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Yosemite National Park -roads, what to do

Canberra, Australia
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27 posts
39 reviews
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Yosemite National Park -roads, what to do

My family (husband, two boys 7 & 10) are hiring a car at San Francisco and travelling to Yosemite for 2 nights at the Tenaya Lodge. We are travelling on 19-21 March. Will we need snow chains, and can you advise if we do where to hire them as the car hire company does not hire them.

We are staying at Tenaya Lodge for 2 nights before travelling back across to the coast to do carmel/Monterey/ danta Barbara before heading back to LA.

What do you recommend we do in the park?

Thanks.

California
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1. Re: Yosemite National Park -roads, what to do

Whether you need chains entirely depenmds on whether it is snowing at the time you arrive. Chains are required when the roads can not be cleared of the snow that is falling and the snow sticks to the ground and accumulates. Many factors must be present in order for the roads to covered with sno. It must be sufficiently cold not only to snow but for the snow to stick to the ground and accumulate in an amount that covers the road. The mains reoads in Yosemite are maintained. Those that are not are the the road and the parking lot at Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, Tioga Pass Road. Here's a link to more information about roads:

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

They do advise that you carry chains during the winter but if the forecast is predicted to be clear and it has been clear before your arrival you probably won't need them. On your way you can pick them up at places like walmart or auto parts like Kragen. Keep your receipt so you can return the chains when you don't use them.

Mariposa, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Yosemite National Park -roads, what to do

As far as what to do in the Park, definitely spend at least one day in Yosemite Valley. While you're there, take the kids to the Visitor Center to check out some of the exhibits, and then head to the Indian Cultural Museum right next door that has some hands on stuff available in the exhibits. Your kids might enjoy the Jr. Ranger Program. There's a book that can be purchased at the bookstore inside the Visitor Center ($3ish). The kids pick a certain number of activities to complete. Once the book is finished, bring in back to the Visitor Center, the ranger will review the book, swear your kids in, and give them their badges.

Do the walk to Lower Yosemite Fall, which starts about 10 minutes (walking) from the Visitor Center, or one shuttle stop down from the visitor center. The entire loop walk should take you 45 minutes to an hour. There's some incline, but not much, and it's a combination of paved trail/boardwalk. If you do the loop, you can end up across the street from Yosemite Lodge, where you can go grab lunch at the cafeteria (nothing special...just convenient and hot food).

Something you might consider for the day is Badger Pass which is the ski area. It's a great place for beginners and intermediates. There's also a small tubing area. Since you're staying at Tenaya Lodge, you might see if you can get a deal with them at Badger Pass, as the hotel and ski area are run by the same group (DNC).

http://www.yosemitepark.com/BadgerPass.aspx

There are tons of other things to do, but that should get you started. Hopefully the weather will be great. Just keep in mind that March is still fair game for storms to come through. Just be flexible. Have a great time!

3. Re: Yosemite National Park -roads, what to do

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