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What to do at Yosemite?

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Gravesend, United...
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What to do at Yosemite?

Hi,

We’re looking to spend a couple nights in September in Yosemite Park and I wanted to ask really of what we can do in two days there, I know nothing about the park or what it has to offer.

Also I looked on the website and noticed you can stay there, is this pricey and do you have to book quite in advance?

Thanks

Ingatestone, United...
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1. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

We've reserved a rental property in the park for July - we had to book a long way in advance (late 2010), and the prices are generally high. September probably will not be quite so bad, but if you want to stay in a specific hotel or rental property, it's certainly best to book if you want to stay in the park, just to be sure you're not disappointed.

We're doing 4 days in Yosemite for photography, scenery, wildlife watching, and hiking - there's lots to do there depending on your interests.

Gravesend, United...
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2. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

Ok thanks, i dont want to sound bad but im not into wildlife watching, but i dont mind a good walk/hike, im the kind of person that doesnt like to stay in the same place for long, hence why i need to know what we can do there, i dont want to turn up and be bored because we dont know what to do.

Do they rent bikes?

California
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3. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

There isn't alot of wildlife viewing in Yosemite anyway. It's all about the scenery. I doubt highly you'll be bored at Yosemite if mountain scenery appeals to you, it's some of the most spectacular in the world.. You can easily fill two days or longer by visiting the main spots in the Valley, taking short hikes/walks, etc. One day in the Valley and one day at Glacier Point and Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias is what I would recommend. Drive around the Valley, stopping at the highlights, taking some walks in the meadows or by the river, go to Happy Isles and take a short hike. There will be spectacular scenery all around you. Yes there are bicycles to rent at Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge which is a great way of seeing the Valley. They close the bike rentals sometime in late fall, I think they still rent them in September but make sure they still rent them when you are there. You could also take a Valley Floor tour. While in Glacier Point area hike Sentinel Dome for wonderful views in a short hike.(2 miles round trip). I suggest you research the park a bit, read some of the trip reports posted here(upper right of the forum page), or click on the things to do link(left side of the page).

Due to the popularity of the park, reservations book up well in advance. Check the reservations site for in valley lodging or look at the link on right on this forum page for places to stay outside the Valley. Here's the link for park reservations in the Valley. Good luck.

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

Edited: 24 March 2011, 13:04
Washington State
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4. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

Have you decided to do the loop in a counterclockwise direction? If so, you'll enter via Tioga Pass.

Day 1: Tuolumne Meadows (walk, wander thru meadow, walk to river to dip your toes or swim, hike to the top of a dome, go to a ranger talk), Tenaya Lake (walk around, dip toes, take photos), Olmstead Point (walk a few minutes from the parking lot for great views.) Some folks would spend all day on this drive. Then head into the Valley. Yes, you need reservations. As it's your honeymoon, you might want a more private condo in Yosemite West or a less expensive tent cabin in the midst of everything in the Valley. Or maybe you'll pay a bit more for Yosemite Lodge at the Falls or the Ahwahnee.

Day 2: The Valley. Altho' some of the seasonal falls will be dry, others will still have a bit of water. The cliffs surrounding you are stupendous. The Merced River is always lovely. Walk, wander, bike, hike, tour, gaze, picnic, reflect, ride the shuttle, enjoy the day. Perhaps you drive 1 hr to Glacier Point in the late afternoon for that Sentinel Dome hike Lorenky mentioned (it's my favorite.) Or perhaps you just go to Glacier Point for the sunset.

This night should probably be back at the same lodging, but if you like to move often, you could stay near the south end of the Park at the Wawona Hotel or in Fish Camp or Oakhurst.

Day 3: Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Take the $$$ tour or just walk. These trees are hugely big. (Note: you can drive from the Valley to Glacier Point in the AM, 1 hr drive. Then drive from Glacier Point to Mariposa Grove 1 hr. Then leave the Park.)

After seeing the trees, drive out Hwy 41 to 145 to 99 to 120 toward SF. (Use that map.)

