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Memorial day weekend... advice please.

Birmingham, Uk
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11 posts
5 reviews
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Memorial day weekend... advice please.

We currently have 2 nights booked in Curry Village on for the memorial days weekend, but need some advice please.

We are staying at Sonora on the Thursday (22nd) and then planning on heading into the park first thing on Friday morning. The question that we have is when we should leave the park? We have to be in Las Vegas for 6pm on Sunday night for a concert, I think we have two options:

1) Get up first thing on Sunday morning and start the long drive to LV in one go

2) Leave Yosemite on Sat night and spend a night in a stop over (somewhere like Bishop?) and then have less of a drive on Sunday and maybe go via Death Valley?

I suppose the deciding factor would be the traffic.... when would be the best try and leave YNP on memorial weekend in terms of traffic... would it be Sat night or Sunday morning (and what would be the best time to leave?)

Either way we would still be getting two full days in the YNP but am hearing horror stories of traffic on the this particular weekend (it is the only time we could fit it into our itinerary).


United States
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1. Re: Memorial day weekend... advice please.

Yosemite to Bishop is not a good drive in the dark so you'd have to leave around 7pm. I would wait until Sunday morning, traffic doesn't get terrible until about noon, you'd want to leave the park bright and early.

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2. Re: Memorial day weekend... advice please.

I concur.

This is not a drive to be doing at night. Leave early on Sunday and enjoy the views.

It is one of the most beautiful drives in the US.

Edited: 03 May 2014, 17:34
Mariposa, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: Memorial day weekend... advice please.

Congratulations on having in park lodging on that weekend!! If you're willing to be on foot/bicycle for that Saturday, things are actually more manageable than you'd think As a sidenote, I'd try and get Glacier Point done Friday, and just stay put in the Valley on Saturday (or head out of the Valley for Tioga). I know that's a really long drive from Sonora, but I think saving the headache of maneuvering on Saturday will be worth it. That's assuming you're planning on doing Glacier Point.

Saturday night, you do risk a lot of sitting very still in traffic from about 4pm potentially until 7pm. There have been years where it's been even later than that. If you're going to leave Saturday night, my advice is to pack your car and move it to Day Use parking no later than 9am on Saturday. This sounds really odd, but it will cut off half of your traffic jam for departing Saturday evening. Once you're past Yosemite Lodge, traffic is just fine. Definitely cars, but none of the stand still stuff. I'd stop in Lee Vining, June Lake, or Mammoth Lakes personally, just to give you time on Sunday to explore the east side a bit before Death Valley. But that's just me.

If you choose to depart first thing Sunday morning (say before 10am, you're not going to have any problems heading out of the Valley as far as stop/go stand still traffic. After 10am, you may start running into some stop and go as the parking in the Valley fills up.

Hope that helps some.

4. Re: Memorial day weekend... advice please.

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