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1st Time visitor: 7 days/July/Want to see as much as I can

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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1st Time visitor: 7 days/July/Want to see as much as I can

Postby jwishon51 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:26 am

Should I just opt to do a lot of day hikes and stay in a hostel or campground?

If so, which do you suggest?

Should I do a couple of day hikes and then do an overnight trip?

If so, which do you suggest?

I am not going to have a car, are the free shuttles reliable for getting you to many different trailheads?

Is it going to be a big problem to not have a car?
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Re: 1st Time visitor: 7 days/July/Want to see as much as I

Postby dan » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:37 pm

jwishon51 wrote:Should I just opt to do a lot of day hikes and stay in a hostel orcampground?

Probably. Campground reservations are hard to get in Yosemite Valley in summer. Try after Labor day or camp outside the valley (several campsites are in Yosemite National Park outside the Valley). See http://www.yosemitesites.com/ and http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

The nearest hostel is the Yosemite Bug Hostel several miles west of Yosemite Valley. It's cheap and popular with the budget-minded and younger set.

For shuttles, there's one in Yosemite Valley. There's also a Hiker's Shuttle (NOT free) that leave's each morning and stops anywhere you want along the Tioga Road. You get out and hike down toward the Valley. For example, from Olmstead Point to Yosemite Valley or Yosemite Creek to the Valley via Yosemite Falls Trail.

There's also a daily bus that takes you to the top of Glacier Point and you can hike down the Four Mile Trail or hike down the Panorama Trail and Mist Trail via Little Yosemite Valley. You can also hike up then down these things for a full day experience.

The Half Dome Trail is a grueling favorite. Start early. In any case, at least hike to Little Yosemite Valley and back.

Without a car, you're basically stuck in Yosemite Valley, but it's a wonderful place to be "stuck" and is the best of the park.
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Thank you...

Postby jwishon51 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:10 am

Do the hiker's shuttles pick back up in the afternoon to transport folks back to Yosemite Valley? Or will i just have to hike back to the valley and pick up a shuttle back to the Bug Hostel? I checked out the bug hostel and am probably going to book some reservations there because I am sure the Valley will be crammed with people for the 4th of July weekend. Again thanks for the info!
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First time visitor -- Enjoy!

Postby adrianhoff » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:00 am

You have a lot of options.

Free Yosemite Valley shuttles access nearly everything in the valley. Free Tuolumne Meadows shuttles offer similar, if less frequent, access to trailheads and other important points along Hwy. 120 in Yosemite’s high country. Their schedule is posted online:


Stay west of the park and YARTS will get you back and forth — from the Bug Hostel, Mariposa, or even Merced if you want to commute that far. It does six or eight roundtrips each day (weekday vs. weekend), and except for Merced costs $12.00 or less, round trip, depending on distance traveled.

The YARTS bus from the Valley to Tuolumne Meadows continues on to Lee Vinning and Mammoth Lakes (east of the park). It runs once a day each way: afternoons, east towards Tuolumne; mornings west towards the Valley. You can also take it to and from, say Porcupine Creek campground to do an overnighter to North Dome.


A backcountry permit (departing from any Tioga Road / Tuolumne trailhead), includes access to the Tuolumne Meadows backpacker’s campground: $5.00 a night, no reservations needed. You can stay there one night before and one night after your hike. You could take the afternoon YARTS bus to Tuolumne, spend the night at the Backpacker’s camp, and leave the next morning for Cathedral Lakes or Sunrise or Clouds Rest or anywhere else in that general area. You could then spend two or three days hiking back to the Valley. Or just make it an one-night trek, spend the next night at the backpacker’s camp again, and take the morning bus back to the Valley.

On past trips I’ve had a rental — parked it in the backpackers lot on arrival and retrieved it on the day I left. This year I’m taking public transport from the SFO airport. So I’ll know in mid-July how much of a problem going car-less really is.
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