Yosemite, with kids, revisited, part 3

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Places To Go

It was great to be in Yosemite again, to see my old friends Half Dome, El Cap, and all the waterfalls. I also got to visit parts of the park I'd never been before. One of those was Glacier Point. Located at the end of a 16-mile drive from Highway 41 (the road leading from the South entrance and Wawona into the valley), visitors are treated to spectacularly teasing views on the way there, but the real pay-off is at the end of the road where a fully-developed area is easily navigated by strollers. The views are, simply put, incredible.

Unfortunately, most of the kids we had with us were too young to really get it. I was able to show Jared where I had hiked and camped and how I got to the top of Half Dome, but mostly the kids liked climbing on the boulders and seeing the squirrels. Sara, especially, liked the boulders, oblivious to the cardiac issues she was causing her mother. If you're in that part of the park, definitely check it out, but if you've got wee ones, they may not get it.

If your kids are older, there are a lot of day hikes that start from the Glacier Point Road, including the Four-Mile Trail -- a very strenuous hike straight down the side of the valley from Glacier Point. I'm going to wait on that one until Jared and Sara are big enough to carry me. A more reasonable hike takes you to the bottom of Sentinel Dome where you can scramble up the granite to the top. From there you have an unobstructed view of the park, including the valley and the high country. I think this will be on Jared's and my agenda for next year.

There are other options for similarly spectacular views, however, if you want to avoid the 30-mile round-trip out to Glacier Point. On highway 41, just before and after the Wawona tunnel, are two turn-outs with incredible views. The turn-out at the east end, called Tunnel View, is one of the most photographed vistas on earth. If you're headed into the valley from the South anyway, it's on your way and you don't have to drag the kids on an extra side trip. Even if you do make the trip to Glacier Point, pull off at Tunnel View for more of what people come to Yosemite for.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.