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Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

Derby, United...
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Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

We are travelling from the east into Yosemite during August 2013. I hope to stay for 2 nights on the east around Mammoth Lakes/Lee Vining/Bishop area and 2 nights on the west side of Yosemite around El Portal, before travelling onto San Francisco.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the places visitors recommend (Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, Vernal Falls, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan) are near-ish to Yosemite Village, hence El Porto. We will also visit Bodie ghost town when we are on the east side.

Even though many would say I am young (!) I can only physically walk around 2-3miles in one go so our hiking trips will need to be gentle.

What are your opinions on this? Are they nice places to stay? I have hotels lined up so all I need is a few places to visit near Mammoth Lakes/Lake Mono etc. and any I have missed near El Porto. I would say no more than an hour drive away unless it is a ‘must see’.

Washington State
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1. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

The town of El Portal (ell por TELL) is outside the National Park. Both the private property communities of Foresta & Yosemite West are closer to Yosemite Valley, if that matters to you. Did you read the Top Questions info about lodging?

I don't know that there is any 'must see' in Yosemite. For example, some folks are not enthused by big trees, so they'd skip Mariposa Grove. But for some visitors, walking among Giant Sequoias is a magical experience. What things do you want to experience on your visit? I like macjack's list of 5 Things to Experience: tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i19780

Geography ... while Glacier Point & Sentinel Dome are 'near' Yosemite Valley on a flat map and are less than a mile away if you're a crow, in reality these destinations are a mile from Yosemite Valley by car. nps.gov/yose/…yosevalley2008.pdf

And Yosemite Village is just one visitor area of the Valley where you'll find the visitor center, a museum, a store, some dining options, and such. But Yosemite Village itself is not a 'must see' or 'must do' unless you're looking for something in particular.

These features are *in* Yosemite Valley (or can be seen from the Valley): El Capitan, Merced River, Yosemite Chapel, Lower Yosemite Fall (can see Upper Fall from the Valley, but it's a challenging hike to get to the top), Happy Isles, Mirror Meadow/Lake, Half Dome (seen only) and some meadows & bridges. You can hike up to Vernal Fall or see this waterfall from Glacier Point. You can drive just outside the Valley to Bridalveil Fall & walk up and drive on to Tunnel View for that iconic view.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

For a detailed trip report with photos about the region around Mammoth Lakes, Bodie and that area, see this page: travelswithbillandnancy.com/eastern_sierras.…

In the Mammoth Lakes area, the trail to Crystal Lake and back is about 3 miles round trip, however it does have an elevation gain of 650 feet. It would give you the look and feel of being in the High Sierra country without doing a long hike. mammothmountainvacations.com/news/great-mamm…

There is also Devil's Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls near Mammoth, and short hikes possible from June Lake.

Derby, United...
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3. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

Apologies, I knew it was El Portal just didn't check the spelling! We will be driving as close to each site as possible. If we can't drive close enough for a short hike, then we won't be going.

I chose El Portal as I though most of the locations I mentioned would be within a 30 minute drive. Also I didn't want to be too much in the hub in Yosemite Village. I was considering staying for 4 nights near to the east but obviously I realised we would be no where near the top rated locations to visit.

Redlands, California
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4. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

I think the "big attraction" on the east side is inside the park itself along the Tuolomne Meadows. Be sure you plan your time so that you don't have to rush the drive. The walk out to Soda Springs is easy and allows you some great views along the river and to Lembert Dome; Pothole Dome sounds a lot harder than it is (and you can just walk along its side if you prefer, with a VERY short scramble at the end to reach a lovely cataract and river swirl); you'll want to view Tenaya Lake from both ends and maybe walk alongside the outlet stream a bit; and take in the view from Olmstead Point.

Mono Lake of course is truly a unique sight but it doesn't take that long to absorb it.

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5. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

I think PacificNW meant that Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome are an hour from Yosemite Valley, not a mile. :)

Washington State
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6. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

Oops. Yup, I meant to say: Geography ... while Glacier Point & Sentinel Dome are 'near' Yosemite Valley on a flat map and are less than a mile away if you're a crow, in reality these destinations are *an hour* from Yosemite Valley by car.

If the Original Poster stays in El Portal, then the drive up to Glacier Point will be more than an hour but it's well worth the time.

>> I chose El Portal as I though most of the locations I mentioned would be within a 30 minute drive. <<

My guesses for drive times, assuming very short line at the Arch Rock Entrance Station and no traffic delays... El Portal to --

-- Yosemite Valley ~ about 25-30 minutes

-- Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias (must walk 3 miles round trip) ~ about 35-45 minutes

-- Glacier Point & Sentinel Dome ~ about 1 1/4 hrs

-- Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (walk or take $$$ tram) ~ about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs

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7. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

I love Mammoth Lakes in the summer because the ski condos are really affordable during the off-season. Couple of gentle hikes in the Mammoth Lakes area:

1. Earthquake Fault …usda.gov/recarea/…

2. Tram up Mammoth Mountain

3. Shuttle to Devil's Postpile

8. Re: Places to visit near Mammoth Lakes and El Porto August 2013

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