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An alternate plan with less driving is for you to visit a smaller grove of Giant Sequoias on Day 3. Stay in your Valley, Yosemite West, or El Portal lodging on Night 2, then go to the Tuolumne Grove or the Merced Grove. They're closer to the Valley, but the groves have fewer trees and the trees are smaller. Or skip seeing these trees entirely, if they don't interest you. In that case, head to SF first thing in the morning.

Definitely read the Trip Reports and Itineraries to see what interests you. As this is your honeymoon, you may not want to make the standart touristy stops. You may just prefer to get a nice picnic, to find a quiet place in the high country or along a river, and to enjoy the grandeur of Yosemite with your new spouse at your side.

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Last thought ... when someone says "I'm bored" it generally means that they don't have any ideas of what to do. If you do your research, read the Yosemite Guide newspaper that you receive at the entrance, and plan well, there isn't a chance that you'll be bored. I'm headed back to the Park for almost two weeks this summer and I won't be bored for a minute.

Sept 2010 Guide: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/loader.cfm…

San Antonio, Texas
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5. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

How long of a walk/hike do you like? There are spectacular options anywhere from a mile or two to 15-20 miles. If you like being outdoors at all I can't imagine you'd find a second of boredom until dark any day you're there.

Gravesend, United...
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6. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

Sorry I didn’t mean to sound like a numpty when I was mentioning the boredom, obviously we won’t be bored, I was trying to say that if we don’t organise a plan we won’t make the most of the trip.

PNWF – Yes, we will be approaching Yosemite via Vegas, we have decided to skip Lone Pine and just do the drive from Vegas, I know it’s a long one (around 9 hours) but we should be ok. We will be leaving Vegas via route 95, then onto the 374 and 190 through Death Valley. After Death Valley join the 136 then join the 395 where we arrive at Yosemite using the 120. Is this an ok route? I wanted to drive through Death Valley hence the slight detour.

I have checked the availability of some of the places and 4 are still available (sorry couldn’t remember names) a couple were tents though, have either of you stayed in these?

Your small intinerary does look good, now I have more of a feel of we we can do there I can see why you both jumped down my neck when I mentioned “boredom” lol :)

California
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7. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

Gosh, I'm sorry you felt like anyone "jumped down your neck" over your boredom question, I'm sure no-one intended that, I certainly didn't. I think there was just concern to clarify that boredom is usually not an issue in Yosemite! :) You'll have a great time. Sounds like this is part of a bigger trip and a honeymoon. Have a wonderful time.

Redlands, California
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8. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

Perhaps someone else can be more helpful, but you might find yourself driving into the low and setting sun once you get into the Tioga Pass area . Is this a reasonable concern, folks? I just remember being glad that I was driving into Tuolomne Meadows from 395 in the morning, and out in the late afternoon.

Washington State
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9. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

I hope I didn't make you feel like a numpty. I don't even know what one is!

There was a Curry Village review last year that irked me. The reviewer said he left early because they had "done everything" in the Park and they were bored. Does that make him a "numpty" or just a dope?

If you're trying to get to Yosemite Valley from Las Vegas in one day, then I don't think you'll have time for any of the stops I suggested in Tuolumne Meadows. But the afternoon light will be lovely, so enjoy the drive.

Personally, I don't remember being bothered by the setting sun when I've driven westbound in the late afternoon. The road is so curvy that you're never facing one direction for very long.

Did I give you the mileage chart yet? nps.gov/yose/…mileages9-2007.pdf

Corona del Mar, CA
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10. Re: What to do at Yosemite?

I don't have much to add, I just came in here to kick you in the shins for being numpty :)

Actually.... I love the waterfalls of Yosemite.

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

Glacier Point.

nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/glacierpoint.htm

And the Mariposa Grove.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/mg.htm

If you get up to the Mariposa Grove, be sure to stop at the Wawona Hotel for lunch.

www.yosemitepark.com/Accommodations.aspx