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Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

Plymouth, United...
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Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

I'm getting married next May (2013), and my finacée and I would love to visit Yosemite for our honeymoon. We both enjoy hiking any anything outdoors, so this seems like an ideal place to go. Currently, we are looking at a 14 night trip, with 3 or 4 nights in San Francisco, leaving 10 or 11 nights for Yosemite and the nearby area. As we are getting married in May, close to then would seem the ideal time to visit due to the waterfalls being in full flow, but we both think the Tuolumne Meadow looks stunning, and from what i've read, that isn't accessible until much later. Due to this, we are thinking that late August/Early September would be a great time to visit. The current plan is to spend 5 nights at the Tioga Pass Resort and do the main walks around there, with a visit to Bodie too. The other 5 nights would be either in the Valley itself, or to the south in a small cabin or condo, or even a tent as we are both happy to camp. From the southern point, I was thinking we could visit the all of the main places of interest in the Valley region, plus places like King's Canyon if we fancied it.

Does all of the above sound feasible in a 10 day trip? Would we be better staying in one, central location rather than splitting our time? Are there any "hidden gems" for places to stay? The main hotels don't really interest due to the crowds. Likewise, are there any "hidden gem" trails, that will be quiet and allow us to see Yosemite at its best? Finally, would people recommend staying in SF before or after the trip to Yosemite? I have no idea about the logistics of getting in and out of the city. We will be renting a car.

Thanks very much for any help.

Rob.

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

I think your plan is solid; splitting time to be near the hikes you want to do is a much better idea than having to drive an hour each way to the high country from the valley. The only thing I would change is to go 60-40 or maybe even 70-30 with your days in the high country vs the valley in August/Sept., as there are about a billion dayhikes of widely varying difficulties off Tioga Pass Road: e.g. Gaylor Lakes, Mono Pass, Mount Dana, Pothole Dome, Lembert Dome, Lyell Canyon, Cathedral Lakes, Tenaya Lake, May Lake & Mt Hoffman, Clouds Rest, North Dome, and many others I'm sure I'm forgetting. I'm planning a trip this summer the same time of year and hope to get a few of those in (Clouds is the only one I have done so far, and it is an absolute A+). Congrats on the engagement btw!

San Antonio, Texas
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2. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

If you do Kings Canyon, get a place to stay out there though. It doesn't look far on a map, but it's a slow drive between the Kings Canyon/Sequoia and Yosemite (did it once, and it's definitely not a day trip).

Edited: 13 January 2012, 21:54
Washington State
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3. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

I 'vote' for SF first. Fly into SFO, transfer to the City, visit, then pick up the rental car. You'll be ready for the 4 -5 hour drive by then.

I also 'vote' for the 60/40 or 70/30 split. The high country is lovely for hiking.

The only problem with your plan will be Labor Day Weekend. Yosemite is just crazy crowded on holiday weekends. Spending this time in the high country or in San Francisco would be more manageable than being near the Valley.

Have you looked at Yosemite West or Wawona for your cabin time?

San Diego...
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4. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

The waterfalls are going to be disappointing in August and September. But those are good months for hiking in the high country. Instead of 10 days in the mountains, have you considered spending a few days on the coast, specifically the Big Sur area?

Plymouth, United...
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5. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

Thanks for the replies everyone, some very useful points i hadn't considered. I'm coming from the UK so have no idea at all about US holidays. Staying out of the Valley on Labor day weekend sounds reasonable.

Would people suggest doing the valley stuff before the higher stuff, to try and get acclimatised to the altitude, rather than going from sea level straight to 9000 feet? So 4 days in the southern region, and then 6 in the Meadow.

This is the place i was thinking of staying in the south: tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g61000-… I realise that it's quite some way outside the park, but is it too far? It sounds very very nice, and I haven't found anything similar in Yosemite West or Wawona or in the Valley. Driving that far every day might get a little tiresome though, so i'm very open to ideas. That price is what i'd like to pay, perhaps a little more.

We haven't looked into the coastal area at all, other than possibly going to Bodega Bay (the mrs is a huge fan of the Birds). Again, we are very open to any suggestions.

Washington State
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6. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

I think the location of that cabin is a deal-breaker. You'd be driving all the time.

Have you looked at the cabins in Foresta? www.4yosemite.com lists some of them. How about one of the 1 bedroom / 1 bath cabins? They're more expensive than some locations, but you are surrounded by National Park property and located about 20 minutes from Yosemite Valley.

Have you read the lodging info linked to the Top Questions in the upper right?

I like the idea of starting in Yosemite Valley and then going up to the high country.

Map: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/loader.cfm…

Plymouth, United...
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7. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

Obviously it's a long way off so we can't budget properly yet, but if we have the money then we'd be happy to find somewhere closer in Foresta or Yosemite West etc.

I've read all the links i can find so far :) The Curry Village cabins sound decent, but i can't find the summer rate anywhere, as there are none available to even get a quote.

edit: it appears to be £121 a night in september this year, so allowing a bit of a price rise by next year, that's not too bad at all to be right in the heart of the valley.

Edited: 14 January 2012, 15:51
Lassen National...
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8. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

You mentioned Tioga Pass Resort. Have you spoken with anyone there? From my research it seems that they rarely, if at all, answer e-mail or phone calls.

Washington State
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9. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

The September rate is the same as the summer rate, so expect around $225 for a room in Stoneman Cottage (motel-like room), $200 for a cabin, and around $125 for a tent cabin. I just plugged in Sept 18 and found lots of options (just to look at prices.) Making reservations a year in advance is the best idea for Yosemite lodging.

Seattle
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10. Re: Honeymoon Ideas for Yosemite in 2013

As suggested above, Tioga Pass Resort is difficult to book. I have tried several times over the past couple of visits to the area and they never answered.

The tent cabins at Tuolumne Lodge are a good option, but the generally close a week or so after Labor Day.

I would suggest you enter the lottery for the High Sierra camps, but that is not honeymoon lodging as the tents cannot be booked privately for two, you share with two other people.