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Too early for these hikes?

San Francisco...
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Too early for these hikes?

We will be arriving in YNP on Sunday 5/9, staying 5 nights in Wawona at a cabin in The Redwoods. DH and I have visited once before, this time bringing his parents (ages 75+). I have been looking for easy easy easy hikes, and found many. But some that I was particularly looking forward to seem to be unreachable due to the still-closed Glacier Point and Tioga Roads

Can someone confirm that all of these hikes are inacccessible and NOT do-able for us?

1. Glacier Point

2. Taft Point

3. Sentinel Dome

4. Tuolumne Grove

5. Tenaya Lake

And assuming that my fears are true, can someone confirm that these hikes ARE do-able for us?

a. Valley Floor

b. Bridalveil

c. Lower Yosemite

d. Mariposa Grove

e. Chilnualna Falls

Other ideas welcomed. Thanks!

Mariposa, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Too early for these hikes?

Tuolumne Grove is hikeable. There may be snow, but it will be packed down. You're correct about everything else in that list being inaccessible.

Chilnualna will probably be ok, assuming this warm weather holds.

If you're going to try Chilnualna, you still might consider at least the first part of Upper Yosemite Fall trail, to the first view of the waterfall. It's strenuous, but so is Chilnualna (assuming you're going past the first set of cascades). 2-3 hours roundtrip on the Upper Fall trail to that point.

Have fun!

San Diego...
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2. Re: Too early for these hikes?

Don't forget the Happy Isles, a beautiful area at the east end of Yosemite Valley. The trails are dirt but smooth enough that I was able to push my Mom around in her wheelchair. I took this photo on June 4, 2009 but it would probably look like this now if sunny:

…flickr.com/3340/3617777146_2c94f0fb90_o.jpg

Either take the shuttle to stop #16 and walk past the Happy Isles Nature Center and over a bridge to the Happy Isles themselves. If you have a disabled placard, you can drive on the road to shuttle stop #16, but you must drive no faster than 15 mph and have your emergency flashers on. There are 2 parking spaces for disabled vehicles next to the shuttle stop (and there is a small snack stand there too).

If you have the disabled placard you can also drive up the road to Mirror Lake, but again no more than 15 mph and with your flashers on. There will be many people walking and they will have to get out of the way. There are 2 parking spaces for disabled guests at the lake, with almost no walking. If you don't have the disabled placard, you will have to take the shuttle to the Mirror Lake stop and then walk 1 mile up the road, and I don't think Mirror Lake is worth that much effort for them

When at the valley visitor center, take the time to see the free 23-minute movie, it is very well-done. A very nice, short, easy walk is the Cook's Meadow Loop, a flat, 1-mile stroll with great views the whole way. It starts near the valley visitor center, just ask someone where to start it.

The Lower Yosemite Fall trail is a nice walk through the woods and should be easy for them. The trail to the base of Bridalveil Fall is a little steep, but so short that it probably won't wear anyone out.

The south fork of the Merced River runs through the Wawona area and there are many little places you can walk around and admire the river as it cascades down the rocks.

If your in-laws are interested in historical stuff, you might visit the Pioneer History Center in Wawona. They have a blacksmith demonstration, old-style photography demonstration and other things, and you can take a 10-minute carriage ride for $3.

The road to Mariposa Grove is currently closed, but you may ask when you are there if it is open or will open. That is close to Wawona and usually there is a free shuttle bus that takes you from Wawona to the Mariposa Grove parking lot.

Washington State
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3. Re: Too early for these hikes?

People mean different things when they say "Chilnualna Falls." The lower fall will be accessible. Most of the Redwoods cabins are on the north side of the Merced River, so you can walk on the paved roads to the dirt trail to the Lower Fall. It's a great walk. There are a few narrower sections, and it's not flat, but it's short enough that most can do this hike/walk just fine.

The Upper Fall is about 8.5 miles round trip. It's a great hike, but definitely not a walk. I don't know many folks over 75 who are able or interested in this hike.

The Valley Floor isn't a hike, it's an area of Yosemite. You can ride free shuttles, there are a few lodging & dining choices, there are bike trails, and there are paths/trails here & there. Park your car at the Valley Visitor Center, enjoy the free video/movie, get a map & some info from the Ranger, and enjoy whatever parts of the Valley Floor that interest you. If your in-laws would like a more relaxed view of the Valley, they might enjoy the fee Valley Floor tour.

Here is a map of the Valley: nps.gov/yose/…valleyshuttle.pdf

Have you read the Itinerary link in the upper right? One of them is linked to an excellent Traveler Article about driving into the Valley.

Let us know if you want more info about Mariposa Grove, Pioneer History Center, or any other destination.

This YNP Plan Your Visit page has excellent info: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/index.htm Be sure to read the Yosemite Guide for your time period.

Walnut Creek...
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4. Re: Too early for these hikes?

""If you have a disabled placard, you can drive on the road to shuttle stop #16""

This is highly offensive. In order to use disabled spaces, it is not enough to "have a disabled placard." The person using said, placard should also be qualified to use such a placard, which, as a California licensed physician, I can tell you means that the person cannot walk across a parking lot without genuine difficulty. That is the purpose of disabled placards.

The original poster plans to climb to the top of Sentinel Dome and to Taft Point. As defined by California law, the poster is NOT qualified for a disabled placard (even if they have a disability of some sort). Merely having in one's posession (i.e. from buying it in a flea market, or bribing an unscrupulous physician) a disabled placard does not entitle a person to lawfully use it.

It is true that the law rarely catches those who misuse those placards. That being said, I always wish I could put my hiking boot in the wazoo of people I see pulling up into disabled spots, then donning their hiking gear for a trip up a hiking trail.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Too early for these hikes?

That was not my meaning, and you are completely wrong to take offense. If you read the long version of my post which is linked in my reply above, it is clear that I recommend getting both the park's disabled placard as well as using your own disabled placard if the person in question is disabled. Having taken my disabled mother to many locations for the past 5 years I am also strictly against the unauthorized use of the placards and that should have been obvious from my postings and previous postings on this forum. For anyone to jump all over me after the many detailed replies in this forum regarding disabled access that I have posted over the last 6 months is not in keeping with the rules of conduct on this forum. The original poster of this thread clearly states that the couple in question is 75 years old or older and is seeking "easy easy easy" activities for them. My reply was geared to that need and nothing in my reply could or should be construed to imply the unauthorized use of a disabled placard. Any member of this forum accusing another poster of promoting the unauthorized use of a placard should take their bitterness over the subject to some other web site, as it is not appropriate here.

Edited: 04 May 2010, 01:23
Walnut Creek...
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6. Re: Too early for these hikes?

Disabled placards exist to assist those for whom walking across a parking lot would present a hardship (i.e. a fall danger, severe pain, or shortness of breath/need for supplemental oxygen--the criteria are set forth on the DMV form which the physician must sign). The mere presence of a disability and most certainly age do NOT constitute qualifying factors. There are a few wheelchair-accessible small trails in Yosemite (one of the trails to lower Yosemite falls and part of May Lake come to mind). That being said, anyone thinking of taking ANY hike really has no business using disabled person parking spaces, regardless of whether or not he or she has a disabled placard in his or her possession. A person who can go on hikes simply does not qualify for placard use--plain and simple. (There are some rare conditions such as multiple sclerosis in which the disease can be intermittent, so the person would be justified using it when the disease was active but not when the disease was in remission, however).

7. Re: Too early for these hikes?

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