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1 and a half days in December

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Adelaide, Australia
posts: 25
1 and a half days in December

Hi all,

My girlfriend and I have booked a stay at Yosemite Lodge for 2 nights in early December this year 3rd and 4th. We will be driving from Monterey as part of our California road trip. I have done a little bit of research about the drive to Yosemite so I understand that the easiest route will be on 140 into Mariposa giving us the options of taking the YARTS bus. We will be leaving monterey around mid day so the aim will be to arrive in Mariposa around 4.30. On the day we leave we have the option of staying until late afternoon to drive back. So basically we have one full day and a half day. We are a young fit couple that enjoy hikes and taking photographs. I would love to see the sequoias of Mariposa Grove if that would be at all possible to walk to. I have looked at the upper yosemite falls trail as well. What recommendations do you have for a trip at this time of the year in terms of hikes and things to see, and what other advice do you have for us? Thanks.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 39,538
reviews: 74
1. Re: 1 and a half days in December

Transportation: The last YARTS bus leaves Mariposa at 2:17 pm this year. I'd guess that next December you'll see a similar schedule. So if it's stormy, you MUST be in Mariposa earlier.

Winter driving info is linked to the Top Questions. (Yes, I know that you've read that info but there might be someone 'lurking' on your thread who wants to know more.)

Mariposa Grove: This is located at the Southern end of the Park and you're going to San Francisco next. The drive between Yosemite Valley & Mariposa Grove goes up over 6,000' and includes a curvy road. Hmmm.

I think I'd recommend you visit on your exit day. Yes, it's the 'wrong' way, but this should be a relatively easy way to get out of the Park. Drive 1 hr from Yosemite Valley, hike into the Grove, then drive out the South Entrance to San Francisco.

The alternative is to stay in Oakhurst or Fish Camp on Night 1 and then visit Mariposa Grove first think on Day 2. Then drive on to Yosemite Valley for your single night in Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Exit the Park via Hwy 140 or Hwy 120.

The winter trip reports in the Top Q have some good ideas. If ice skating is open, that's a great evening activity.

Adelaide, Australia
posts: 25
2. Re: 1 and a half days in December

Thanks for the quick response PacificNWFamily, so although the road may be closed to Mariposa Grove in December the walk is possible? If so that is great news. I guess we will just have to keep an eye on the weather and if it does not look good we will just wake up early and drive to the park arriving before 2pm.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 39,538
reviews: 74
3. Re: 1 and a half days in December

The road to the parking lot is about 2 miles long. When there is snow, folks cross country ski or snowshoe out to the parking lot and then further on the trails. Here is winter visit info: nps.gov/yose/…mgrove-winter.pdf Early December is just the beginning of winter, so there probably won't be enough snow for skiers and the road will be clear enough for walkers to enjoy the 'stroll' up to the parking lot and perhaps further.

Here is some seasonal info: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/seasonal.htm Unfortunately, no one has been keeping track of the closure of this road for very long.

You'll note that sometimes the road doesn't close at all. And this data doesn't include times when the road closes for awhile, then the snow melts & the ground firms up so the road is reopened.

4. Re: 1 and a half days in December

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