Yosemite Fall Guide: Where to Stay, Play, and Eat
Day 1: DESTINATION: YOSEMITE
we got an early start on the road as were able to make it to beautiful Yosemite by lunch time. Here’s what we did:
-Lunch at Yosemite lodge
-Head to glacier point for the gorgeous views and to get your spirit set in the adventures to come.
-From glacier point head to rush creek lodge to get settled in.
-after a long day of travel their play room fort is perfect for kids that have been in the car all day to get that energy out & their outdoor fire pits are the perfect spot for mom and dad to relax for a minute (or 10).
-have dinner at the tavern & the nightly fireside s’mores!
*get rest because tomorrow is full of adventure!
Day 2: LOWER YOSEMITE FALLS TRAIL
while the lodge has breakfast they also have a market with coffee, hot chocolate, yummy breakfast burritos, cereal, organic yogurt and oatmeal. If you’re not early risers for enough time to do a full sit down breakfast early, I suggest grabbing a cute picnic table on the deck at the market! Eat and get in the road! The kids loved the burritos and I loved the organic oatmeal and yogurt. *make sure to pack water and snacks for the hike.
From there head out on your first adventure- LOWER YOSEMITE FALLS trail
Once you’ve entered the park take a quick stop at the “welcome to Yosemite” for a family photo. Then head on to the Yosemite village.
Take your time and enjoy the ride. There are beautiful pullover stops along the way.
One of our absolute favorite was stopping at the Merced River.
Once you’ve reached the village park and follow the signs to the “lower Yosemite Falls trail”. This will be your main activity for the day.
The kids loved the journey getting to the falls just as much as seeing the falls. So take your time and let them play - they can skip rocks in the river, climb on fallen trees, even turn rocks into slides, my kids’ favorite.
Once you’ve finished the hike have lunch at Degnan’s kitchen/lounge! And the kids can play in the leaves and tee pees outside while waiting for food. They also have adult drinks. So enjoy!
After lunch beat the traffic out of the village and head back to the lodge for the kids’ daily craft and relax. Make sure to marvel at the gorgeous El Capitan on your way out and possibly stop to take a look.
Games, the jacuzzi, a yummy dinner at the lodge tavern and s’mores await!
Day 3: TUOLUMNE GROVE of GIANT SEQUOIAS
Enjoy breakfast at the tavern or restaurant, try the avocado toast with eggs, (we let the kids play in the playroom while waiting for food).
Then head out for your daily adventure to the giant sequoias! My kids loved this one!!
It’s is a short drive from the lodge. Once you get there park and start your hike!
It is 2.5 miles round trip. 1 mile down, .5 miles around the grove, 1 mile up. The terrain at a slight elevation but my 4 and 6 year had fun with their walking sticks they found along the way.
This hike is worth it!!!
Once down at the grove it is like a sequoia playground!
Trees the kids can run through, hide in & climb.
There is even a giant sequoia that had fallen and was hollow and all the kids and adults were climbing through it like a tunnel.
That was one of the highlights of the trip!
After the hike head back to the lodge for the daily craft, and relax by the fire with games and lunch.
For dinner depending on how you feel- stay at the lodge or venture in over to their sister property, the Evergreen lodge for dinner & their scavenger hunt and zip line.
I would suggest going early after the craft and you’ve had a chance to relax.
They also have nightly s’mores and ice cream!
Day 4: BRIDAL VEIL FALLS + MERCED RIVER + EL CAPITAN
Our motto is to head out early and then enjoy the afternoon relaxing and playing games.
This day is a fun nature one!! Make sure to bring water and snacks. This is a nice day to take a picnic and have lunch at he base if El Capitan after the falls.
After breakfast at the market or tavern head down to the village to bridal veil falls & stop at the Merced River on the way. Once you are down the hill you will
See pull off areas for the river.
Before you start the short hike to the falls let the kids explore the neighboring woods!! My kids loved this! We had gotten them a sling shot and magnifying glass and the lodge shop and they had the best time in the woods with these and their walking sticks.
After a bit of play head up the trail to the base of bridal veil falls to enjoy the beauty!
From there take the short loop to El Capitan and take a minute to get out of the car and explore the base this is a beautiful spot for a lunch picnic.
From there head back to the lodge for the daily craft, dinner, swim, games, and relax fireside.
DAY 5: THE JOURNEY HOME
Enjoy the morning at the lodge with a nice breakfast & let the kids burn their energy with the indoor playroom and outdoor activities.
Then head over to evergreen lodge for lunch and the zip line and if you’re up for it feel free to go the extra 1.5 miles last evergreen to check it the Hetch Hetchy reservoir before lunch.
Then on your way out make sure to stop at Tunnel View for one last breathtaking look at bridal veil falls and the incredible Yosemite Valley before the journey home.
*the mariposa grove trail has since reopened after renovation. It was closed when we visited.