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South or West Entrance?

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Morgantown, PA
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South or West Entrance?

My wife and I are traveling to Yosemite the second weekend of August and we are in a confusing situation. We are debateing whether to stay at the Yosemite Cedar Lodge by the Western Entrance or the Narrow Guage Inn by the southern entrance. Could someone outline the advantages/benefits vs. the disadvantages/problems with each of these choices. Thanks and best travel wishes!

California
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1. Re: South or West Entrance?

Where are you coming from and when you leave where are you headed? Might be the decidng factor.

Just off hand though I'd go with Cedar Lodge due to the proximity to the valley. It's a much easier drive into the valley.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: South or West Entrance?

The west entrance puts you closer to the valley, but the south entrance puts you closer to the Mariposa Grove and Glacier Point. Both have their advantages. I don't think you'd make a mistake with either option.

Where are you starting and ending your trip. If you start near Los Angeles, the south entrance might be easier. If you start in San Francisco, the west entrance is easier.

How much time are you planning on staying in/near Yosemite? If you've never seen a mature giant sequoia, the Mariposa Grove would be an essential part of the trip. There are five giant sequoias that are around 100 years old very close to the main visitor center in the valley. There are some trees in the Mariposa Grove that are 2,000 years old.

Do you need any suggestions for activities while in the valley? Is this your first visit?

Orange County...
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3. Re: South or West Entrance?

Wherever you decide to stay, make your reservations now. Many persons plan their Yosemite trips a year in advance and book their accommodations at that time.

My vote is for the Arch Rock (West) entrance. Your drive to Yosemite Valley will take less time. You'll have an easier (less time-consuming) drive to both the Mariposa Grove (south) and Tioga Road (north) since you'll be staying between the two.

laguna niguel, ca
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4. Re: South or West Entrance?

think the people from the south use the south entrance because it is closer, but the drive is much more difficult to the south entrance, it is a very long twisty road from fresno. West is much flatter and straighter. The one thing nice about the south is that you drive in high to the vally and go by the view points where they get those postcard Yosemite Valley shots.

Orange County...
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5. Re: South or West Entrance?

Regarding longboard's comment about the long, twisty road from Fresno to the south entrance:

Last year, a few visitors to this forum reported instances of persons in their party becoming car sick on this route.

If you'll be driving on this route, and anyone in your group is prone to motion sickness, I highly recommend the use of Dramamine or another motion sickness pill before you reach this point in your drive.

Yosemite / Sierra...
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6. Re: South or West Entrance?

In August, I would choose the Arch Rock entrance over the southern entrance due to its proximity to Yosemite Valley and to the high country. It is just more centrally located allowing you to still visit the Mariposa Giant Sequoia Grove (at the south entrance) and Tuolumne Meadows (the high country). BUT the Narrow Gage Inn, IMHO, is nicer than Cedar Lodge. It also has a better restaurant. On the other hand Cedar Lodge is closer to Mariposa that has some great restaurants. I would choose the Arch entance but would not choose Cedar Lodge. For price and location I would choose Yosemite View Lodge or other places in Mariposa. You might visit www.yosemite.com to see other options. If you click on the lodging page it lists all the entrances and their milages to the various attractions the Park has to offer.

Enjoy your visit!

Orange County...
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7. Re: South or West Entrance?

We stayed at the Best Western Yosemite Way Station in Mariposa last July. The town is charming. There are a lot of restaurant choices, and the Poineer Market is a full-size supermarket.

Here's where we stayed:

…bestwestern.com/bestwestern/productInfo.do…

Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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8. Re: South or West Entrance?

Still haven't heard back from mkurtz on this...because the issue of where they're coming from is the closer for me. The south entrance just doesn't make sense if you're coming from SF, but if you're coming from LA or other points south, the south entrance and the Narrow Guage makes the most sense.

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9. Re: South or West Entrance?

The Tunnel View Lookout is a gorgeous viewpoints when you come in from the South entrance. I have heard great things about the Narrow Gauge Inn, also in Fish Camp. Next door is the Sugar Pine Mountain railroad which is a fun ride if you have a little extra time one day. :)

Morgantown, PA
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10. Re: South or West Entrance?

Thank you so much for all your time, advice and consideration. My wife and I are flying into San Francisco on Thursday, August 9th and staying in San Fran and enjoying it all as well as a Giants game. We are then going into the "back country" on Sunday morning and spending Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning in Yosemite. We are then making our way down to Monterray for a look around and catching an 10:00 PM red eye home on Tuesday the 14th.

We went with the Cedar Lodge due to the location and the proximity to the park. We considered Mariposa but thought the drive was a bit far and it will be nice to wake up in the "wilderness" The Cedar lodge does not look as nice but we never have been to Yosemite and figure location, location, location!

We are going to Maine in June so its Acadia in June and Yosemite in August! Can't Wait!

Best travel wishes,

MK