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[Yosemite]

Need help to plan a trip to Yosemite this summer!

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Need help to plan a trip to Yosemite this summer!

Postby snappy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:10 am

Hi everyone, I'm from Texas and planning trip with a group of friends to Yosemite in summer around mid July. I plan to fly to either San Jose or Fresno and pick up a rental car and drive to Yosemite. We're only able to stay there for 2 nights so I need all the help and tips from everyone to explore the place in such a short time like that.

1.I want to stay outside the park like Cedar Logde so is it a good place to stay? Is there any other good lodge closed by in the area? (I don't want to drive 45 min to 1 hour to Yosemite from where I stay)

2. I like to take sightseeing tour around the park so which tour should I take?

3. I also like to do like a short distance hiking around the park but don't know which area of the park I should do.

4. How soon in advance should I book for the hotel/logde?

Any other suggest or recommendation will be greatly appreciate. Many thanks in advance.
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Postby Wickett » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:23 pm

The only hotel that is within 45min of the Valley, but not in the park, is in El Portal. Why don't you want to stay in the valley? If you are coming all that way and are only there for two days I would get the most of it.

There is a tram tour that goes around the valley. You pick it up in Yosemite Village. Haven't done it but others who have gave it good reviews.

The short hike depends on what you want to see. There are plenty of options, so make a list of what are your top things to see. I would recommend the mist trail, it gets you up close to some waterfalls.

Book your pretty soon. Everything books up pretty quick for the summer.
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Postby snappy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:44 pm

If I decide to stay in the Yosemite, which lodge/hotel should I book? Our group has about 3-4 girls who refer not camping and love to the their own private bathroom. Thanks
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Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:00 pm

Go to Yosemitepark.com and click on accommodations. There's a variety of options from tent cabins to hard sided cabins to hotels listed.

Another possibility - Yosemite West (http://www.yosemitelodging.com/) rents condos.
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Re: Need help to plan a trip to Yosemite this summer!

Postby dan » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:35 pm

I recommend Oakland Airport--it's on the east side of the bay and you don't have to fight the (awful) commuter traffic in San Jose. Fresno is better, but there's not as many flights to Fresno (FAT) as Oakland (OAK).

Cedar Lodge is a good place--nice clean lodging. This place and others in El Portal are probably the closest you can get to Yosemite Valley without being in Yosemite.

Boot now for the Lodge, especially if it's a weekend. I think you can delay until February, but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

Nothing beats staying in Yosemite Valley and waking up and seeing the Valley walls. It's a lot more expensive--Yosemite Lodge for example. Curry Village is cheaper, but louder and the tent cabins have no bath.

Tours:
1. First take the Valley Day Tour. A ranger conducts the tour in an open air tram around the Valley. Reserve at any Yosemite Valley hotel.
2. Take the free shuttle in the Valley. It just goes in one giant loop (only one route) and you familiarize yourself with the place. Free. No reservations.
3. Also, head to Wawona Grove at the south end of the park and take the Grove tour. You can't drive into the grove and the tour takes you there, with narration on similar open air tram.

Make sure you see Glacier Point--you can drive there yourself though (tours are available).

In the Valley, head to Merced and (if you have time), base of Nevada Falls. Also Mirror Lake. Start at the east end of the Valley. Also see Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls (both short walks from the trailhead).
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Postby dan » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:36 pm

snappy wrote:If I decide to stay in the Yosemite, which lodge/hotel should I book? Our group has about 3-4 girls who refer not camping and love to the their own private bathroom. Thanks


Then Yosemite Lodge. Ahwahnee too (but VERY expensive). Curry Village has a very limited number of rooms with baths, and these are usually taken right away (a year and day in advance). Summary: Yosemite Lodge.
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Postby baseline bum » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:28 pm

I stayed at Cedar Lodge in August, and liked it. The room was nice and cheaper than most of the other places reasonably close to the park. The restaurant in it is amazingly bad though, and quite expensive. On a positive note, they have a bar in the restaurant that serves Sierra Nevada and also a very nice selection of beers in the store lobby.

In addition to the tram tour in Yosemite Valley, you can do one in Mariposa Grove to see the Giant Sequioas. Of course, you could just do the trip through Mariposa Grove as a gentle hike too, and get to see all the spectacular trees close-up. Plus, there's tons of shade, so you should keep pretty cool on it. It's about 6 or 7 miles roundtrip with about 1500 feet of elevation gain if I remember right. Another cool thing about Mariposa Grove is that both times I hiked it, I saw some huge bucks at the parking lot there near dusk.

The tram in Yosemite Valley sounds like a lot of fun. I have never had time for it when I have gone, but man, seeing how enormous El Capitan is when you're driving in the valley is CRAZY!! No picture you see will EVER do it justice!

Glacier Point is really cool that time of year, because all the waterfalls should be roaring in July, and you have great views of Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, and Nevada Falls. Washburn Point on the way up the road to Glacier Point is really cool too. Washburn Point has my favorite view in the park that doesn't require any kind of hiking (you have a nice side view of Half Dome and can see Mount Starr King too).

If I had to pick one short hike though, the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls would easily be my #1 recommendation. There's lots of shade until you climb up Nevada, and in July the mist as you hike up Vernal is incredibly refreshing. I did the hike once on July 3rd or 4th, and the mist was so thick it was like taking a shower out in the sun. Just come back down the John Muir Trail from Nevada back to Happy Isles (Mist Trail and JMT run roughly in parallel between Happy Isles and Nevada Falls), because coming down the Mist Trail near Vernal Falls when it's really wet is a bitch because it's very slippery (going up it is no problem though). I don't remember how long the round-trip was between Happy Isles and the top of Nevada Falls, but I don't think it's any longer than about 6 miles. (someone please correct me if I'm wrong)

You could go get a picture at Tunnel View. I'm not sure if that would be part of the Valley tram tour or not, but it's probably the most famous spot in the entire park, and gives a really amazing view of El Capitan, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks (I think), and Bridalveil Falls. Speaking of Bridalveil Falls, it's really cool in July and definitely worth checking out.

