Our Family Trip to Yosemite National Park

I had been wanting to come to Yosemite for many years and I was hoping it would be with our parents so they could also experience this for the first time. Fortunately, it all worked out and we were able to plan this trip for Emma’s first birthday week in October 2022 along with my parents and in-laws.
We rented a large van through Turo so we could all fit comfortably in one vehicle and my husband and I took turns driving six-plus hours overnight so we could take advantage of a full first day enjoying the resort we stayed at. For reference, we left San Diego on Wednesday night and arrived at Bass Lake/Yosemite on Thursday around 9 a.m.

We decided to stay three nights at the Pines Resort in Bass Lake, which is about a 30 minute drive to the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park. Staying at the Pines Resort in Bass Lake was very convenient for us because we each had our own cabin and even though our cabin had a kitchen, we loved the option to have breakfast and dinner at the restaurant, Ducey’s On The Lake!

What to do in Yosemite National Park in 2 days:

We visited Yosemite National Park in two days, since the vehicle permit is valid for one week. So we went in to the park on Friday and Saturday.

During our first day exploring Yosemite, we went on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, which is OUTSIDE the park, right BEFORE the South Entrance. Here is the video.

Then we went into the park and, since it was already afternoon and the sun sets earlier in the Fall, we only had time to explore the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, which is right by the South Entrance. 

The second day, we went into the park in the morning and drove further into Yosemite Valley, passing through the famous Yosemite Tunnel View, continued on to see the Lower Yosemite Falls, which unfortunately is dry during the Fall, and we ended our day at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel where we had dinner. Keep in mind that driving to Yosemite Valley is about a 40 minute drive from the South Entrance, depending on traffic conditions, which is why we did not do this drive the day before when we only had the afternoon left to explore. When we drove back from the Ahwahnee to the South Entrance (to exit the park) it was already very dark, so plan accordingly if you are not staying inside the park because the 40 minute drive back in the dark is not the best idea since the roads are windy and there is no lighting.

We were able to do all this with our one-year-old baby girl on a stroller since the trails that we did were flat, short and easily accessible from the parking lot where we left our car. I hope this encourages you to visit this beautiful national park with your family! Here is a recap video of our two days in Yosemite National Park.

On Sunday, our final day at the resort, we had breakfast and walked around Bass Lake for a little bit before heading back to San Diego. It was a very relaxing trip for all of us and very laid back since we were traveling with a baby. 

Altitude may hurt Baby's ears!

Something to keep in mind if you are traveling with a baby or child is the altitude going further into Yosemite Valley because it might cause some discomfort for a baby's ears. Unfortunately that was the case for our baby girl as we were driving into the famous tunnel view of Yosemite Valley - you can actually hear her crying in the video. Fortunately, the altitude seemed to have stopped bothering her as soon we got out of the car to take photos in the famous Tunnel View rest stop.

Overall, we had a great time in Yosemite and Bass Lake, and we definitely recommend this trip. It was such a beautiful trip and so worth the long drive from San Diego! 

If you liked this post or plan to go to Yosemite with your family, PIN it for later!

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