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Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Sydney, Australia
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Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Hi TA's

We are a family with 2 children (5 and 10 yrs), first timers to Yosemite. Plan to drive to Yosemite from San Francisco end September, stay overnight and next day before heading on to Grand Canyon. Any advice on what to do / where best to stay with kids would be great. Also assistance on driving route on to Grand Canyon, stopping overnight somewhere (suggestions for where?)on way down would be most appreciated. Would prefer to avoid Las Vegas. Many thanks.

Washington State
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1. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Hi Aussietravelers4

I really really hope you have more time. Are you planning to leave SF on Day 1 and arrive at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on Day 2? Even Day 3 would be tough!

Anyway, this forum is all about Yosemite so we can help you with that part. The Top Questions in the upper right is loaded with info that should interest you. In particular, read the lodging info (you need to stay in Yosemite Valley if you just have one night), what to do with kids, and Trip Reports. Also read the Itineraries under the Top Q.

A basic visit is 3 full days. I'm not sure what you're planning to do with a short visit. What kinds of adventures do your kids like? Are they up for a 2.2 mile round-trip hike to the top of a dome? (Sentinel Dome) Do they like to play in rivers or lakes?

For overall driving itinerary, I recommend the California state forum or the multi-state Road Trips forum. There is an article linked to the Top Q on this page and on the Top Q on the California page about driving between Las Vegas and Yosemite Valley. You can definitely skip Las Vegas, but the route is the same. The South Rim of GCNP is 5 hours beyond Las Vegas, so you have a huge drive planned.

If this were my trip with my kids at that age, I'd spend more time enjoying a destination and less time getting there. (Well, that's still my travel style now and my kids are older.)

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2. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

I am traveling to Yosemite to the Tenayal Lodge. Renting a vehicle in San Fran and super confused with the chains on tires. I am coming from MN and see plenty of weather. If I am renting (of course 4wheel/all weather veh.) and they don't allow but I will be fined or not let in the park. What is a girl to do if her hotel is in the park?

Washington State
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3. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Hi NieceN

Please make a new thread so that we don't get confused. Just click the hyperlinked Ask A Question at the top or bottom.

You'll also want to read the winter driving info in the Top Questions about Yosemite National Park in the upper right. You may want to read the lodging info as well. Tenaya Lodge is not in the Park.

I'll watch for your new question all about your winter trip.

==========

Aussietravelers4 ~ more questions from you about your September trip?

Edited: 26 January 2013, 04:35
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Hi PacificNW,

Big thank you for your detailed response to first questions.

We are having 4 days in San Francsisco then driving out of Napa early Friday am to Yosemite. Day / overnight and next morning there before heading south, possibly via Bishop?? stopping overnight Saturday somewhere en route, unplanned as yet and then next day (Sunday) to Grand Canyon.

With only one night at Yosemite, I am guessing we are best to stay in the Park itself, the Ahwahnee is unfortunately out of our budget, what accommodation would be the next best option if available?

Kids happy to walk, ride, general sightsee within park - would you recommend doing this as part of a tour or independantly?

Also weather late September, is it still warm day and night?

Thank you again so much for your invaluable advice.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Long drives for sure. You may drive through Death Valley NP (Tioga pass-Bishop-Lone Pine-Death Valley) but both drives app wiill take 7-8 hours. You'll skirt Las Vegas from Death Valley but you don't have to go into the city.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Firstly, I'll presume you realise the best way to rent a car is thru a third party agency as listed in many posts on TA. Secondly, I'll presume you'll be leaving SF Friday at 7.00 am to get to Yosemite by 10.30 am. Me, I'd leave earlier, but the kids won't like it.

What happens next is dependent on what you wish to accomplish at Yosemite, and if you intend to do any hikes. With a short time frame, and with a 5 y.o. who may not like hiking, know that there is enough to see in Yosemite mostly by just driving and taking short walks. But as mentioned, you'll have to research and decide on preferences.

Seeing the Valley and all it's wonder is a given, as is the drive out to Glacier Point. You don't want to miss Glacier Point. On the drive in to the Valley, if it's still flowing (will it be ?), park on the side of the road and take the short walk to the waterfall before you get to the main part of the valley car park. The rest depends on you and yours. You could drive out to Tenaya Lake and back, taking a little detour on the way to see some giant trees (walk at Tuolomne Grove), but if you intend to leave via Bishop, you'll see all that on your way out.

I'd consider leaving via Fresno instead. Google maps suggests it, and you miss Vegas altogether. You could still see the Valley, and whatever else you can fit in on that side of the park, even all the way out to tenaya lake. Then Glacier Point on your way to overnight somewhere along Wawona Road. Sunset is what ? 7.00 pm ?

We stayed Narrow Gauge Inn in Fish Camp and loved it, but I don't know if they have family rooms. They do have a room with 2 double beds that sleeps 4. Plenty of B&B options or private rentals on TA anyway, just book early. See the Mariposa Grove trees in the morning, early enough to get a car parking spot in the carpark where you head off for walks. You don't have to walk all the way to the top of the trail, just to the Tunnel Tree. Then head out to GC via Fresno. Stop at Denny's and be shocked by how much food you get for so little money eg order the banana pancakes, and it comes with eggs and bacon !

It's a long drive no matter which way you go. Google puts both routes about the same, but Via Bishop sure looks the shorter route. I guess if you go via Fresno you'd stay somewhere overnight half way. Maybe checkout some of the Mojave desert sites on your way through ? hole in the wall ?

Edited: 26 January 2013, 12:52
Washington State
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7. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

Hi again

Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is the next level of lodging. It's popular because of its excellent location.

I recommend seeing things on your own rather than with a tour. What things does your little one enjoy? Did you read the article linked to the Top Q about visiting Yosemite with kids?

The Tioga Pass entrance & Hwy 395 is so much more scenic than the South Entrance & Hwy 99. It's also much cooler.

September is still warm, but nights are always cool.

8. Re: Yosemite National Park Accommodation and driving to and from

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