Chasing Waterfalls – Yosemite in the Spring

Last fall we lucked out and snagged a last minute camping reservation at Crane’s Flat.  We had a great time in Yosemite but really missed the waterfalls.  Yosemite Falls rarely flows in the fall, and we really wanted the kids to see it after winter.  We were on top of it this year, and we booked reservations early.  We stayed in Lower Pines Campground.  When you have a chance to stay in the Valley, you realize how super convenient it is.  You don’t have to drive anywhere.  There are shuttles that will take you all over the Valley floor or you can walk/ride bikes.  The weather was still pretty cool and we had rain on Sunday.  Overall though, we couldn’t have asked for nicer spring weather.

Westy

Half Dome

On Saturday, we jumped on the shuttle and went to the Visitor’s Center for a Jr. Ranger talk.  Our kids love these and we take advantage of them whenever possible.  Afterwards, we were wandering around and stumbled right into the most awesome ranger program we have ever experienced.  It was run by a descendent of the Miwok Indians.  He showed us all ton of edible plants and let the kids hold different toys the Miwok children would play with.  The best part though – he taught us how to throw darts.  We had such a blast.

Dart

Darts

The Girl Throwing Darts

The Boy Throwing Darts

Later that day we hiked to Mirror Lake.  The Boy complained the whole time and The Missus had to keep feeding him Jelly Belly’\s to get him to walk.  He was driving us crazy.  The lake was gorgeous but we dreaded the hike out.  Complaining kid and all.  It turns out his hiking boots were too small.  Poor guy’s feet hurt.  The Missus felt horrible!

Mirror Lake Trail

Jelly Belly Bribes

Mirro rLake

 Mirror Lake Duck

We saved all the waterfalls for Sunday morning.  The shuttle dropped us off right at Yosemite Falls and we made the short walk in to the base.  No big hiking – not with The Boy and his sore feet.  The falls were gorgeous.  Even with the drought, they were still amazing.  The Mister wasn’t feeling so great on Sunday.  He felt like he was coming down with a bug, so we packed up camp early and headed home.

Yosemite Falls

For our next trip to Yosemite, The Missus wants to carve out time to hike to the three groves of Giant Sequoias.  We think they will be pretty amazing.  Especially because they are off the beaten path.  Have you made it to all the Giant Sequoia Groves?  This is becoming one of The Missus’s must dos.

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Yosemite – Chasing Fall

The kids were finally better. We were so happy to get back on the road. We had reservations at Yosemite National Park. We hadn’t been since The Girl was two.

Half Dome

We stayed at Crane Flat Campground. It wasn’t in the Yosemite Valley but beggars can’t be choosers. Especially when you plan horribly and get reservations late in the season. The campground was actually really nice. Lots of trees and fun rocks. A little bit on the hilly side. Well, a lot on the hilly side. We really need to invest in some leveling blocks. There is nothing like figuring out how to sleep on a hill.

The fall colors were pretty elusive. We were a few weeks early. We did find one or two trees beginning to change but nothing notable. But really – you are in Yosemite. It is always gorgeous. Even the Rim Fire damage – although devastating – was beautiful in its own way.  The falls were a trickle but still magnificent. Just another reason to plan a spring trip. The Missus should get on that soon. Yosemite reservations are notoriously hard to get; especially in the spring.

Vernal Falls

We hiked to Vernal Falls with the kids. We didn’t make it to Nevada Falls. It got really steep and although we were pretty sure the kids could do it, we didn’t feel like we had enough food and water to combat any whining we might have encountered at the end if the hike. The kids had fun though and the falls were gorgeous.

Hiking

The weather was brisk during the day and just plain cold at night. We realized that if we were doing any winter camping, we were going to have to get the kids better gear and figure out a way to keep The Westy warm at night. The Mister was looking at heater options but safety is a big issue. We are also reluctant to spend a lot of money on gear for the kids. They grow so fast. Thermals are something we should really look into though.  Warm kids equal happy parents for sure! {Update:  We ended up getting the kids thermals for Christmas from REI.}

Bundled Up

Yosemite is one of those places where the beauty is extraordinary and every trip brings new things to see. Every time we go we wonder why we don’t frequent the park more often. We are already planning a trip back. Who knows, The Missus might even make reservations ahead of time!

The Westy in Yosemite