Has your family ever hiked in Yosemite National Park? Today’s blog post is all about Yosemite Family-Friendly Hikes, and is written by Explorer Family @liv2seetheworld. Alexis has shared with us her favourite hikes to do with her son.
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Here are family-friendly hikes in Yosemite National Park:
Family-Friendly Hikes in Yosemite National Park:
Before heading out on any hike in Yosemite National Park, make sure you’ve packed The 10 Essentials. We’ve put together the ultimate 10 Essentials blog that you can read by clicking here.
Cook's Meadow Hike
Stroll along the boardwalk while taking in the views of the valley, this easy 1 mile (1.6 km) hike offers views of half dome, Yosemite falls and Sentential Rock. Accessible from the Visitor’s Center or via the free shuttle, this hike will give you all the views and the feels as you wander among the great monoliths.
Wheelchair and stroller accessible.
If you want to know my #1 hike in Yosemite for Kids to Explore this is it!!!
This grove of ancient sequoia trees offers a wonder of learning and play for kids of all ages. You’ll begin your journey following the historic Big Oak Flat Road (paved) for 1 mile until you come across the first of the Sequoias. Upon arriving at the grove you’ll find picnic tables nestled among the trees making a perfect spot for a picnic.
From the end of the paved road you will find two loops to explore the magnificent trees. To the left you will find a down Sequoia tree while the trail to the right will take you to the Tunnel Tree. Our favorite is running through the downed tree, much easier for kids than adults. It offers an interesting perspective on these giants, you’ll be marveled by the exposed roots.
The Tunnel Tree was built around the 1870’s as an attraction to encourage people to visit via Old Big Oak Road on their way to Yosemite, at the time this area was called the Yosemite Land Trust and was not yet part of the National Park. The tunnel tree is most likely still standing due the the fact that the heart wood and the top of the tree burned leaving the sturdy outer bark to create the exterior.
This hike is wheelchair and stroller accessible up to the picnic area, only foot traffic can access the fallen and the tunnel tree. Note is 1 mile down hill and what goes down must come up. The paved road is also pet friendly.
If you have a child looking to climb big rocks this is the hike for you. Pothole Dome rises up from the Tuolumne Meadow and offers stunning views from the top.
The granite monolith was formed at the end of the last ice age ( approx 10,000-15,000 years ago)
From the parking lot, a short meander on the meadow trail (please stay on designated trails) will take you to the dome. There is no official trail for climbing up the dome, so choose a route that feels best for you and your family. After your short climb take in the 360 degree views of Tuolumne meadows, Unicorn and Cathedral peaks.
Lyell Fork via the John Muir Trail
Ever want to hike the John Muir Trail through Yosemite? This is a great way to experience a token of its beauty without the strenuous work. This easy 1 mile out and back hike will end at the Twin Bridges and stunning views of Lyell Fork. Bring your bathing suit, towels and a picnic, and find a spot along Lyell Fork to splash and play.
Parsons Lodge & Soda Springs
Take a leisurely stroll through Tuolumne Meadow as you watch the Pika peek up all around you. There are 2 starting points for this hike, a great place to start is at the Visitor’s center, where you can talk with a knowledgeable ranger. The easy 1.5 mile hike will take you to Parsons Lodge, a stone building, built by the Sierra Club for an early guide Edward Taylor Parson. Check the park schedule for exhibits and hours of operation.
From Parsons Lodge a short walk will take you to Soda Springs, a carbonated, cool, bubbling spring that rises up from the ground.
Do you know why? We’ll if you do tell us because geologists are still stumped on this one.
Please don’t taste it to see if you can solve the mystery, drinking the water is ill advised.
Partially accessible, check with Visitors Center for best route
This moderately strenuous 2.4 mi (3.9 km) hike will take you to this beautiful alpine lake, the trail offers views of half dome as you wind your way up the 485ft (150m) elevation gain. Parking is available at the trail head unless the road is closed. A road closure will add 1.7 miles on to your hike on a paved road. Arriving at the lake you’ll find restrooms and tent cabins, this is a favorite for day hikers, beginning and/or young backpackers.
There are two trailheads leading up to Dog Lake, one will offer you a chance to pass and/or climb Lembert Dome while the other will take you through the meadow, the distance is very similar.Check your maps and plan ahead to ensure you park in the correct parking lot .
Both trails are moderately strenuous, both provide views of Tulomone Meadow as you climb in elevation. Both trails also have fun climbing features along the way.
Dog Lake is a lovely lake for a quiet picnic and one place where I have had the opportunity to see wildlife in the park, including Mule Deer and a Black Bear.
We hope that you are able to check out these family-friendly hikes in Yosemite National Park soon! Don’t forget to use hashtag #KidsWhoExplore and tag us at @KidsWhoExplore on all your outdoor adventures on Instagram for your chance to be featured on our page.