Yosemite, perhaps the most famous National Park in the world. And not for lack of good reason. The unbelievable scenery, extremely scenic hikes and the Mariposa Grove of giant redwoods were some of the reasons why this has always been a bucket list destination for travellers. This however comes at a price and finding accommodation within the park can be quite difficult, especially in the peak summer months and so booking in advance is recommended.
Luckily for this trip, The Big Trees Lodge had vacancies and is conveniently located in Wawona, about a 27 mile windy drive from Yosemite Valley where the most famous and easily accessible hikes are located. Food options around the park are few and far between and therefore it is recommended to bring supplies with you before you travel into the park. A word of notice though, food cannot be left unattended in a car (or tent) as this may attract bears and associated damage, so you should be prepared to carry all your supplies with you or keep them secure within your hotel room or bear resistant cans.
The Big Trees Lodge contains a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and the restaurant staff were eager to address allergy concerns which was essential in such a remote location. They also provide guests with a packed lunch option if reception is notified ahead of time the night before. This deserves a special mention as after alerting them of a nut allergy, they went to lengths to ensuring everything inside was suitable. This portable lunch was made up of a cheese and ham sandwich, bottle of water, classic flavoured lays, yellow mustard and a pack of nut free “Beach Bash” seed and fruit mix from “Enjoy Life”. This level of service felt exceptional and extremely reduced the level of anxiety of hiking in a remote region without knowing where the next allergy friendly meal will be. If all restaurants / hotels treated their guests that were travelling with allergies in this fashion, the allergic community would be in safer hands.
Lay of the land
There are hundreds of miles of trails available to hike throughout the Yosemite National Park, although in the Winter season many of the roads are closed to cars, and hiking routes may also be closed for safety reasons. Take some time to plan your desired route as they vary wildly in difficulty, terrain and length.
Visiting Yosemite is an unforgettable experience and while it can be stressful visiting remote areas when travelling with allergies, preparation is key to ensure you have a familiar pack of supplies for your hikes. On top of this, the service and nut allergy friendly packed lunchbox from the Big Trees Lodge make them an excellent recommendation if you are planning on travelling and staying in Yosemite.