We are planning a trip to Yosemite in 2010. We plan to fly to SFO, spend a couple days there, then rent a car and drive through Yosemite on our way to DV, Las Vegas, and eventually the Grand Canyon. 2 adults, 3 kids -- girls ages 10, 12, and 13. The younger two are my nieces and have never travelled anywhere; but none of them have seen mountains.
While it's inconvenient to take them out of school, the younger two will be off in April for a week anyway and will only miss a few days. The oldest will miss 7 school days if we pick April -- do-able but will raise some eyebrows. If we go in June - August, it seems we'll hit a lot of crowds.
This trip is an "overview" designed to show them what's out there in the US, and we are not planning backcountry hikes.
1) Is Hwy 120 a reasonable route to cross the park -- coming from SF and on the way to Bishop, DV and beyond? Is this route usually passable in April? What are the odds of snowstorms? (wisconsinites - not afraid of snow but mountains do add a dimension of risk)
2) Given that I can't start making reservations until Feb (I get a bonus that is financing the trip and can't predict how much this year) is April even reasonable for hotels in the $150/under range?
3) Just based on scenery and 'experience' - what month would you pick? Any time of year, not just April vs. June.
4) Any other considerations or advice welcome.