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Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

North Palm Beach...
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Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

Thank you very much for all the replies to my last question about a Yosemite trip in May. . . which made us decide that early JUNE would be more desirable option.

After much discussion and work juggling, we've managed to change trip to beginning of June -- I don't want to miss out on hiking (though we will stick to shorter hikes -- have ordered a book on Best Easy Day Hikes -- yes, we are flatland wimps). My husband's focus is on full-on photography (especially the waterfalls), so we may devote certain days entirely to that.

(New itinerary includes flying into Sacramento, which we were able to manage by flying out of a different airport.)

1. Sat. June 2 arrive Sacramento and stay in Merced (Marriott Courtyard) on way to Yosemite

2. Stay at Ahwahnee Sun June 3-6 (3 nights) - have reservations

3. Stay *possibly* at Tenaya Lodge June 6-9 or 10 (3 nights) - no reservations yet

4. Drive the 4 hrs. Sat a.m. June 9 and depart from Sacramento

Thoughts??

1. Does this open the possibilities for hiking and passable roads for us?

2. Any ideas of other places to stay closer within the park? We'd prefer an actual quaint cabin, BUT it is imperative to have WiFi and phone service (to connect with our business), which some of the cabin locations don't seem to have. (Would also love a hot-tub if possible, and/OR a gas fireplace to make it worth it!)

3. Is the Tenaya that bad (some mixed reviews). . . and is it close enough to some other areas besides Mariposa Grove to make it worth it for 3 nights?

Thanks much for advice! (I'm reading the trip reports in the meantime to glean more tips. . .)

Washington State
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1. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

Have you looked at the cabins in Wawona? Many have wi-fi & phone service. Check The Redwoods for possibilities. Instead of the Ahwahnee, did you look at cabins in Foresta and Yosemite West? Did you have a chance to read all the lodging info linked to the Top Questions in the upper right?

I'm not a photographer, so it's hard to imagine spending an entire day or two or three getting the perfect shots. But I know that people do it. There are some lovely areas that your husband could investigate.

With so much time, have you thought about including Sequoia - Kings Canyon NP instead of the southern end of Yosemite?

Mariposa, California
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2. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

Partner has stayed in Tenaya Lodge and described it as a standard hotel, but with slightly more amenities. So probably over priced (but everything up here in the high season is), but not a bad experience. Also, some locals enjoy heading to the spa at Tenaya Lodge for massages, sauna, and such.

So there are some areas outside of the park towards the south that can be interesting to explore, in addition to the Mariposa Grove. They are on National Forest Service land. The Lewis Creek trail, depending on the year, can be quite pretty...creek walk, and maybe some remaining dogwood flowers out (again, depending on the season). There are also a couple of waterfalls down that area. Not HUGE waterfalls, but nice waterfalls:

yosemitehikes.com/not-yosemite/lewis-creek/l…

Also down in that direction is Nelder Grove. Personally I think it's an interesting contrast to Mariposa Grove. Nelder Grove is a sequoia grove that was logged. So there are still some older, large trees standing, but they are surrounded by the sequoia stumps left behind by the loggers as well. Keep in mind that last year with all the heavy snow we had, Nelder was impossible to get to. Also keep in mind that I've been to nelder grove in a honda civic, but a more off roady type of vehicle would have been nice to have. I'd check road conditions with the Sierra national Forest before heading out. You can ask a visitor center desk in yosemite to call for you. That can take up a full day. The walking also isn't difficult.

IF Glacier Point Road is open (fingers crossed), getting there from Tenaya Lodge isn't that much longer than getting there from Yosemite Valley. In which case, depending on what's open and what's not, and what strikes your fancy, you may be able to spend your Valley time doing other things, and include Glacier Point in your three days at the south entrance.

Regarding lodge, if any Yosemite west areas have wifi, it's going to be satellite...just an fyi. There is no dsl there. The Redwoods mentioned above, that area does have dsl line. I'm not sure about Foresta.

I think this itinerary affords you a lot of flexibility, which in my opinion is great. If Tioga is open (again, big if) you can spend your Valley days between there and the Valley, with your south entrance time between Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, and maybe a little excursion just south of the park.

As a sidenote, staying at Tenaya would allow you to easily access oakhurst fora few other dining options. Food up here in general is just ok, but after 3 days in the valley you may be wanting a change of scene dining wise.

Happy planning!

Fullerton
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3. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

"My husband's focus is on full-on photography (especially the waterfalls), so we may devote certain days entirely to that."

As to photography, there are many Photography groups in Yosemite. I have taken a class with Phil Hawkins this year and it was great. It was a multiple day experience with a guy who really knows Yosemite. Most of the "students" were "full-on photographers". Well worth the time!!

