Tales from the Trail: Yosemite National Park

In the end I was glad all the campsites were filled because we were forced to camp in Mammoth Lakes, which turned out to be a dream destination in and of itself. Some detours lead to much better trails.

It started as a dream to visit the Yosemite National Park. One problem, it was my first time planning a camping trip to a popular national park and, as you can probably guess, by the time I finalized travel plans all of the campgrounds in Yosemite were booked.

After a little online research I found an area that met all my needs for visiting Yosemite NP: within driving distance of Yosemite NP, decent campgrounds, and it fit my travel route. So I booked the campsite not realizing this area was a vacation in and of itself.

The area we ended up staying in was Mammoth Lakes, CA, which is located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I did a little research before our trip and knew there were some awesome outdoor activities in the area but I had no idea what was in store for us.
Not only is Mammoth Lakes near Devil’s Post Pile National Monument and the Ansel Adams
Wilderness but the mountain views around town were breathtaking. Mammoth Lakes is also a ski resort but, as it was the summer, the traffic was light and the town was relatively quite. The drive to Yosemite took almost an hour but the views were awesome and there was not much traffic. Plus we had a chance to see the less traveled areas of Yosemite.
After arriving in Yosemite I realized how glad I was the campgrounds were full. The park was so busy it would have made the camping trip a lot less enjoyable for me. Our campsite in Mammoth Lakes was perfect. Sometimes taking the road less traveled just fits the bill.

Disclaimer: We visited in July a few years ago, so I am not sure if Mammoth Lakes, CA is still relatively quiet during the summer. Even if it is not, I highly recommend a visit. We camped at a Forest Service campground, which typically don't have many amenities. There may be more options.  

Follow along for more inspiration and ideas on getting outdoors as a family. 


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