Adventure Van Travels – Exploring Yosemite Valley

First things first- Dave and Garrett arrived safe and sound! They flew in to Oakland and took the BART train to Merced where we picked them up at the train station. SO wonderful to be reunited!! adventure vanOnce we filled them up at In N Out Burger, we headed back to Yosemite. The 4th of July crowds have somewhat abated, but we were still glad to be able to park at our site and stick to the shuttle for getting around. We are camping in North Pines Campground and love our site right on the river’s edge. Tubes are available to rent, but we will definitely bring our own next time. The river is a great place to relax, cool off and wash off trail dust.  The kids also love visiting the horses and mules at the nearby stables.adventure vanadventure van adventure van And with just a short walk, we have a great view of half dome which we are climbing in the morning. Eeek!!!adventure vanOur first night at North Pines, Dave and Garrett were pretty tired from the 3 hour time change and crazy early wake up so we tucked in early. When we woke up the next morning, we made a big breakfast, then hit the shuttle to explore. Our first stop was the Visitors Center with excellent exhibits on the history of the park as well as two fantastic films including one directed by Ken Burns. adventure vanWe then hit the trail for views of upper and lower Yosemite Falls. Since we had a big day planned for tomorrow to summit Half Dome, we tried not to over do it and just hiked to better views of the lower falls. There were also amazing views of Half Dome which got us even more excited. It was a beautiful hike.adventure vanadventure vanadventure vanNow I know I already mentioned how crowded Yosemite has been. It’s MUCH better since we parked and are taking the shuttle. However, shuttles get crowded during the afternoon. No worries, we just stuffed ourselves into the bus and headed back to our pleasantly peaceful campsite where we spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the river, reading, and preparing for our big hike tomorrow. Wish us luck for Half Dome!adventure vanadventure vanAs always, Happy Travels. 

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I love to plan family travel adventures with our four kids. Encouraging time in nature, National Parks travel, backpacking and hiking are my passions and I love to write about them.

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