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1st Visit 25th anniversary in OCT

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:05 pm
by twiggy44
Hi everyone,

need help! So excited to finally get to visit Yosimite for the 1st time.
We are going Oct22-25th! It is our 25th anniversary so that is why we are going in October. I was reading that the waterfalls are trickled this time of year :( , but I am hoping the colors and the scenary are still worth a trip. I also want to see the Redwoods. I have no idea where to start with lodging and where to stay. Are the Redwoods close enought to drive to or should we stay at two destinations and how much time should we devote to the two? Kind of on a budget. don't want to spend more than 150$ a night. We can maybe swing 200$ night. We don't need fancy, just comfortable and clean. Location is more important to me than accomadations. A beautiful view? I really appreciate any
help you can give us. Where would be a good place to have our anniversary dinner?? So excited!!!!

Thanks again!

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:01 pm
by Dave Miller
There are three Redwood Groves in Yosemite: Mariposa, Merced and Tuolumne. The biggest and best is the Mariposa Grove. That is in the southern area of the park and near the Hwy 41 Entrance. I've stayed at the Valley View Hotel in El Portal. It's not the most elegant hotel, but they do have a number of jacuzzi tub rooms. It is the closest hotel to Yosemite Valley that is not in the park itself. You can also find lodging in Oakhurst near the Hwy 41 entrance.

As for a anniversary dinner, I really don't have any suggestions. I usually bring my own food. I know there are some decent restaurants in Mariposa and Oakhurst, but couldn't tell you what ones.

October is a wonderful time to be in Yosemite and the surrounding areas. I highly recommend spending one day on the Eastern side of the Sierras via hwy 120 (subject to weather closures). The fall colors are usually around peak at that time of year and the sights between Bridgeport and Bishop can be magnificent. Some areas of interest: Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake (South Tufa area), June Lake Loop, Mammoth Lakes, etc.

I know I rambled a bit, but a google search for some of the areas should help.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:34 am
by hotrod4x5
Just to clarify, when you say Redwoods, do you mean the very tall trees that grow near the coast, or are you talking about the Sequoias, which are not the tallest in the world, but the largest in diameter. Anyway As Dave said, there are three Sequoia groves in the park, and they are within driving distance of the major hotels/motels.

As far as lodging, you have a few choices. I haven't stayed in El Portal like Dave has, so I defer to him on that option. In Yosemite Valley there is Curry Village, most rustic and least expensive, Yosemite Lodge, motel style rooms, some called deluxe, are nicer than others, medium priced and the Ahwahnee, 3 or 4 star hotel (depending on who you ask) much more pricey, probably outside your $200 range. It is where heads of state (Queen Elizabeth), president and celebrities have stayed while visiting the park. There is also the Wawona hotel, located outside the valley, near the south entrance. I can't comment on it as I have never stayed there.

If you reserve for Yosemite Lodge, ask for a room with a view of Yosemite Falls. Whether or not it will be flowing is a crap shoot that time of year, but might as well ask. Also need to ask at check in, as they can't guarantee it over the phone, they only put a note in the special request section.

Check out all your options at this link

As far as eating, Yosemite Lodge has the Mountain Room, and it is decent. The Ahwahnee has an elegant dining room with 50 foot ceilings, and I recommend it for your anniversary dinner. Be sure to make a reservation and you have to dress up. I wore a nice sweater and slacks as I don't even own a dinner jacket. But if you have a tie and dress shirt and slacks that should be fine as well. Mainly they don't want people coming in wearing shorts and trail shoes and t shirts.

What else do you want to know?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:37 am
by AlmostThere
A side note - around the middle of October a lot of services close down. Not the Ahwahnee or Wawona, but services along Tioga Road and along Glacier Pt Rd. The chance of snow sticking and causing road hazard increases the later in the year it gets... it would be wise to carry chains if heading up either road (chain advisories in general go into effect for the mountains around this time - not that you should put them on the car, but have them in the trunk).

If you are renting a car, this may be one thing to think about. I'm not aware of any rental company that will allow you to put chains/cables on their cars.

Tioga Pass may or may not be open... if it snows heavily early on probably not. Some years we don't get a real sticking snow til November. Some years the road closes and re-opens after a moderate amount of snow falls and then melts or is cleared. It's something to be aware of in making plans, and you will best be prepared for anything by keeping an eye on the official current conditions page on the official Yosemite website, or by calling their info line just prior to your trip.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:17 am
by hotrod4x5
Not to contradict Almostthere, but the odds of needing chains in October are pretty low.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:21 am
by AlmostThere
Low, yes. Nonexistant, no - Tioga closed in October three times between 2000 - 2010.

Re: 1st Visit 25th anniversary in OCT

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:38 pm
by Ljrack

Late October is a wonderful time to visit, IMHO. See my response just above your post in the "1st Time" thread. The only drawback is lack of water in the waterfalls, but regardless, the grandeur of Yosemite is still displayed proudly. I wouldn't hesitate for a second recommending an October visit.

For Lodging, check out the Yosemite accomodations link provided above. Outside the park the 2 closest hotel/motel are Yosemite View Lodge and Cedar Lodge. They are located on Highway 140 just 15-20min from the Valley proper YoView lodge is literally built right next to the Merced River. Get a "River View" room and you will NOT be disappointed in your anniversary. I think they have rooms with hottubs/whirlpool baths too. Cedar Lodge is just 5 or so mile further west and is reasonable as well.
Do a Google search for these as I don't have privileges yet to post a link.

I tried to get a reservation, but I think it's too far in advance for the web, so you should call for a rate. Should be in your price range that time of year. You can also check other web sources for discounted rates.

As far as an anniversary dinner. Two great, but pricey options. One is of course the Ahwahnee Hotel. Visiting the historic hotel should be on your todo list anyway. I've never had dinner there so can't say anymore. The other option in the Valley is the Mountain Room. It's located in the main Yosemite Lodge complex behind the lobby. GIANT framed prints from some well known Yosemite Photographers. Food is very pricey. The cheapest item is $16.95 for a cheesburger! But the other entree items are more in line with a fancy restaurant. Great desserts. Can be crowded and I wouldn't call it intimate, but the best in the Valley. Next to it is a cafeteria style restaurant for the regular folk. :wink:

As previously mentioned, road conditions to Glacier Point and the Redwoods will be hit and miss. If the first winter storms come in, well Glacier Point and Tioga Pass will be closed anyway. And if they're still open, you won't need chains.

Grand Views? None of the accommodations offer grand views. Not like what might think like over Niagara Falls or something like that. The hotel at Glacier Point burned down a long time ago... The next best thing is a River View room at Yosemite View Lodge.

Have fun!