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2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Newcastle, Australia
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2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Hi there

We are a couple stopping over to Yosemite for 2 nights, sad yes! We have booked accommodation at the Yosemite View Lodge in late July.

We arrive driving from San Fran arriving around 12 noon on the Friday and leave on the Sunday around 11 to drive to Vegas. So really we have from 12 noon the first day to look around, one full day, then up until around 11 the next morning.

As we know nothing about the park, and I can’t read a map for the life of me. We were thinking of going on a full day tour with Close Up Tours, seeing Washburn and Glacier Points ,Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Yosemite Valley from above 7000 elevation, they take short walks to both Bridalveil Fall and Lower Yosemite Fall and make stops for views of The Cathedral Rocks, Sentinel Rock, Half Dome, and El Capitan.

Can anyone suggest if they think this is a good option for us and a way to see most of what we want? I know there are free buses but just finding things and jumping on and off and then to the next bus, I thought being on one bus the whole way would be better and I have a knee that sometimes does not want to work.

Then for the first half day we arrive, can someone suggest where to head to straight that day, so we would be able to view things that we are not seeing on the Full Day Tour, that way we could drive straight from San Fran to those exact places.

And then also around 2 hours on the last morning?

Thanks for your help, as we don’t really have a clue!!!

Southern California
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1. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Sounds like a good plan. If walking is questionable, a tour is a great way to see the park. Walking to the viewing areas in the valley is easier. You will love it! Glacier Point is spectacular.

Mariposa, California
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2. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

I think if you don't want to deal with parking or finding your way, then a set tour is a great idea.

For your time coming in from San Fran (assuming you are coming in hwy 120) if you're willing to do a 2 mile roundtrip hike (downhill about 500 ft on the way in), you might hit up the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. There is another Grove farther south in the park, but it requires more driving.

On your final day, I would just start driving, and plan to stop along the Tioga Road on your way out. From El portal where you're staying, figure 1 1/2 hours without stopping to reach the east side of the park. In between, consider stopping at:

-Olmsted Point (large parking area, view looking west and down on the Valley)

-Tenaya Lake: 5-10 minutes past Olmsted Point. Large lake to stick your toes in, and maybe enjoy a picnic lunch

-Tuolumne Meadows: area to just view some nice mountain peaks, or take a stroll out to Soda Springs, or along the Lyell Fork trail to Twin Bridges (both are short and easy).

www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tmhikes.htm

Once you're out of the park, you might mosey around Mono Lake too.

Happy planning.

Washington State
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3. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Are you making the typical two day drive from Yosemite to Las Vegas (stopover in Lone Pine), or are you trying to hit the highlights in just one day? Either way, I recommend leaving El Portal way before 11 am. Just the Tioga Road highlights that marmot listed can easily take all morning. Info: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361

Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Pacific, I have to ask, "the typical 2 day trip to Las Vegas"? Why would it take 2 days? It is about 6.5 hours 120 to the 95. Going 395 to Lone Pine is much longer, but still not 2 days.

Washington State
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5. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

I wondered about using that adjective. Maybe the "typically suggested two day scenic trip" would have been a better choice of words. If the OP wants to stop along the way, two days works better. If the OP wants to get to Las Vegas fast, then Hwy 95 is a better choice. I just wasn't sure what the OP had planned, and with an inability to read a map I'm not sure the OP knows.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Thanks Pacific for that.

Newcastle, Australia
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7. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Thanks everyone, we are doing the one day trip straight to Vegas, hoping to leave El Portal around 10.30am at the latest.

Edited: 9:57 pm, May 07, 2013
Washington State
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8. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Are you driving from El Portal to Las Vegas via Tuolumne Meadows & Hwy 95? Via Tuolumne Meadows and Hwy 395? Via Hwy 140, Hwy 99, and around the southern end of the Sierra?

I strongly recommend starting earlier than 10:30, if you plan to enjoy any of the possible stops along the way.

Newcastle, Australia
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9. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

We can't we are kinda getting married at 8.30am near our Hotel in El Portal!!!! It will be at least 10.30am i would say before we get away. Maybe we could get away a bit early as only two of us at the wedding along with the Minister and a witness, we have no idea on what road to take and what would be best. We love scenery, but don't want to do a 9 hour day and arrive to Vegas in the dark.

Washington State
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10. Re: 2 night stay... Plans for the time there. Help thanks

Best wishes for the nuptials! How lovely.

Sunset in Las Vegas is around 7:45. The shortest route (400+ miles) from El Portal to Las Vegas is via Hwy 120 / Tioga Road, Hwy 266, and Hwy 95 (not so scenic) and may take 7.5 hrs without stops. The scenic route I described earlier (with the suggested one night stop is about 425 miles & 8+ hrs without stops.

If you leave at 10:30 and head up Tioga Road, stop for a quick view at Olmsted Point. Look for climbers on the rocks just past Tenaya Lake. Breathe the lovely mountain air as you pass through Tuolumne Meadows. Exit the Park. Maybe stop for a photo at Ellery Lake. Continue to Hwy 395 and head south. Stop with your picnic lunch where ever you desire, or maybe stop along the way. (The Tioga Gas Mart / Whoa Nellie Deli back in Lee Vining had a great reputation for fancy sandwiches, but there is a new chef. Maybe stop there before you get to 395?)

Continue south. Enter Death Valley NP at Panamint. Enjoy the fabulous views. Don't take the detour down to Badwater at Furnace Creek; stay on the main road. Stop at Zabriskie Pt for views. Take the short detour to 20 Mule Team Canyon. Exit DVNP and finish your drive to LV. If it's dark, the glittering lights will be fun to see in the distance.