over the weekend, we camped in a place that needs no introduction: yosemite national park. if it’s even possible, yosemite absolutely blew away our expectations. it was our first visit as a family, and my first visit in nearly 15 years. half dome, el capitan, bridalveil fall, yosemite falls…some of the most picturesque and famous us national park landmarks are located in this incredible valley.
when we planned this trip, we were so elated to have a chance to escape, especially during this covid world. we were lucky enough to get a day-use reservation for yosemite (it took me three hours the morning reservations opened!). we also camped just outside the park, since campgrounds within the park are still closed due to the pandemic.
we did our research ahead of time – picked out kid-friendly hikes, trails, and destinations – and we also prepared for the crowds. from what we’ve been told, summer months can be incredibly busy at yosemite. when we arrived, we were immediately impressed by how empty the park actually seemed. here’s what we found: parking was readily available. trails were often empty. yet, there were still plenty of visitors – we were all just able to go our own way while keeping out distance! the most impressive feature was by far the stroller-friendly trails. miles and miles of paved trails – according to alltrails, 20+ miles to be exact! wow.
as anyone who has every hiked with toddlers and babies knows, your adventures are at the mercy of your kids. baby girl is still little enough to fit in the backpack, yet she can get cranky. our three year old is a hiking champ! however, he usually tires out after 2 miles (which means we have to carry him back to the trailhead). during our weekend in yosemite, finding stroller-friendly trails extended our day. the kids conserved energy and we were even able to run! we ran an impromptu stroller 5k – an awesome out and back trail which took us to mirror lake, a quaint lake in the mountains. on this trail, we happened to see a bear cub!!!!!!
some of you may be thinking – you were that family? the family that ran in a national park? the answer is: absolutely! since the trails weren’t crowded, and since they were so wide, running was a breeze. there are tons of bicyclists, so you really will feel at home with running. translation: you will not run over any pedestrians, since bicyclists are everywhere. people are paying attention.
i can’t wait to get back to yosemite to run with the kiddos. thankfully for us, yosemite valley is only 2 hours, 15 minutes from our house. one of these summer days, we’re hitting the road early for some epic stroller running! leaving hubby and the dog at home – mama wants to get some double digit miles!
if you’re considering a trip to yosemite, let me know if you have any questions! happy to share more. i could literally blog about our trip for the next month. lol.