Yosemite the Beautiful.

by naturalkidz on August 30, 2013

The team here at Natural Kidz loves to go camping.  Samantha’s family makes a yearly trek to Yosemite during the summer to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.  She’s going to share some of the things she has learned over the last few years to maybe help you prepare your perfect Yosemite vacation!

Hello!  My name is Samantha and I work behind the scenes here at Natural Kidz.  Every summer my family packs up our Land Cruiser and heads up to the Hodgdon Meadow campground in Yosemite to immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature.  I thought it might be helpful to share some of the tips and tricks we have figured out (mostly the hard way; remind me someday to tell you the story about how I locked the keys in the car and we were without a vehicle in the middle of Yosemite for 2 days!).  I’ll post a few tips every couple of weeks


Where We Stay:

Each year, we stay in Hodgdon Meadow Campground.  It is technically not inside the valley (that’s considered the little town that is in the middle of Yosemite Valley that has all the fun stuff; Tunnel View, Half Dome, El Capitan, and most of the falls), but it’s tranquil and perfect for our family.  The campsites are spacious, but most are on a pretty steep incline which makes it difficult to tent camp.  We get site #28—remember that!! It’s close to the parking spots and, in my opinion, it’s perfect.


The First Place We Go:

Cathedral Beach. Hands down, every time.  It’s the perfect place to break out a raft (those are totally fine to bring to Yosemite, or you can rent some inflatable boats at Curry Village for $30 or so per person and float down the Merced River that way).  We pack sandwiches and chips and water before we leave the campsite and plan on staying at Cathedral Beach from morning until night.  El Capitan is behind you and  there is a huge beach section which is perfect for Frisbee or Kan Jam (look into this game; it’s always a winner!) or laying out and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

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A Must See:

The Rainbow Pools are just outside of the park out Highway 120, and they are absolutely worth it to go see.  They are technically a collection of a bunch of pools, and you can do a hike up to see the other pools, but the first one you come to is the best!  You can jump off of the rock and swim under the water fall or just float around and relax.  This year when we got there, we were the only family there, but it filled up pretty quickly.  This is another place you stay all day, so pack a lunch and some sunscreen!  At the parking area by the restrooms (yeah, restrooms! Yay!) there is a blackberry bush, so if you’re ever there, make sure you pick some and eat them.  We did, and they were absolutely delicious!


If you keep going down Highway 120, you come to the town of Groveland which we stop in every year as well.  The Iron Door Saloon is the oldest saloon in California which apparently has a great karaoke night on Thursday, and right next door is Firefall Coffee Company which roasts their own coffee beans and their blended Kona mocha is absolutely to. die. for.  This year we went twice, but don’t tell. We always get a big container of their Frickin’ Good Coffee, and it never lasts long.


It is a vacation I highly recommend!  If you can make it to Yosemite, you have to!  If you’ve ever been, tweet us your tips and tricks at @NaturalKidz!



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