Yosemite Never Disappoints
I’m a sucker for wilderness anywhere, on any day of the year, but I am now totally sold that autumn is the best time of the year to visit Yosemite National Park, having visited in all four seasons. Our trip timing bypassed the swell of summer visitors (estimated at over 600,000 in August alone) to less than half of that number in October, just in time for the fall colors that showed up and showed out in waves of yellow, reds, and ocher blanketing the landscape all around. And there were no winter road closures or snow chains required.
We were advised by the resort staff to leave camp for the park around 9am to climb ahead of fall weekend visitors, and help ensure we could find space to park our over-sized vehicle. Rodney did the driving the first day and now it was my turn to drive the motor home. With me behind the wheel, Rodney and the kids were able to enjoy the panoramic views out of the big front window. The meandering drive and stunning vistas of the valley approach were breathtaking.
After paying $30 for our week-long pass at the park gate, we wound easily down into the valley, stopping to take photos at the most iconic views of the Yosemite landscape. Within an hour, we arrived at Half-Dome Village (Curry Village) and parked in the adjacent parking lot, taking up two spots vertically (and legally!) — we then ran into a friend of Outdoor Afro who remembered us from our epic leader training weekend back in 2016.
From there we took the free park bus shuttle that stops at all the major valley destinations and many hiking trails beyond. Our afternoon filled up nicely with a delightful, casual lunch at Degnan’s in the valley, followed by leisurely hiking and slow time spent in the visitor center to learn more about the formation and history of this important and beloved national treasure; it’s native people the Ahwahnechee; the protectors found in its first park rangers the Buffalo Soldiers, wildlife such as the adorable pika, and the tensions between our modern, ambitious love for this land within its need for protection and stewardship.
Before we knew it, our Yosemite sun began to set westward, and without quite getting our fill of the park and its trails and stories, we reluctantly decided to get back on the road to allow plenty of time and light to re-connect our RV to camp, and enjoy our planned Taco Night dinner on board with all the fixings — and of course, more s’mores!
By the time I headed to bed Saturday night, I could not believe our trip was coming to an end the next day, just at the moment we got accustomed to the rhythm of the RV lifestyle. I knew we could have easily stayed another two nights — or more!
Our 5 Tips For RVing Weekend Warriors
- Plan for a long weekend if you can – consider the journey and destination in your RV as a total adventure, and take your time along the way!
- Choose an RV Resort with amenities for everyone, such as recreation rooms with WI-FI, swimming pools, organized activities and park model cabins – perfect for those who want to try out the RV lifestyle, but aren’t ready to buy.
- It’s all about preparation. Just like with any camping experience you’ll benefit from advance meal plans, prepping fruits and veggies, marinating meat, etc. All help to save time, and bring only what portions of dry goods you need from home to reduce waste #Grits
- RV’s have plenty of storage: Grab toys and games from home such as balls, board games, and cards for those down moments, especially before bedtime for all ages.
- Eat lots of s’mores!
Thanks to El Monte RV, Dublin, California, and Go RVing for making another delightful and memorable weekend my family will treasure always!
To plan an adventure of your own, visit Go RVing for info on how to get started, how to choose the RV that’s right for you, where to go, and so much more!