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Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

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New Hampshire
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Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

Hi there. Hubby and I will be visiting Yosemite for the first time ever, and it will be our first time staying in any National Park. The lodging offerings are a bit confusing to me, as well as the booking system.

Husband is a *little bit* disabled - he can't walk more than 15-30 minutes, so we won't be doing any strenuous hikes, and aren't looking for a campsite. We'll most likely be doing more driving, or taking trams and tours. (We're aware of the access pass, and will look into that, for sure). We don't need fancy accommodations, but I personally need a decent bed, and easy access to coffee in the am :-) See, not picky!

Because of his disability, we'd like to avoid places with limited parking, but I know that's asking a lot. Hopefully given our timing mid-week before Memorial Day, we'll have some options?

I'd like to keep the budget at about $200/night, but would go up to $300. We'd really love to stay at the Lodge right in the valley, but it seems to be fully booked. Curry Village is a little too "campy" and full of children (we love children, but we'll have just left visiting our grands and....) But we'd love to stay somewhere with a Yosemite view from our windows or deck. Also preferable would be someplace with a restaurant, at least for breakfast. And someplace that doesn't require long drives and waits just to get into the park.

I know, lots to ask on such short notice.

It does look like I have at least several options for those dates. Evergreen Lodge, a cabin in Foresta.... we're also open to staying outside the park so long as it's not too far outside. Tenaya Lodge has always been one of dream stays for some reason. How is the traveling from there to the park? We also really like bed and breakfasts.

So, any input on great places to stay for an older couple who want breakfast, comfy beds, a view from a deck, and easy access to the park? LOL.... :-)

Are there other valley floor options?

If not, are there other in-park options that meet our budget?

Washington State
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1. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

Hi

I hope you got some good information from the Top Questions on the right side of the page.

Both Evergreen Lodge and Tenaya Lodge are outside the Park. Each is about an hour drive to Yosemite Valley but from different directions.

Foresta is a pocket of private property inside the Park gates, about 20 minutes from Yosemite Valley. Two other private property options are Yosemite West (25 min from the Valley) and Wawona (45 min from the Valley.) If you're staying in Wawona you can dine at the Wawona Hotel. Neither Foresta nor Yosemite West have any dining options. I think there are two B&Bs in Yosemite West, so you'd get breakfast there.

El Portal is a small town with two motels (miles apart) and just outside the Arch Rock Entrance. You'd drive 20 - 30 minutes to the Valley and need to line up at the entrance gate each day (twice ~ in and out.)

The NPS Access Pass is not the same as the handicapped placard. Having both would be ideal. Here are more ideas about visiting Yosemite for the lightly abled tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c156159 I wouldn't worry as much about parking if you have a disabled/handicapped placard; you could park up close!

Here is a direct link to the Trip Reports. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c144311 I suggest you read the one from blueaerodynamique as her husband uses a chair part-time.

San Antonio, Texas
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2. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

If you have a handicap placard, you should be able to go park right at the Mariposa Grove lot when you visit it. So make sure to bring it if you have one. The tram tour is highly worth doing so you can get up into the upper grove to see the Telescope and Clothespin trees. Of the frontcountry locations, I have stayed in Wawona (camping), El Portal (Cedar Lodge motel), and Tuolumne Meadows (camping, but won't be open in May) and they were all nice places. The food is horrible at Cedar Lodge, but it does get you pretty close to the valley and it should be a really pretty drive with the Merced River going nuts in May. Plus the arch rock entrance is pretty cool to see, and you get to drive by a huge landslide if you're coming up from the west. So don't consider staying in Mariposa since you could have up to a 15 minute wait detouring around that landslide, as traffic only goes one direction at a time. The landslide is just west of the west end of El Portal.

My family said the food is pretty good at the Wawona Hotel, so that might be an option. I loved the area when I camped there. Still, check all the time for cancellations for Yosemite Lodge at the Falls so you can be right there in the valley. The Ahwahnee is another option in the valley if money isn't an issue and you don't care about being price gouged, but I wouldn't stay there even if I could afford it out of principle, based on the lousy reviews I have read of it.

Does Housekeeping Camp sound too rustic for you guys? They have your dates open.

https://www.google.com/search?q=housekeeping+camp+yosemite&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=qGjdUtuyEYnMsQTw2oHABA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1097&bih=538

I think it looks pretty nice, especially for the chance to lock something up in the valley.

Edited: 20 January 2014, 18:22
San Antonio, Texas
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3. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

I never have stayed there though.

New Hampshire
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4. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

We would REALLY prefer something with some level of privacy, so I think Housekeeping Camp is out. Curry Village only has tents available, and Wawona only has shared bath rooms available. Not really what we were looking for. Wish I were younger!

Tenaya Lodge has an AARP/AAA rate that includes breakfast that doesn't seem too bad, but it does put us outside the park.

Awahnee doesn't seem to be available, and the rates would be too high, anyway.

Foresta has a few cabins available. I think it is the closest private option, yes? And inside the park so no entry lines? There's also a condo studio room available (Yosemite West, I think?) but that just seems so soul-less...

This lack of choices is one of the reasons why going in the fall would have been a good timing plan :-(

Washington State
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5. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

It sounds like you'd appreciate the amenities of Tenaya Lodge. As long as you're okay with the drive into & out of the Park, this is the option I'd suggest for you. If you're early risers, try to get out of the hotel by 8 am. That would put you in the Valley by 9 am and ready to go. If not, be sure to have that disabled placard so you can park closer to the shuttle stop in the main Valley parking lot.

The NPS accessibility document includes a map on the last page of places where you can park with that placard: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/access.pdf One of the best benefits is the ability to drive out to Mirror Lake. Details included in the document.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

I'd go with Tenaya Lodge since you are drawn to that place and it seems to meet your needs and wants. The only downside is the drive into Yosemite Valley, which isn't bad, just takes some time. One benefit of stayed at Tenaya Lodge is that when you drive into Yosemite Valley, your first view will be just after you come out of a tunnel - it is called Tunnel View and you can see the entire valley at one shot. This was my first view of Yosemite Valley and even thinking about it still takes my breath away.

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

OP - I am in similar situation (I can rough it but my grand mother needs private bathroom and comfortable rooms).

I am looking for May stay as well.

I tried to find room at Loge at the Falls but it is booked for whole month of May.

So I am also exploring other options. Tenaya and Wawona are options but I am considering Yosemite View lodge which is just outside the park and drive into park has no winding roads.

I have not made my reservations yet but if you are looking this is an option for you too.

Washington State
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8. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

>>drive into park has no winding roads<<

ALL roads leading to and inside Yosemite are winding. The roads are in the mountains; it's not possible to have all straight roads.

Hwy 140 from Merced to El Portal and on to Yosemite Valley is the gentlest ascent, but there are definite curves. Most of the highway from Merced to the Arch Rock Entrance is 55 mph speed limit (slower in towns) and 35 mph inside the Park.

Almost all of the drive from Tenaya Lodge to Yosemite Valley is winding and 35 mph. This route goes from Fish Camp at 5,000' to Wawona at 4,000' to Chinquapin (turn off to Glacier Point) at 6,000' to Yosemite Valley at 4,000'

Dallas, Texas
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9. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

@pacificnw would you recommend wawona or tenaya over Yosemite view lodge?

I have not made reservations yet.

Washington State
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10. Re: Lodging for May 20-23 for older couple - in park or out?

AmateurNaturePhotog ~ Any of the three can work well for visitors, depending on what is wanted. I suggest making a new thread just about your situation so folks can share their opinion.