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Now critique this!!

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posts: 106
reviews: 5
Now critique this!!

First, thanks to all of you for your help with planning our day on Tioga Road. After a full day of studying this website and several books, here is my plan for our visit to Yosemite the first week of July

Day 1

Drive from Mammoth Mountain

Hike to Middle Gaylor Lake (2 hours)

Hike Tuolumne Meadows trail (Soda Springs/Parsons Lodge)

(1 hour)

Walk to top of Pot Hole Dome and back (30 min)

Stop and Tenaya Lake and walk around/relax

Stop at Olmsted Point

Check in at Ahwahnee

Day 2

Rent bikes and ride around the valley

Hike to Lower Yosemite Fall (1 hour)

Hike to Mirror Lake and do part/all of the loop

Dinner at Ahwahnee at 6:30

Day 3

Hike Mist Trail early in the morning to avoid crowds (3 hours)

In the afternoon, make our way to Glacier Road, stopping at

Washburn Point

Glacier Point for the sunset

Day 4

Pack up to leave driving south

Hike Bridalveil Fall (1 hour)

Stop and admire Tunnel View

Park in Wawona

Shuttle to Mariposa Grove, hiking the lower grove (1.5 hours)

Head home to Orange County

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Our goal is to see the best the park has to offer and avoid traffic and crowds. Did I miss anything big?

And just a couple of questions--Is hiking Tuolumne Meadows trail redundant if we walk around Tenaya Lake? That seems to be a long day.

Are the any other sights that we need to make sure to include in our bike ride around the valley? I assume that this is mostly flat, easy, paved trails?

What is the best way to get from the Ahwahnee Hotel to Mist Trail in the morning, and what time should we get there in order to avoid some of the crowds?

Thanks in advance for your help. I just LOVE this site!!

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,104
reviews: 87
1. Re: Now critique this!!

I believe you should simply walk from the Ahwahnee to the Mist Trailhead.

The difference between early morning crowds and mid-morning crowds won't be just numbers, a lot of the early birds are starting out to much further destinations and want an early start, so they will include more serious (often faster-moving) hikers. They are interesting to see. Some of them will start before dawn, but they will not constitute a "crowd." By 11 a.m., it will be much more crowded.

It's your call. Half an hour after sunrise would probably work well.

Oh, and you probably won't stick to some of this, as you'll want to actually stop and see things as they strike you as awesome, rather than driving by them and saying "we're not to do this until Monday according to our itinerary). You'll want to stop. At oh so many places, not just the ones you've mentioned - and you may mistake some of those places for some of the places you've marked on your map.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 36,892
reviews: 56
2. Re: Now critique this!!

Day 1 looks okay. Be flexible and carry food with you. It may be that your hike to one destination is so spectacular that you end up there for hours.

Day 2

Ride the shuttle to Lower Yosemite Fall, Shuttle Stop #6. Walk up to the Lower Fall. Walk over to the bike rental at the side of Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Rend the bikes for the day. Head out.

Ride bikes up to Mirror Lake. Note that in July it won't even resemble a lake. It's not a lake at all, but a place of 'still water' on the creek with a nice reflection. The natural order of things means this 'lake' is in the process of becoming a meadow.

Day 3.

Mist Trail in the AM is fine. It's about 1 1/4 miles as the crow flies from the Ahwahnee to Happy Isles where you start this hike. Your teens may appreciate a ride on the shuttle, or you may want to add this in to your day. I'm not sure how you do this (trails, road, etc.) Ask at the Ahwahnee desk.

Stop at Tunnel View on your way up the road.

Stop at Sentinel Dome for this great hike. It's only 1.1 miles each way but the view is terrific! tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-d532061

Day 4

The Bridalveil Fall trail can't even be 1/4 mile. There is no way you could spend an hour on his hike unless you take a nap. It's too steep to push a wheelchair, but it's paved and short.

If you're early, you won't have to park in Wawona. But you might want to see the Pioneer History Center.


Good planning!

Edited: 10:30 pm, March 05, 2013
Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,104
reviews: 87
3. Re: Now critique this!!

Last time we were at Mirror Lake (June 2011), there was no still water or reflection at all. Just reeds and meadow. Still pretty, but also crowded (lots of other pretty places too).

posts: 106
reviews: 5
4. Re: Now critique this!!

Thanks so much for your input. I have incorporated all of the changes you suggested.

I can guarantee that we won't stick to the schedule, but it is good to have an idea of what to do and where to go so that we make sure see the "must dos". That is why Day 2 and 3 are pretty light as far as planned activities. I will add in Sentinel Dome as I think we will want to do something more on Day 3 since it will be our last full day.

If any other thoughts or suggestions pop into your heads, please let me know. I am just so happy with what we have planned so far and can't wait to be there.

posts: 106
reviews: 5
5. Re: Now critique this!!

Just another question..... Should we watch the sunset at Glacier Point or Sentinel Dome. Both sound lovely, but maybe Sentinel is less crowded. I was thinking of a picnic or snack after sunset, so maybe we can sit out and watch the stars as the view is probably spectacular. Would it be too difficult to walk back from Sentinel Dome in the dark?

Also, is there a good place in the valley to watch the sunset. I know it will be crowded, but perhaps you have a couple suggestions!!

6. Re: Now critique this!!

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