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First Time Visit

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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First Time Visit

Postby dan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:31 pm

Postby spider910 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:31 pm
Hello. Thank you for this forum.

Currently, my mother and I are planning a trip to Yosemite. Neither of us have been. We've been to Yellowstone, Glacier, and Arcadia and have loved them all. We like hiking (easy to moderate), driving tours, and simply taking in the views.

What advice can you give?

Getting There:
We're both on the East coast so I assume we'd fly into Fresno and then travel by car to Yosemite.

Lodging:
The lodging in Yosemite looks pricey, although lovely. Are there good moderate priced hotels nearby? An in-room internet connection will, alas, be necessary.

Sightseeing:
Yosemite Valley

Length of stay:
3 or 4 nights

Nearby Parks:
Are there any other parks or places of interest nearby?

When to go:
How would a trip towards the end of September be? Will the weather cooperate? Crowds smaller? Hotels and things still open?

Thank you.
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dan
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Re: First Time Visit

Postby dan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:31 pm

Postby Phil » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:26 pm
Getting there: Check pricing for flights into SFO or OAK and then chek car rental rates. You might find it's cheaper and easier than flying into Fresno. Although, you will have a slightly longer drive from the Bay Area.

Lodging: Unless you're willing to stay well outside the park, camp, or consider one of the heated tent cabins, hotels/motels in and immediately around the park all tend to have fairly high prices....they know what they have, and they know people want it.

Sightseeing: 3-4 nights would be great. Lots to do and see within Yosemite itself. Besides the Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point are two of the bigger draws. Mariposa Grove should also be open by then. Guided tours in the Valley, plenty of hiking trails, including up to Vernal and Nevada Falls....That time of year, you're coming in just after the various shuttles either stop or limit service for the season. Check the NPS and Aramark's websites, but a car will definitely make getting around easier and faster.

When to go: The weather is usually still holding, but it'll be getting chilly, at least in the evenings. Other than the shuttles, most services should still be up and running. The Valley almost always entails crowds, but they should be starting to taper off by then.
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Re: First Time Visit

Postby dan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:31 pm

Postby dan » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:33 pm
Yes, Fresno is the closest airport with scheduled service. Flying into Oakland would be cheaper, with more flights, but will add several hours driving.

The Yosemite lodging is pricey. More reasonable lodging is available outside the park at Mariposa (the county seat in the foothills). It's a cute down. El Portal has a few hotels and is closer.

That said, there's nothing like getting up in the morning and seeing Yosemite Valley first thing in the morning. Curry Village (now renamed Half Dome Village) has heated tent cabins that are cheaper than hotel rooms.

No, there are no other points of interest nearby that compare to Yosemite. Yosemite is a giant park though and you'll have a hard enough time seeing that. See the Valley first. Also go to Glacier Point. If you have time, visit a Giant Sequoia grove (Mariposa Grove at the south end of the park, near Wawona, and Merced Grove, smaller but less visited and less crowded, to the north of Yosemite Valley).

A September trip is less crowded (go AFTER Labor Day). It's starting to get cool, but in Yosemite Valley that is good. It gets very hot and crowded in Yosemite Valley. Hotels and things are still open.
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