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General Yosemite Info - July Trip

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:02 am
by dshocker
Hi all,

I was hoping for some insider info on visiting Yosemite as we've never been. My wife and kids (10/13) are thinking about visiting in July during the week for about 2-3 nights. We love hiking and would like to stay in an affordable cabin somewhere close to the main hiking areas. I've seen rentals in Sonora and Groveland but I'm not exactly sure if that's even close to the park.

If anyone can suggest anything from past experience, that would be great. The ideal situation would be somewhere accessible to hiking, swimming, and photo opps.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Re: General Yosemite Info - July Trip

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:24 am
by AlmostThere
"Main hiking area?" Not sure what that would be. There are trails throughout the park.

If it is your first time, and you'd like to rent a cabin, you have a lot of choices - visit for some of them. You could also get a tent cabin in Housekeeping or Curry. I'd suggest something at the Lodge or Housekeeping in the Valley to any first timer, so you can spend a lot of your time walking around the valley taking it all in, visiting museum, visitor center, and places like the LeConte Memorial, take shuttle tours, etc. A drive up Tioga Pass and a drive up 41 to Wawona and Mariposa Grove and Glacier Point would be two more days worth of activities.

All hikes out of the valley are strenuous but worth doing at least part way - there are viewpoints on all. Short hikes on Tioga Road that are more than worthwhile are Gaylor Lakes (I won photo contests with pictures taken here, and I'm not a photographer), May Lake, Olmstead Point, Mt Watkins (more moderate than easy/short but great views) and strolling in Tuolumne Meadows. You can't really miss with anything you do. Some of us go back year after year and there are still plenty of new places to see. If you have time to do the long drive Hetch Hetchy is also worthwhile.

Sonora and Groveland are going to be at least an hour's drive to the park gate - there are options within the park, or hotels at El Portal, that will be closer. Also check Yosemite Bug - they have awesome food, a kitchen where you can prep your own, and a variety of rates for various accommodations including hostel beds. Coming back to sit in the common area near the fire and play games in the late evening was fun for the women's retreat I attended there. Very nice ambience and people from around the world gather there.

Re: General Yosemite Info - July Trip

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:12 am
by askus3
I am a day hiker and am planning a 16 day trip to Yosemite and feel there is not time to do it all! I am squeezed into leaving what I read to be some incredible hikes out of my itinerary. With that said, and I have three days. Instead of trying to see the whole park I would concentrate on either seeing the Yosemite Valley or the Tuolomne Meadows sections (don't try to do them both. If you can't stay in Tuolomne Meadows Camp (Cathedral Lakes, Gaylor Lakes, Mono Pass, Dog lake/lembert Dome), then White Wolf (North Dome, Harden Lake, May Lake/Mt. Hoffmann). Also if both are filled, stay outside Tioga Pass entrance in Lee Vining. This option gives you Mono Lake in the evenings for sightseeing and cheaper lodging, but allow for some delays getting through Yosemite entry gate. Now if you want Yosemite Valley, Almost There's lodging suggestions if available are excellent. Hikes for tthree days would be (Taft Point/Sentinel Dome on south wall + Glacier Point visit, Lower & Upper Yosemite Falls + Yosemite Point on north wall, and east in the valley to Vernal Falls & Nevada Falls). Any extra timein Yosemite Valley is for general sightseeing.

Re: General Yosemite Info - July Trip

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:04 pm
by dshocker
Thank you so much for the info! I booked a tent at Curry and am looking into the area. All suggestions welcomed!

Re: General Yosemite Info - July Trip

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:42 pm
by parktraveler
AlmostThere and askus3 gave you some great suggestions on what to do.From the valley to Tioga Pass takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours just to drive so if you want to hike and take in the sights, it can turn into a all day trip so I would plan a whole day to do that. If you get an early start you can go to Mariposa Grove, stop in at the Pioneer Visitor Center in Wawona and have lunch at the Hotel. On the way back, you can do the Glacier Point Road. Stop and take the short hikes to Taft Point and the Fissures at Taft Point and Sentinel Dome. Sentinel Dome has a great 360 degree view and is not as crowded as Glacier Point. It is also a great place to watch the sun go down. On hot days, we always get ice cream at the Glacier Point snack shop and eat it while looking at the view from Glacier Point. You mentioned swimming and there are pools at Yosemite Lodge and Curry Village that are opened to the general public. The pool at the Ahwahnee is for guests only as is the one at the Wawona Hotel. There are also areas in the valley along the Merced River where people swim and also in Tenaya Creek just before you reach Mirror Lake. The water can be cold even in the summer. One warning - do not swim or get near the water above and below the water falls. It is dangerous and people have gone over the falls and died. Go to and look at the visitor's guide which has lists of ranger talks, walks and other activities that are going on in the park. The Jr. Ranger Program is also fun and a good way to learn things about the park. One thing that I would recommend is that you don't try to do too many things in one day and just take time out to enjoy being in the park.