We were supposed to drive from the Grand Canyon South Rim to the Death Valley, and finally to Yosemite but we didn’t manage to. Our girls were exhausted from the long road trip. We adjusted our road trip a little, and skipped Death Valley. From the Grand Canyon, we drove to Yosemite via Las Vegas and Bakersfield. I’m glad we did as we got to spend more time at Yosemite National Park.
The Grand Canyon (South Rim)
Sadly, we only had one short day in this park. We took a quick look at the map and chose a route that was manageable yet covered some interesting highlights of the park. The kids loved the space and the “cliff hanging” experience where they could lean over the railing and go ‘ahhhh…’…
Las Vegas (Stratosphere)
We returned to Las Vegas for a stopover and stayed in Stratosphere Hotel (thanks to the last minute hotel deal). Girls loved the view of the sky tower and enjoyed watching people doing the “life-threatening” rides. More amazing and spectacular was the night view in Las Vegas. Endless rows of lights in the midst of the desert. Impressive! The famous ‘Strip’ is so beautiful at night. No wonder people are so attracted to this place.
Yosemite National Park
Off we went to Yosemite via a stop at Bakersfield. The park is so huge that from the main entrance to the main lodge it is a 45-minute drive. We spent two full days exploring different parts of the park. They had a very comprehensive junior ranger program for the kids, which we decided to give a miss as Kaylee is too young to complete everything within a short period of time.
The park has many beautiful waterfalls like the Bridalveil Fall which the girls enjoyed going near them and getting wet by its water spray. Fun! Again! (Talia requested to go near the waterfall again). Yosemite Fall was a must visit for us too. We had an enjoyable time running and hopping and skipping along the way. Yes! There are deers along the entrance where Kaylee asked which of them is mummy deer, papa deer and baby deer… Hmmm… I’m not sure.
The park, like Grand Canyon, has many different type of trails for different interest groups. We did one short walk each day and spending most of the time for the girls to enjoy the open space.
We visited Mariposa Grove on Day 2. Mariposa Grove is the home of the 1800-year-old Grizzle Giant and other giant sequoias. We taught Kaylee how to count the number of years of a tree. We also taught her how some trees may join together to reduce competition for water and food.
There’s so much to offer in these parks that we made a mental promise that we will be back in the future to enjoy the place in much more depth.
San Francisco is our next destination.