Yosemite National Park, CA

Merced, California

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Yosemite National Park, on the eastern border of central California, comprises 1,169 square miles that include towering sequoias, huge granite boulders, cascading waterfalls, hidden lakes, and unspoiled forest. This area affords families truly breathtaking scenery and myriad ways to enjoy it. Although the park is open all year, summer attracts the most tourists: some four million. If you visit then, expect crowds, traffic, and difficulty in finding lodging (unless you’ve booked well in advance). The 7-mile stretch of the Yosemite Valley, the most frequented section of the park, is eye-catching any time of the year. If possible, visit in the off-season; however, summer is the only time you can be guaranteed passage into the eastern high country, which is often snowed in from late autumn until late spring. This eTrail is one complete vacation written with families in mind. It’s loaded with exciting things to do, family-friendly places to lodge and dine, recommended side trips, local sources of information, and detailed travel directions.
Great Family Vacations: West

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Great Family Vacations: West

by Candyce H. Stapen (The Globe Pequot Press)

Yosemite National Park, on the eastern border of central California, comprises 1,169 square miles that include towering sequoias, huge granite boulders, cascading waterfalls, hidden lakes, and unspoiled forest. This area affords families truly breathtaking scenery and myriad ways to enjoy it. Although the park is open all year, summer attracts the most tourists: some four million. If you visit then, expect crowds, traffic, and difficulty in finding lodging (unless you’ve booked well in advance). The 7-mile stretch of the Yosemite Valley, the most frequented section of the park, is eye-catching any time of the year. If possible, visit in the off-season; however, summer is the only time you can be guaranteed passage into the eastern high country, which is often snowed in from late autumn until late spring. This eTrail is one complete vacation written with families in mind. It’s loaded with exciting things to do, family-friendly places to lodge and dine, recommended side trips, local sources of information, and detailed travel directions.

©  Candyce H. Stapen/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Merced
Duration: Up to a week's worth of fun.
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for attractions, dining, and lodging are provided in the eTrail.
Topo Map: Yosemite National Park, CA Topographic Map
Guide Book: Great Family Vacations: West Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

10/15/2005

We entered the park on Hwy. 120 and drove the Tioga Pass to Tuolumne Meadows. The forecast called for a 30% chance of showers in the park. As we traveled the pass the skies darkened and there was a chill in the air. At about the half-way point (9000 ft.+) snow flakes started to fall on the windshield. I thought our hike was doomed, but we kept driving anyway. We arrived at the Dog Lake / Lembert Dome Trailhead and the sun came out and the winds died. This was a good omen. This gave us enough confidence to carry on so we packed up and headed down (or up) the trail. It was a 1.3 (one-way) mile hike with a steady 600 ft. climb to the top. We had a few rocks, fallen trees & other obstacles to overcome, but the trail was fairly clear. After about an hour of steady climbing we reached the apex and could see Dog Lake through the trees. Dog Lake is a crystal clear mountain lake surrounded on all sides by tall pines and granite peaks. We settled on a lake point in the sun and unpacked for lunch. My wife, 5 year old boy and I ate roast turkey sandwiches that we prepared earlier and sealed in an air tight container (didn't want to entice any bears). I decided I had enough time to rig my fishing pole and make a few casts. The lake is very shallow and there were alot of hang-ups. I noticed there was not much aquatic life, such as hatchlings or minnows. I don't know if it is just the season or if I was just at the wrong part of the lake. As I was fishing a dark cloud just to the North of us started dropping a few snow flakes. It was beautiful to watch the snow backlit by the warm sun. My wife and child enjoyed catching the flakes on their tongues. After having no luck fishing and as the temperature started to drop, we packed out for the journey back down the hill. Before we knew it we were headed home in the warmth of our trusty Nissan with the kid fast asleep in the back. I'm glad we didn't let the weather deter us cause we had a great time.

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