Here are his websites.

http://yosemitephotoworkshops.com

http://philhawkinsphoto.com

Check it out!

North Palm Beach...
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4. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

WOW. . . thanks everyone for all the info. I can really see the trip possibilities coming together. We're now leaning towards the option of Sequoia/King's Canyon NP for those last three days. Found a neat cabin (owners also have a B&B, Sequoia River Dance) in Three Rivers close to south entrance of Sequoia NP, as a possible base for that part of the trip.

Husband loved the Phil Hawkins photos. . . inspiring. (Now he wants to go to Yosemite this winter too. . . think we'd do the Amtrak/Yart to get to the park if that ever happens.)

Parsippany, New...
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5. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

GreenMermaid, before you get too hell bent on any particular lodging, you may want to check out the availability. I was looking at late June and from what I remember, the options were quite limited.

6. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

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Washington State
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7. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

KENTGA ~ you have shared some excellent info from a photographer's 'point of view' .... very valuable. However, you have included your own personal e-mail address on the public forum which is an invitation to spammers. I suggest you copy your message and save it, then delete Reply 6 by clicking 'Report inappropriate content' and 'Remove my post." Then reply to the thread again, but do not include your e-mail address. If GreenMermaid wants to contact you, she can click on your name or avatar and then send you a Private Message. That's the best way to begin a private conversation where you can share a real e-mail address if you are comfortable doing so.

Thank you again for your contribution, and I bet your trip report is going to be great!

ATLANTA
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8. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

Thanks, Pacific NW. It's done.

ATLANTA
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9. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

I have another suggestion for you to consider. First of all, I’m an avid advanced amateur photographer and live in metro Atlanta but I have been to many of the western US parks and I love that part of the country. June 10 is our anniversary and this is what we are going to do.

1. Fly into Sacramento and take the 2 hour drive to South Lake Tahoe. Stay 3 nights. There are a couple of condos that you can rent for what a decent hotel room costs. We’ve been there at least a dozen times and it is a beautiful place to visit and has many, many hiking trails and some waterfalls, but not nearly as large as Yosemite. There are also a couple of older, decorated homes and museums you can tour and driving along the lake is breathtaking.

2. Drive to Lee Vining on CA Hwy 395 and spend one night. If you like old, deserted towns, stop at Bodie CA State Park on the way. It’s an old mining town and there are about 125 to 150 houses and buildings (stores, hotels, a school and a church) to visit and the state keeps the area in great shape. The people left when the mines played out. Here’s a link and you can also look at the CA state park site. http://www.bodie.com/ Lee Vining is on the Eastern side of Yosemite and there is Mono Lake there and you can get some great afternoon and sunset photos of the Eastern side of Yosemite. The drive from Lee Vining to Yosemite Valley is beautiful. Lee Vining is a small town and the motels are OK but none are 5 star.

3. Stay the 3 nights in Yosemite Valley as you’ve planned. We stayed at the Ahwahnee once but didn’t make reservations in time for this trip. We’re staying about 12 miles from the Valley in Yosemite West.

4. From what I’ve read there’s not enough to see south of the Tenaya Lodge to spend 3 nights there, but that’s just my opinion.

I always read as much as possible before I plan trips and here are several books your husband (and you) can consider in planning his photo treks. I am listing them in the order I think he would get the most out of and you can order them from Amazon:

1. Photographing Yosemite- Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper (a famous photographer). This book has beautiful pictures and he gives detailed info about when and where to make the beautiful photos in the book.

2. The Photographers Guide to Yosemite by Michael Frye. He also gives quite a bit of detail and includes some area outside of Yosemite (including Mono Lake and Lee Vining).

3. Yosemite, The Complete Guide by James Kaiser. He goes into history, some hiking, etc.

4. Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra by Gary Crabbe. This is a book of photos and he tells where they were made but not into detail like 1 and 2 above.

5. California’s Eastern Sierra- A Visitors guide by Sue Irwin. This is the eastern Sierra along CA Hwy 395 from Bridgeport and Bodie to Bishop. Nice photos and printed material.

There’s a slight chance that the Tioga Pass may be closed because the snow hasn’t been cleared, but it usually opens in late May. This is the road from Lee Vining to the Valley. If it’s closed we’ll take Hwy’s 88, 49 and 120 and go into the Valley from the western side. Return to Sacramento going CA Hwy 120 and I-5 to the airport.

I suggest you look on Google Earth at a specific location and click on some of the photos people have posted on it. I really think you would enjoy this. If you would like more info, email me through the web site and put “Yosemite trip” in the subject line.

Have fun, Kent

LA
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10. Re: Please comment on revised itinerary - early June

KentGa's advice has you going over Tioga Pass.

It may not be open in early June. It was not open this year and the backtrack could add 4-6 hours to your drive.