The fall is a great time of year to visit Yosemite – not only do you get all the gorgeous colors, but you get them all to yourselves as the crowds are way less this time of year and it’s incredibly easy to get around, park at attractions, etc.
Although we were traveling in an RV, we opted to stay at The Yosemite Valley Lodge. The roads going into Yosemite are pretty narrow and, as first time RV drivers, we weren’t comfortable driving in. We did see plenty of RVs there, but most were on the smaller side. I believe there is a 32′ limit at this park.
Yosemite Valley Lodge
The Lodge usually books early, but because we visited the first week in November, which is the start of the offseason, they did have availability. What a great place to stay! We were literally in the middle of the park with all the amenities of a great hotel. Though, I doubt there is a bad place to stay around here, The Lodge was fantastic. The rooms had little patios and outside there were tons of tree for the kids to climb on and hiking trails.
It was a quick trip for us, just two days, and after spending quite a bit of time driving into the park, we didn’t feel the kids (or us) were up for driving around the park to see all of the very well-known sites close up. We were able to see Half Dome from the valley and some great waterfalls, but opted to stay in the valley and visit places the kids could spend some time exploring.
This was a great stop! It’s a little pebble beach with the river running through it. It’s shallow and calm, so the kids could play right near it and they spent hours throwing rocks in the water, finding the best sticks, climbing, etc. It was too cold to go in when we were there, but I’m sure people do in the summer. We had the place pretty much to ourselves and they have picnic tables and bathrooms, which made it the perfect stop!
Yeah, it actually doesn’t swing, it’s very stable! This was a gorgeous spot with hiking trails, and amazing mountains in the background, just like everywhere in Yosemite! The kids ran around and we did some very easy hiking. It was a great stop before we headed back on the road for a few hours, also had nice parking and bathrooms at this stop which is always a bonus!
The Mountain Room
We did splurge for dinner one night at The Mountain Room, which was fantastic. It’s the restaurant at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. They also have a food court, but we did opt to go out for a nice dinner, which we rarely do with the kids. They were surprising well behaved! The restaurant is great and they have amazing pictures of the park all around the dining room.
It was so memorable. I definitely want to go back! Maybe in the spring next time…