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Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

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Indiana
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Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

I am looking for advice in regards to Yosemite itinerary and lodging. Our family of 4 with 2 teenage boys will be in the park 3 1/2 days the first week of July. Starting our trip in SF, and also have 2 days allotted for Montery area. Planned on doing the loop "clockwise" (SF-Yosem-Monterey) primarily because it seems to be a shorter drive to the nearest airport for our return flight if we end in Monterey vs. Yosem.(flying Southwest so Fresno isn't an option). If we stick to this plan (but am open to changing to counterclockwise), in what order should we visit the various areas of the park, and where (area, not which specific facility) should we sleep each night in order to maximize our time? We don't mind staying in 2 or 3 different locations if we need to.

A rough idea of our interests, knowing we'll have to narrow down some things:

Mariposa Grove

Bicycle rental in Yosem Valley

Mist Trail

Glacier Point/ Sentinal Dome Trail

Toga Pass Rd to Tuolumne Meadows

May Lake/mt. Hoffman Trail and/or Lembert Dome

Thank you in advance for your time and input!

Washington State
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1. Re: Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

The order you might want to do things w/ a few additional ideas.

Tuolumne Meadows: Toga Pass Rd to Tuolumne Meadows, May Lake/Mt. Hoffman Trail and/or Lembert Dome, Gaylor Lake (hike), Tenaya Lake (swim/play), Olmsted Point (view)

Yosemite Valley: Bicycle rental, Mist Trail

Glacier Point Road: Glacier Point/ Sentinel Dome Trail, maybe Taft Point + Pohono Trail + Sentinel Dome

Southern end of Park: Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, maybe swim in the South Fork of the Merced River in Wawona

===========

I'm not sure that moving your lodging often is time-effective, but it might be. There aren't many options in the Park. Have you read the lodging article linked to the Top Questions?

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge / tent cabins works best for time in Tuolumne Meadows.

The Valley is busy but iconic.

Some folks visit Mariposa Grove on the last day and then stay outside the Park in Oakhurst. In July, you'd have to take the shuttle from Wawona to get to Mariposa Grove or to wait till after 5 pm for the crowds to thin out enough for you to get a parking place at Mariposa Grove.

Indiana
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2. Re: Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

Thank you for your ideas. I like the idea of Mariposa the last night..

In my mind, I'm comparing Yosemite to Yellowstone in terms of size and travel time, which is why I thought that moving lodging would be helpful, but if it's not, I'm fine with that.

Is it possible to drive the length of Tioga Pass Road and back in one day, including stops for sights and hiking?

Washington State
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3. Re: Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting the town of Mariposa for your last night. I am suggesting Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. They are very different destinations in very different locations. Don't mistake one for the other.

Yes, it's possible to drive Tioga Road and out Tioga Pass, then back. But if you want to spend time actually enjoying a few hikes, and it sounds like you're a family that would enjoy this area, then spending a night up there or driving up twice might work better.

You can read the Trip Reports in the Top Questions to see that some folks have spent an entire week in Tuolumne Meadows. I think the majority of visitors just drive, stop once in awhile to take in the views, and leave. There is a statistic about what a small percentage of visitors actually get off the paved paths and onto a dirt trail that is no longer within sight of a road. Tuolumne Meadows & other places along Tioga Road are great places to actually experience a tiny peek into the high country of Yosemite.

Mileages & drive times: nps.gov/yose/…mileages9-2007.pdf

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

Yes. Tioga Road is a doable day trip. I've done the following in one day:

Drive Tioga Road in the morning. Stop at Olmsted Point for a short walk to the lookout. Then to Tenaya Lake for some wading/swimming and to TM for snacks while walking a short trail like to Twin Bridges. Then down Tioga Pass, food at Whoa Nelli Delli and a short stop at Mono Lake Visitor Center and a quick juant to the tufas. Then back back Tioga Pass (avoiding sunset hours to prevent glare when driving up) and then dinner (reservations essential) at White Wolf Lodge. Star-gazing at 8,000 feet after dinner then back down to Yosemite Valley.

You should be able to squeeze May Lake but Hoffman would be more difficult but that would probably just mean skipping time at Mono Lake or having dinner at Lee Vining before heading back.

Edited: 17 January 2014, 18:01
5. Re: Itinerary and lodging advice -July trip

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