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Help me decide which lodging

Virginia
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198 posts
64 reviews
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Help me decide which lodging

Hi--I'm trying to make reservations for 2A/1CH for June 2013. Our plan is to spend 2 nights in San Francisco, 2 nights in Yosemite, 1 or 2 nights in Sequoia/Kings Canyon, then drive to the Los Angeles area for the remainder of our trip. I want to pay less than $250/night for a 2 Q or 2 DBL bed room (don't want a tent cabin & must have a private bathroom) and this is what I found--

Yosemite Lodge @ Falls for 1 NIGHT ONLY @ $228

Yosemite View Lodge (El Portal) @ $189/mt view or $229/river view

Cedar Lodge (El Portal) @ $212

Best Western Gateway (Oakhurst) @ $160

Any pros/cons? If we reserve YLodge--would 1 night (two 1/2 days) give us enough time to see the main areas of YNP? If we reserve YViewLodge--is the river view worth the $30/night extra? If we reserve the BW--how would we divide our time in YNP to limit backtracking?

Thanks!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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60,151 posts
114 reviews
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1. Re: Help me decide which lodging

Hi DLH

Did you also look at the private options but they didn't work for you? Some folks like the condos in Yosemite West.

If you want the Valley, I'd book Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and then check the website often for cancellations. Pick up the second night when you find it. While you wait, maybe have a cancellable reservation for one of the places in El Portal. Oakhurst is a distant last. If you're going to SEKI, you probably won't want to spend time visiting Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite; seeing these big trees is the main reason to stay in Oakhurst.

Itinerary ideas ... start with the Top Questions (what to do with kids and the trip reports) and the Itineraries in the upper right. Pay attention to the date in the reports. In June, Tioga Road will probably be open but there will probably be residual snow or slush along the Tuolumne Meadows trails. No one know what it will be like until we experience winter and see how much melts in the spring.

Overall itinerary ... it's 4 hours from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley. Staying one night doesn't really allow you much time, and in the early summer the waterfalls are roaring, bikes are available to rent, raft rentals may be open, dogwood trees are blooming, Valley trails are clear, and there is a lot to see & do. From Yosemite Valley to Sequoia or to Kings Canyon is about 4 hours.

Have you already enjoyed some of the central California coastline? Most folks would visit the Monterey Peninsula to get a peek at it ... SF - Monterey - Yosemite - L.A. (with or without SEKI.)

Virginia
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198 posts
64 reviews
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2. Re: Help me decide which lodging

Thanks for your reply. No, I didn't actually call Yosemite West Condos, but I did numerous searches for lodging on Expedia, Travelocity, TripAdvisor--not sure if the Condos would show up on these sites. I'll research it more later today. I'd like to be in the Valley--I guess I could take a chance that another night would free up. I think my best option is to book YVL in El Portal. I assumed Oakhurst was too far, but threw it out there since it is close to Mariposa Grove.

Hadn't thought of going to Monterey Peninsula. Hubby has family in LA area. When we visit CA we always have to spend the majority of our vacation visiting them. This year I insisted we go to SF/YNP/SEKI--I didn't know what this meant; had to look it up :) before visiting family.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: Help me decide which lodging

Yosemite West is a private property community. Many of the cabins & condos are available to rent from at least a dozen different companies or agencies. Check the Top Questions (upper right) for info about some (most? all?) of the rental options. They're under Specialty Lodging on the TA website, I think.

Fortaleza, CE
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4. Re: Help me decide which lodging

What we don't know if your budget. If you can afford Yosemite Lodge, I'd do it, since you'd be right in Yosemite Valley, beneath Yosmite Falls. No need for a car while you're seeing Yosemite Valley. I like Sequoia/Kings Canyon, but the drive between Yosemite and them can take some time, and isn't super scenic, so why not stay an additional day in Yosemite? You can see redwoods at the Maiposa Grove. If one could be assured Tioga Pass would be open, I'd suggest 2 nights in Yosemite, then exiting via Tioga Pass, and taking Highway 395 to L.A. (with one night in, perhaps, Mammoth or Bishop), to give you a vastly different perspective on California than you'd get dirivng down the boring San Joaquin Valley, In fact, you could keep with 2 nights in Yosemite, then play the 3rd night by ear: As your travel dates approach, if it looks like Tioga Pass will be open, go that route, and if not, try to stay the third night either near Yosemite, or in (or near) Sequoia/KC (e.g., Three Rivers).

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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5. Re: Help me decide which lodging

The cabins and condos at Yosemite West are only 25 minutes from the Valley floor and are a good options if you can't get 2 nights at Yosemite Lodge. Plus they are on the way to SEKI so will shorten your drive on that day. I am pretty sure these do not show up on sites like Expedia, etc. but they are easy to book on other websites like yosemitewest.com, yosemitewestreservations.com, and scenicwonders.com, as well as VRBO.

I agree with the comments above that most of that drive is not particularly scenic, but once you start up the road to Grant Grove village in KC it becomes quite scenic. maybe book 1 night each at Grant Grove Village (Muir Lodge?) and one at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia. The drive between the two is beautiful and both these parks are very nice( and uncrowded by comparison to Yosemite).

Edited: 24 August 2012, 00:08
Virginia
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198 posts
64 reviews
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6. Re: Help me decide which lodging

Someone had asked what my budget was -- $250/night or less. Not sure how I missed these, but Scenicwonders.com has studio condos (murphy bed & sofa bed) @ $189/night for our June dates.

Even tho the drive to Sequoia & King may be "boring" I still want to go these parks because I don't know when/if I'll get back to this area of CA again. As I mentioned earlier, we are visiting these parks as a "drive thru" from SF to relatives in the LA area.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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7. Re: Help me decide which lodging

We just returned from the area 3 weeks and stayed at Yosemite View Lodge and Wuksachi Lodge in SEKI.

I have reviews of both properties posted.

As you will see if you check them out, we didnt' find YVL as bad as some of the reviews say. It is a high price for what you get,but all of the properties are fairly high, and it sounds like your budget will allow you to stay at many places (maybe excecpt the Ahwahnee. lol). In YVL, we lucked out and were upgraded to a Rivew View room, which offered a great view.

We stayed 2 nights in SEKI, and someone else said, we found it unspoiled and uncrowded compared to Yosemite. Beautiful park.... I agree that since you are so close, make a visit!

We have never stayed inside a park until our experience at SEKI, and we loved the convenience. The roads in the park are quite twisty and winding and must be driven slowly. I would never consider staying outside the park after seeing this, as you will waste a lot of time coming and going. We found that most didn't arrive inside the park until about 10ish, and many were gone by 5 or 6. Those early morning and later evening hours inside the park were golden to us, and by staying inside you get all the advantages.

Don't get me wrong, Yosemite is beautiful, particularly the high country, but SEKI was super special for us. My only regret was not having one more night there to see the Cedar Grove section of King's Canyon.

Have a great trip!

Virginia
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198 posts
64 reviews
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8. Re: Help me decide which lodging

Hey, thanks! We were in the BlackHills area in July & your posts were very helpful in planning that trip!

San Jose, California
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for California
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9. Re: Help me decide which lodging

I wouldn't stay in Oakhurst since that will be a long drive in and out of Yosemite Valley, even longer if you go up to the high country.

If you can't get Yosemite Lodge, I would probably stay in El Portal at either Yosemite View or Cedar Lodge. It is an easy drive into Yosemite Valley from there - or you can take the YARTS bus, which runs along Hwy 140.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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10. Re: Help me decide which lodging

DLH, I thought I remembered you! Glad to be of help, and I hope you enjoy this upcoming trip as well.