Planning a one-day trip to Yosemite National Park


Yosemite is one of those national parks that should be on everyone’s list when visiting the United States. It often gets confused with Yellowstone, which is in Wyoming. While Yellowstone is the freak show of national parks (Old Faithful is there), Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of California, hiding just east of Sacramento. It is home to Half Dome, a climbers dream destination, and the sight of a defunct volcano that caused massive damage at the time, but has left a devastatingly beautiful landscape for the rest of us to enjoy biking, climbing, driving and hiking around.


In October 2014 my family took a trip to Yosemite National Park for the first time. We were on a cross-country road trip, and this is the park that determined our route. My husband had done a two-week trip with his siblings after he graduated from high school. They tried to see Yosemite but it was closed due to flooding that summer. He had been aching to see the park ever since. Who am I to say no to a man’s dreams, especially if it gets us out of the car and experiencing something new.

We spent one full day in the park, staying just outside of the entrance at Tenaya Lodge. Yosemite deserves more than a day, but we were surprised just how much we could pack in. We called it a scouting mission, and indeed it was, for we got a taste of all that we want to do when we head back when our boys are older and can hike without being carried.

Here is a quick and dirty Yosemite day trip guide of how you can tackle about 10-12 hours in the park…



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  • Sally@Toddlers on Tour

    When I visited the states several years back Yosemite was on our to visit list. It was stunning.

    • Keryn Means

      We definitely want to go back! I have to see Yosemite Falls slashing down!

  • Colleen Lanin

    Looks gorgeous! I must do Yosemite someday!

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