postby mazar » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:21 pm

Thanks for the great suggestions!

What time do the parking lots typically fill up? Would it be too late to leave Hogeden Meadows at around 9am?
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Re: suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Postby dan » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:37 pm

The Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge lots may fill on weekend afternoons. The lot south of Yosemite Village is pretty big and I haven't seen it full. Maybe on a few popular holiday weekends. Morning is a nice time--less crowded, cooler.
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Re: suggestions for day in Yosemite Valley with toddler

Postby mazar » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:42 am

Thanks again guys. We had a great time this weekend with some great weather.
We were able to take the toddler to Bridalveil and the Vernal Falls bridge on the stroller. The latter wasn't too easy with a stroller if you're curious.

The next time I'm in the valley on a busy weekend, I'm definitely renting a bike to avoid all of the traffic!
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