Beautiful. Magnificent. Amazing.
Honestly these words don’t come even close to describing Yosemite.
Imagine driving through a tunnel nearly a mile long, and this is the first thing you see when you exit the tunnel.
Let me tell you, it is like hearing angels sing.
That is Yosemite.
We drove up to the park on Friday to spend Mother’s Day weekend there. Our first hiking stop was Bridalveil Fall.
It was an easy 1/2 mile hike without a whole lot of elevation gain. The kids loved being at the bottom of the falls and feeling the mist. There were a ton of people there though, so we decided to walk back down the trail a bit to grab a family photo so we wouldn’t be photobombed by the other 100 or so people there.
Next we hopped back into our car to go to our next stop. Along the way we just had to stop for pictures at the meadow with Yosemite Falls in the background.
I even handed my camera over to Trenton so he could snap a picture (or 30) of me and Jarrod.
Not bad for his first try with my camera!
We hopped back in the car and went on to the parking lot nearest to our next hike – Mirror Lake. We hitched a ride on the shuttle bus to the trailhead so that we wouldn’t add an extra 2 miles (1 each way) to a hike that was already going to be 2 miles roundtrip from the trailhead.
The trail to Mirror Lake was a wide paved non-driving road. The last 1/4 mile was a little steep to the lake, but not too bad. We all survived. The pretty views helped.
And this, my friends, is why it is called Mirror Lake.
After walking back down to the trailhead and catching the bus back to the stop near our parking lot, we headed out of the park to our cabin to call it a day.
Saturday morning after making breakfast in our cabin, we headed back out to the park. Our cabin (Yosemite Pines) was 22 miles to the park entrance. What I didn’t realize when booking was that it was another 24-25 miles from the park entrance to Yosemite Valley.
But we were afforded with gorgeous views on our way through the park.
We made it to the valley and then drove another 30-40 minutes to Wawona on the south side of the park.
Our first hike of the day was Swinging Bridge. We loved this trail. It was very remote and not one of the more popular ones in the park. The trail was unpaved, and we only ran into about 10 other people while we were out. There was little to no elevation change, but there was some rock scaling to get down to the bridge.
Once we crossed the bridge, we climbed onto some rocks to eat lunch with a view.
After hiking back across the bridge and back to our car, we drove down the road a couple miles to the Yosemite Pioneer History Center. None of the buildings are open to the public, but we could peek in the windows. We also walked/balanced across a covered bridge to check out some old wagons.
Yosemite National Park was the perfect place to spend a perfect Mother’s Day weekend! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you special mommies out there!
I planned our hikes using this Where to go in Yosemite with Kids series on Go Explore Nature. It is a great resource to anyone – not just those with kids.