Yosemite Fall Trip

This past weekend we went on a backpacking and climbing trip in Yosemite with some friends and their adorable 20 month old little girl (who Henry was so sweet with!). It was the perfect time to go because the crowds were gone but it was still pretty warm. We aren’t really set up to do winter camping with Henry so this was probably the last time we’ll go before the spring. We had an incredible time. I thought I share some specifics about the trip for those of you interested in backpacking with kids (but read this post first if you haven’t already!)…

PS these pictures are all from my instagram (@yestohoboken)

Saddleback lake is just east of Yosemite. We had been here a couple months ago with Katrina, and had such a great time we decided to took our friends back who had never been backpacking with their little girl before. It’s also a great spot to fish rainbow trout so we brought our fishing pole along. Because it’s dispersed camping and it’s not technically in the park, we didn’t need any kind of reservation or permit. Easy! It’s a great spot to take kids because the area looks pretty remote and crazy, but it’s actually the easiest backpacking trip we’ve done! If you take the boat across the lake, you cut a couple miles off your hike and we only ended up walking for about 30 minutes or so before finding a spot to camp. The kids were pretty good on the hike. My friend carried her daughter on the front and also carried a backpack on her back! Hardcore! Henry walked but he definitely had his moments. When Henry was just about through walking, the menfolk headed up to hike around and look for a spot and we sat and played games with the kids and ate trail mix while we waited for them to come back.


We picked a spot close to water and a good view of the gorgeous mountains. Whenever we look for a dispersed camping spot we always think about level ground, grass not dirt, rocks to sit and cook food, and areas to climb around and entertain the kids.

We also think about protection from wind if it’s getting cold (which it started to be), water nearby, and bug-free if possible. We lucked out finding most of these which made it a really great spot.

We went fishing and cooked dinner- we are a big fan of backpacking meals that you just add hot water to. They’re actually really good! Because fires weren’t allowed in the area, we ended up going to bed with the kids really early at like 8pm! Which really is the best way to camp because you’re not going to sleep as well so you might as well get an early start.

The next day we drove back into the high meadows to find some places to camp that we had been scouting out in this great Yosemite climbing book we have. Climbing with kids isn’t as hard as you think! If kids are in the outdoors they are always entertained, as long as you have snacks and water and someone to entertain them. Last month in St George we were climbing some red rock and Henry walked off with our friend’s son. When we went to go find him he yelled out, “We’re busy making a volcano!”. Perfect.


This looks so fun. I LOVE Yosemite. My husband used to work there, and there is certainly no place like it on Earth! I hate to be the Debbie downer, but have you heard about the deer mice hauntavirus thing in Yosemite? Its more if you stayed in the tents in Curry Village. But just fyi. Glad you had a great time, I hope to be back there soon.

Wow! Such beautiful photographs. I hiked Half Dome a couple years back, your photos have me wanting to get back there for round two! Glad to see you had a lovely time.

So excited to read about successful backpacking trips with young kids! My partner is an avid backpacker, and I have fallen in love with it, but having grown up car camping it’s been hard to picture backpacking with little ones. (we don’t even have kids yet, but it’s something we talk about whenever we hike) Your suggestions are so practical, thanks! And, gorgeous photos. Makes me wish we weren’t done for the season. Oh, football…

Wow! That looks wonderful! We’re going camping for the first time in a few weeks with our nearly 10 month old and I’m terribly nervous about it.

You’ll be fine, just lower your expectations. Sometimes it works out great, sometimes not but you’ll never regret it!

Comments are closed.