I may be a guidebook enthusiast, but my recent trip to Yosemite National Park tested the limits of those little books. The reality is that some of the kid-friendly places I had in our itinerary were probably the ones my son found the least interesting or memorable. Kids don’t write the guidebooks, but they can help their moms write blog entries. For this post, I’m letting my seven-year-old expert give a list of his favorite things to do in Yosemite and I’ll write my thoughts on those places. Besides, I had to think of something for him to do while he hovered over me and my laptop.
1. The Waterfalls: Since it was Spring, there were waterfalls tumbling down every bit of granite in the valley. The trail to lower Yosemite Falls was quiet when we did it early in the morning. My son loved the mist and wind at the bottom of the falls. Next time, we just may try hiking a bit further along to the upper falls.
2. Hiking to Vernal Falls: This is the trail that begins just outside the Happy Isles Nature Center. The center has some interesting exhibits, but it’s small. We got through it in about five minutes. If we had gotten there for one of the ranger walks, or we had actually done some of the Junior Ranger activities, we could have spent more time at Happy Isles. We didn’t, so we had plenty of time to hike to Vernal Falls. It was a crowded, paved trail with great views and some steep inclines. As I huffed and puffed up the trail, I thought it was amusing that this was supposedly not the steepest part of the trail. I read in my guidebook, that the hardest part of the trail is past Vernal Falls. Next time, we’ll keep hiking up that part the trail called Mist Trail. I’m going to need some cardio-training.
3. El Capitan: I’m not sure why this made the list, but I suppose it has to do with the fact that my son loves rocks. This is one big rock.
4. The Fuzzy Caterpillar: Ah, you never know when you’ll run into wildlife. We hope this little guy made it to the other side of the bike trail.
5. The Village Store: This is the place to go for all of your kitschy Yosemite souvenirs and ice cream bars. Enough said.