Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Loved Our Visit to Yosemite Lakes RV Resort with #GoRVing at #ThousandTrails ... We Are Ready to Go Back!

Thousand Trails at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort with #GoRVing is Just Amazing!

 
Thanks to GoRving we spent a phenomenal 4 day sponsored trip in a Park Model RV near Yosemite with Thousand Trails at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort!
 
*My review is purely my own opinion and hope it gives some insight on family travel... with and with out autism in tow.*
 

 
The Adventure...
 
My kids have been asking to take a trip to Yosemite for a few years, my husband has never been and I've wanted to revisit some of my childhood memories while creating new ones with my own little family!
 
There are so many options to staying at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort & Thousand Trails & with GoRving it was made so seamless.
 
I'm going to break down the RV Resort itself, camping friendly food, family friendly activities, Yosemite National Park, fishing, amenities, autism tips and more so let's get started!
 
There was so much to do and we really had such a great time traveling and playing while experiencing new adventures outdoors and there were 19 of us!! Yes 19 from ages 6 months to adult and every age in-between.
 
About 7 hours from Orange County we wanted to note that you probably want to get most of your grocery needs a few hours out and cooler them. The last main spot in Fresno area is a Wal-Mart with basic needs not a full store. Most reception is lost shortly after so load your map before this point too!
 
We also decided that with multi families going together we'd split up meals so that each family did pot luck style breakfast sharing and each family was responsible for one main dinner dish, a side and a dessert to compliment the other meals.
 
Meal planning was easy and such a great idea thanks to Mary at Let's Play OC and Angela at Queen Bee Latina! More on that below...
 
Let's recap the visit and hopefully give you some ideas on how to make the most of your visit when booking at a GoRving Thousand Trails location!
 
We Made it...
 
Our check in at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort was great. Check in is easy and you are provided with a gate code to come and go as you please.
 
A tour of the grounds can be given too and the information at front desk is handy so just ask away. Miguel (manager) and Tess (check in & ranger) are super friendly and even had dinner at our campsite one evening! It's refreshingly peaceful to feel connected to others over smores in nature.
 

 
There is a Family Center Base Camp and it's perfect for a break from the heat with access to a game room, toddler play area and lounge with light WiFi.
 

 
Oh, there is an adult only room with pool tables too. Here is a video recap of our tour.



 
On the grounds there is access to the river of fresh glowing crisp mountain water! The dam up ahead about a mile is the main source for all water in San Francisco.. pretty cool!
 

 
You can also listen to music outdoors fireside, swim, play, pan for gold, fish or just float down the stream. It's surreal!
 

 
Hot tip... **There is laundry on site too! Pack light if you need to and just rewash as needed **
 
We decided on simplicity yet flavorful dishes for our planned meals. Teamwork with Mary and Angela was easy. Since there are BBQ's at the Park Model RV locations we came prepared to use them!
 
There are also full kitchen areas inside the Park Model RV's too.
 

 
Take a look at the home away from home feeling you get touring ours here.
 

 
The other options for staying are campground style spots for pop ups or tent camping, RV spots that are first come first serve, Yurts in tribute to American Indian style open teepee setting and of course cottages that are perfect for couples or single campers that share a restroom.
 

 
Settled in... Ready to Eat, Sleep, Explore (Our food shown is just a snip it, full meal planning recap is here)
 
Dinner night 1. Settled in and ready to eat. BBQ Chicken and Carne Asada with ride and beans.
 

 
Shrimp Gumbo Rice an ceviche but Angela and Rick.
 
 
 
With a side of street corn and of course.... by Mary.
 

 
Chocolate dipped strawberries.
 
 

 
Day 2 we ventured out to Yosemite National Park! It was amazingly beautiful.
 
But first breakfast... Pot Luck Style
 

 
Full and ready to explore nature.
 
From open meadows to running waterfalls the views were top notch for nature's best.
We couldn't help but stop at each photo opportunity we saw so that we too could capture the moment.
 
 
The hikes to lower falls were all age friendly and even stroller friendly. Perfect when you have toddlers to 19yo!
 
The birds and flowing crisp waters were a sight to see.
 

 
The water was fresh and so refreshing to the touch! Feet in!
 
Hot tip... the National Parks suggest each person hiking takes at least 2 liters of water with them. You don't realize how parched you get walking trails. Stay hydrated!!
 

 
The hikes do take time so it's a good idea to plan out your hikes with what trails and landmarks you'd like to see.
 
We also took a venture to Half Dome and El Capitan the views are memorizing. All ages love the sights. 
 

 
After a 6 hour trek into Yosemite National Park we packed everyone up to head back to Base Camp for dinner.
 
Dinner night 2.. With a movie RV side thanks to Rick ,Mary's cousin, who owns an amazing RV!
 
Campside Semi-Homemade Chili
 
 
Delish side of sweet cornbread that goes perfectly with Chili by Angela.
 

 
Of course Campfire Smores with a Girl Scout inspired twist... bananas. Tasty one by Mary.
 

 
Dinner on the big screen. It was so nice to have a large group to camp with. The kids all had someone if not a few other kids to hang out with!
 

 
Rise and shine everyone big day... 
Since it just wasn't enough we decided to head back into Yosemite National Park day 3!
 
Breakfast day 3 was quick so that we could get the kids a few hours of on site activity play time.
 

 
There are a lot of kid friendly activities to do as a family.
 

 
Horse shoes, volleyball, tetherball, basketball, mini golf and more.
 

 
Packing up snacks and leftovers we loaded up and drove back into Yosemite National Park.
 
We knew we wanted to try to get to Glacier Point. We started out at Bridal Veil Fall and wow were we in love.
 

 
After all it is an all age friendly hike.. we decided to have our left overs lunch with chorizo burritos and head up. There was a lot of open spaces to explore nature.
 
