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Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

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Melbourne...
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Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

We will be coming via car to Yosemite from San Francisco via Santa Cruz and Oatman on September 9th 2014, staying 2 nights at Curry Village Cabins.

This will be our first trip to Yosemite and the USA so I am hoping I could receive some feedback / opinions / suggestions on my rough plan so far as we would really like to make the most of our time in Yosemite.

Day 1 -

Arrive at the south entrance mid afternoon. Visit Mariposa Grove. Will try to get parking here otherwise drive to Wawona and take shuttle. From personal experience, can anyone advise what our chances are of oarking at Mariposa Grove mid afternoon in September? Will then head to Curry Village via Bridalveil Falls and Tunnel View.

Day 2 -

Morning - El Captain, Half Dome, take MIst Trail up to Vernal Falls and then onto Nevada Falls. Take John Muir trail down and walk to Mirror Lake.

Afternoon - Would there be enough time to do Glacier Point in the afternoon? If so, would it best to drive or take shuttle?

Evening - Sunset at Tunnel View. Again, should we drive or take a shuttle?

Day 3 -

Morning - Leave Curry Village for Death Valley via Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass, Mono Lake, Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Lone PIne. Death Valley is primarily a bed to sleep in that night so we plan to spend majority of this day driving and stopping at sights.

Appreciate any feedback!

Washington State
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1. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Hi

Good plans!

On a Tuesday in September, I think there is a chance you'll get a place to park at Mariposa Grove. You can ask the gate attendant if you can wait for a spot. By September, they may be tired of tourists or may be happy to answer a polite question.

On Wed / Day 2, be aware of what you're selecting for "Mirror Lake." It's not a lake at all. It's a wide spot on the creek and it won't be wide at all in September's low water. The trail is paved part way and then just a trail. It's a nice view from the bottom of Half Dome, but that's about it. I don't think it's "worth" your limited time. But if you want to do it, go ahead.

Drive to Glacier Point. Any interest in the Sentinel Dome hike? tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-d532061 (Much more "worth it" than Mirror Lake in September.) Stop at Washburn Point after Sentinel Dome & before Glacier Point. The view is a bit different and you can see Illilouette Fall far to the right. Note that the alternative transportation is a $41 tour; it's not a shuttle.

No shuttle to Tunnel View. It's actually out of the Valley and a few hundred feet up. Drive.

Day 3 will be a long day, and it may be even longer if the road construction is still happening. Carry snacks, water, and even perhaps sandwiches.

hollister, Ca
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2. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Your are going to drive right past the road to glacier point when you are close to Wawona. I would drive to glacier point at that time. It is a view beyond description and well worth the time. After you leave glacier point and are driving to the valley floor you will drive right past the parking lot for the tunnel view. Stop at this time and enjoy the view. I have hiked to Nevada falls many times and it's a great trip. Take lunch with you and plan to eat at the top of Nevada falls. I take my bike and ride all around the valley floor...you can easily ride to mirror lake (which is not a lake or a mirror anymore). Take the time to swim in the river and sit in the warm sine on the beach. Yosemite is heaven on earth!

Edited: 1:10 am, June 12, 2014
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3. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Mirror Lake would be non-existent at this time so i also recommend skipping it. glacier point is worth it -- just allow 1.5 hours (55 mins of driving), 3+ hours if you also hike Sentinel Dome. So make sure you fuel up in Oakhurst.

As always, check water levels before going into the river. And avoid rivers above waterfalls. Sept should have calmer rivers in the meadows then the snowmelt in April/May so the beaches by the Merced are nice in the late summer .

Remember that the roads in DVNP and mountains have no street lights. So if you leave Lone Pine after dark, be prepared mountain driving and navigation at night. You can see the elevation change of the drive at tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361/Califo…

Edited: 1:29 am, June 12, 2014
Washington State
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4. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

If you arrive at Mariposa Grove mid-afternoon (2:00?) and spend two hours there (just the Lower Grove), it will be 4:00 when you leave.. It's about 30 minutes to Chinquapin. This is the turn-off to Glacier Point. The road is 17 miles long and mostly 35 mph w/ a 20 mph section at the end. I'd guess it would take you closer to 35 or 40 minutes to get to Glacier Point. So now it's well after 5:00 pm. If you're planning to hike Sentinel Dome or to spend some time enjoying Glacier Point, I hope you have a picnic dinner or substantial snack with you.

If you want to hike to the Upper Grove in Mariposa Grove and to see more trees (Fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree, Telescope Tree, etc), then allow more time in Mariposa Grove. I think it would be too late to go to Glacier Point this afternoon.

www.SunriseSunset.com will help with hours of daylight

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Yikes. PNWF is correct. My estimate of 55 minutes driving was based on my hazy memory of my last trip-- and it's actually to the trail-head for Sentinel Dome without traffic. To get to GP itself, it's may be 1.5 hours RT of driving just from the turnoff realistically. More if there's traffic and parking congestion. Add even more time if leaving from the Valley.

The key point is GP is worth it but don't forget to fuel up. People don't realize the distances + uphill mountain driving = gas guzzler.

Melbourne...
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6. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Thank you all for your responses!

PNWF - Thank you for your feedback. It doesn't matter how much research you do, there is nothing more beneficial then speaking to the experts with personal experience! Will try our charm and hopefully the attendant will allow us to wait for a spot if there isn't any. Thank you for the information regarding Mirror Lake. Think we will skip this and dedicate the afternoon to Glacier Point. We did have intentions of also doing Sentinel Dome (sorry, should have included in op) but wasn't sure whether time wise if it was feasible but by excluding Mirror Lake it sounds like we can do both. Can I just clarify the order.....Sentinel Dome first stop at Washburn Pointband then into Glacier Point?

1Survivorfan - We are estimating our arrival mid afternoon (if there are no delays with picking up rental car, traffic, road works etc) and after visiting Mariposa Grove we really don't think there is enough time even if we are to arrive at a reasonable hour to dedicate to Glacier Point after this. It seems, whilst it may be more convenient, it would be more practicable to do this the following afternoon. Will defiantly pack our lunch and have it at Nevada Falls, sounds wonderful!

ALTippet - Thank you for the safety tips and fuel advice. Is there a map available on fuel stations locations? Thank you also for the article. Whilst I have spent many hours researching on forums, I have not come across this article previously and it contains fantastic information.,

Melbourne...
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7. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Sorry, PNWF it should read first do Sentinel Dome, then stop at Washburn Point and then on to a Glacier Point? Is this correct?

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8. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Yes, the order is correct.

Stop for gas in Oakhurst on Hwy 41. I like to travel with a small cooler of drinks, snacks, & picnic foods. When you get hungry it might be a few hours until you're at a location that actually sells food. Oakhurst has two big grocery stores: Vons (my preference) and Raley's (my brother's preference and my sister's preference.) Vons also has fuel pumps. There are other gas stations in town as well.

There is gas available inside the Park, but it's usually something like $0.75 to $1.00 more per gallon. Wawona, Crane Flat, and possibly Tuolumne Meadows stations would be happy to $$$ell you some gasoline. (Tuolumne Meadows gas station closes sometime in September.)

Current prices look like $4.98 in the Park and about $4.00 to $4.15 in Oakhurst.

London, United...
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9. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

Very useful thread, thanks guys... I'll be visiting one week after Simmonah for the same period of time, so I've taken many of these ideas into my own itinerary!

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Feedback on Yosemite Itinerary

http://www.californiagasprices.com/ on the road is handy

Edited: 2:43 pm, June 13, 2014