There's tons of other things to do too, such as seeing Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and Tenaya Peak from Olmsted Point on Tioga Pass Road, or seeing all the cool boulders brought down by glaciers at Dana Meadows, or seeing a really amazing alpine lake in Ellery Lake (just outside of the park, a few miles past Dana Meadows on Tioga Pass Road). Tioga Pass Road is an absolutely jaw-dropping drive through the high-country of Yosemite, and it has a good chance of being open by mid July. You might even see a little snow too (when I went in early July 2006, there was some snow on the ground at the Tioga Pass entrance to the park, and lots of it on Mount Dana if you want to hike a couple of miles to it).
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Re: Need help to plan a trip to Yosemite this summer!

Postby hotrod4x5 » Tue May 11, 2010 10:53 am

snappy wrote:Hi everyone, I'm from Texas and planning trip with a group of friends to Yosemite in summer around mid July. I plan to fly to either San Jose or Fresno and pick up a rental car and drive to Yosemite. We're only able to stay there for 2 nights so I need all the help and tips from everyone to explore the place in such a short time like that.

1.I want to stay outside the park like Cedar Logde so is it a good place to stay? Is there any other good lodge closed by in the area? (I don't want to drive 45 min to 1 hour to Yosemite from where I stay)

Yosemite Lodge, in the park is very nice, but also pretty expensive. But if you have 3 or 4 people, the cost can be spread around.

2. I like to take sightseeing tour around the park so which tour should I take?

The Valley Floor tour is a must do for any first time visitor. An open air tram takes you to all the major sites with good narration along the way. Book it in advance.

3. I also like to do like a short distance hiking around the park but don't know which area of the park I should do.

If you want a nice, level hike, then hike the valley trail, which goes around the whole valley. An easy hike is to the bridge for lower Yosemite Falls, which is a nice loop. Don't just turn around at the bridge, you get another view of the falls and a bench to rest on about half way.

Mirror Lake is a pretty easy trail, but could prove hard for someone not into walking. Slightly uphill for a portion. Harder still is to the Vernal Fall bridge. Many people go only that far, then turn around. Keep going up the Mist trail and you will be greatly rewarded, the waterfall spray is a pleasant respite in summer and you can lay on the rocks at the top of the falls and dry out. This hike takes from 1.5 to 3 hours depending on your conditioning and speed.

If you keep going, you can get to the top of Nevada Fall, there are two routes, the forested John Muir trail or the rock steps the left of the falls. These steps are not like Vernal where you get wet. This portion will take most people all day to get there and back, so most people only go to the top of Vernal.

Be sure to go to the base of Bridalveil Fall, which is an easy 5-10 minute walk from the parking lot, but you are rewarded with awesome views and a nice misty spray.


4. How soon in advance should I book for the hotel/logde?

ASAP

Any other suggest or recommendation will be greatly appreciate. Many thanks in advance.
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Looking for the daily report

Postby Bearfan » Sat May 29, 2010 5:15 pm

I used to keep track of happenings in YNP through the "Yosemite Daily Report." It helped with knowing what roads and trails were open, and what to expect in the way of weather. I have lost the link, somehow. does anyone have that link? I would appreciate it if someone would share it with me. Thanks in advance.
I have just found this site, and really like what I have read. I love to hear about the Yosemite experiences of others. It helps to keep my attached to this very special place. I have been visiting the park for over 60 years. I hope to go back this summer.
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Re: Looking for the daily report

Postby hotrod4x5 » Sat May 29, 2010 6:17 pm

Bearfan wrote:I used to keep track of happenings in YNP through the "Yosemite Daily Report." It helped with knowing what roads and trails were open, and what to expect in the way of weather. I have lost the link, somehow. does anyone have that link? I would appreciate it if someone would share it with me. Thanks in advance.
I have just found this site, and really like what I have read. I love to hear about the Yosemite experiences of others. It helps to keep my attached to this very special place. I have been visiting the park for over 60 years. I hope to go back this summer.


Google is your friend, my friend. I simply googled Yosemite Daily Report and instantly found the link.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/index.htm
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Postby baseline bum » Sun May 30, 2010 1:11 am

One of the interesting things about Vernal Falls is you'll probably see lots of rainbows on the steps there in July, and I mean really bright and saturated rainbows close enough to grab. My idiot friend I was hiking with just rushed down the trail and walked off with the camera, so I didn't get any photos though. :evil:
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Postby hotrod4x5 » Sun May 30, 2010 7:18 am

baseline bum wrote:One of the interesting things about Vernal Falls is you'll probably see lots of rainbows on the steps there in July, and I mean really bright and saturated rainbows close enough to grab. My idiot friend I was hiking with just rushed down the trail and walked off with the camera, so I didn't get any photos though. :evil:
As long as you know the physics behind a rainbow, yes you can find them easily in heavy mist. The sun has to be at your back, not in front of you or high in the sky to see a rainbow. This is called the antisolar point. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow So for Vernal, if you want to see one in the mist with the falls in the picture, it needs to be afternoon. In the morning, you can see one in the mist as you look down canyon.
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