When we got to the look out or hike up point we had some of the adults and older kids take a hike up a ways. The others stayed behind and took the kids to an area that they could play in the water and rocks.
 

 
Be super careful and keep an eye on all the kids big and small.
 
The sound of nature really is calming and it was so nice to be on day 3 of no real internet or social for us all. Tunnel View Look Out Point is just breathtaking!
 

 
We ventured up to Glacier Point but about 3/4 of the way the RV was unable to go further as it's a 30' max length. We saw some beautiful sights here too and the temperature dropped as we drove up by the mile driven.
 

 
Everyone was hungry so we decided head back to Base Camp for a late dinner.
Dinner night 3. Starving after all that walking, hiking and living it up in nature!
 
Spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce hit the spot by Mary.
 

 
Side of broccoli for green refuel by me and of course a divine loaded up cheesecake by Angela.
 

 
One sure works up an appetite when playing outdoors, hiking, swimming and exploring that's for sure. The kids also get tuckered out so it was really nice to have the comfy space of the Park Model RV.
 
Sadly Departing The Campground To Head Home...
 
Our last morning.. we took it slow, woke up at 8am. Leftovers and Bacon for breakfast.
 

 
Took a walk around the campgrounds, said hello to the most friendly campers around us and found a perfect spot to do some "in the water" fishing after breakfast.
 

 
Check out is 11am so after we fueld up we packed up.
 
Down at the creek the kids had a lot of fun going waist deep in water to fish. Their rocket fishing rod is perfect for this and so useful for kids.
 

 
It's literally a point and click kind of fishing rod. My husband taught my daughter and she taught my son. Easy peasy..
 
After a few hours I had to drag everyone back up to change and head out and back home. Now I would be lying if I said we were eager to leave... totally the opposite!
 

 
We had so much fun out in nature seeing, doing and spent amazing quality time with family and friends we didn't want to leave.
 
Don't forget... Get all our meal planning foodie goodies camping style in my post here about Meal Planning Camping Food With Friends.
 
 
Autism Tips to Help the Whole Family
 
Aside from the usual bring what makes each kiddo comfy in their space (for us it's food items and a specific blanket).... there is plenty to keep all levels of abilities occupied. We felt it was perfect to stay in a Park Model RV to help with my sons sensory needs yet still be camping in the wild!

 
The outdoors are amazing to the mind body and soul. Seeking sensory fulfilment is easy peasy when searching for rocks, birds and exploring nature.
 

 
If your kiddo likes board games, bring some, we found when we travel we like to bring some of our favorites from Goliath Games along.
 

 
Let your kiddo help plan. Go online prior to the visit. Show the kids what there is to do and get an idea of what they may or may not be okay with.
 
What triggers your kiddo on long car rides? Plan for that too. There is little to no reception so keep mind to that. Also for us the drive up when my kiddo sees a slope or drop from the road we're on through the mountains he gets a bit nervous.. we prep for that. Just keep in mind what you may need to cover or be prepared to cover for your specific kiddo.
 
The base camp was ideal for quiet time or a break indoors if that makes sense. It was familiar to my kiddo with a book reading nook, tv, couches, more board games and open space.
 
I hope these tips help!! If you have a question please ask and I will try to help!
 
Ready for more already...
 
There was so much more to see and do... we will just have to head back soon for more. I hope it's going to become a tradition!
 
Have you been to Yosemite Lakes RV Resort or Yosemite National Park!? What are your must see and or do's!?
 
Again thanks to the wonderful hospitality of the grounds and the staff of Yosemite Lakes RV Resort, Thousand Trails & GoRving!
 

 
It was a trip of a lifetime we will never forget and can not wait to come back to!
 
Some information on pricing.
We stayed over Fathers Day weekend week. The rates for the cabin we stayed in are about $239 per night. I'm not sure how timing is since this was our first trip out but we did not feel overwhelmed with the space or occupancy on site at all!
 
A Suggested Packing List for Cabin Stay
Each of the park model rv's will be equipped with kitchen supplies (pots, pans, dishes, utensils) bedding (feel free to bring along a favorite blanket or pillow) and towels (there are bath fresh towels).
**You'll want to bring beach towels & a floatie if you plan to swim in the river.**
 
Go RVing has put together this list that might not include everything you want to bring, but it’s a great place to start!
Please do not bring any firewood from home or any other state!
 
Grocery list:
Cereal / Milk
Eggs / bread / bacon
Sandwich meats / chips
Steaks / chicken / hot dogs / hamburgers - anything you want to grill
Ketchup / mustard / butter / salt / pepper / spices
Any veggies or salads you'll want with your barbeque – or shop at local farm stands for really fresh, local ingredients
Sodas / beer / wine / bottled water
Snacks
Coffee / tea/ cream / sugar
Charcoal (or you can buy it at the campground store)
Chocolate bars, marshmallows, graham crackers, long skewers for smores!
 
What to bring:
Soap, shampoo, toiletries
Bug spray, sun screen
Music / iPod & speakers
Cell phone & charger
Camera / video recorder
Your own GPS
Spatula or tongs for grill
Paper towels / foil / plastic wrap / paper plates / napkins / plastic ware
Wet wipes
Garbage bags
Matches / lighter for grills
Bottle / wine opener
First aid supplies
Flashlight / battery operated lantern
Folding chairs & picnic blanket
Games / cards
Binoculars
Beach Towels
 
Details on GoRving Life & Why it's Becoming so Popular... Check out my post here!
 
Follow along on social media and join in on the fun too with @GoRVing & @ThousandTrails .
 
Search & get social with hashtags #GoRVing #FindYourAway #GetOutandCamp #ThousandTrails & #100daysofcamping
 
Can't wait to see your pics!