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Yosemite on 9th July

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Belfast, United...
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Yosemite on 9th July

Hi,

I hope you can help with itinerary.

We will be in the Yosemite Valley on Wednesday 9th July arriving at the south entrance. We will start at the Mariposa Grove at around 9:30am; Then heading to Glacier Point.

We were thinking of taking the Valley Tour at 2pm from Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Shuttle Stop #8 (see http://www.yosemitepark.com/valley-floor-tour.aspx).

Does anyone know anything about this tour? How difficult will it be to get parked at around lunchtime mid-week in July?

After the tour we plan to maybe do a little walking in the valley before heading for our overnight.

I see there is a train service (http://ymsprr.com) has anyone and views on this.

Is this a reasonable way to spend a day in Yosemite?

We plan to heat over Tioga Road/Pass to Mono Lake and on to South Lake Tahoe the following day.

We are not big walkers so only want to do a little late in the day.

Thoughts??

Washington State
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1. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

Way too much!

The Sugar Mountain Railroad is between Oakhurst & Fish Camp on your way to Yosemite.

Mariposa Grove will take 2 - 4 hours, depending on crowds.

It's an hour drive to Glacier Point.

Another hour drive to Yosemite Valley.

No way to arrive for the 2 pm (HOT) Valley Floor Tour.

Where are you sleeping on the July 8th and where on July 9th?

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

Thanks.

We are driving from Monterey on 9th leaving at maybe 5:30.

Should we leave Glacier Point until evening and head for the valley after Mariposa Grove?

Is the tour worth the $25 each?

Regards

Washington State
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3. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

Wed July 9: leave Monterey at 5:30 am and drive to the South Entrance.

Want to see Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Valley.

Overnight lodging booked in ___________.

Thurs July 10: >>We plan to head over Tioga Road/Pass to Mono Lake and on to South Lake Tahoe the following day.<<

---------

Is this correct?

---------

I will assume that you are the kind of travelers who prefer to stuff every moment of every day incredibly full. You don't want to miss anything and you're willing to sacrifice a thorough experience in one destination in favor of basic experiences in two or three destinations. If this isn't correct, then clear things up by describing your travel style.

Stop at Vons grocery store in Oakhurst for gasoline and snacks & drinks. This may take a 10-15 minutes but it's worth it compared to the gasoline prices in the Park. Or just stop at a regular gas station that may be a few cents more expensive.

You might still get to the South Entrance by 9:30. It's possible that the parking lot at Mariposa Grove won't yet be filled. Look to your right to see if the gate is open or closed. If closed, park in the small lot across from the South Entrance (near the gate) and take the free shuttle up to the Grove parking lot.

If you're walking, get on the trails. If you're touring, pay $$$ for the audio tram tour. I'd guess that you'll be done around 11:30 or 12:00. Back to your car.

Lunch? Picnic? Hot dogs at the Wawona Golf Course snack stand? Premade sandwiches from the Wawona General Store? Sit down lunch at the Wawona Hotel? Wawona is 4 miles from the South Entrance. Let's guess that lunch takes an hour.

Now it's 1:00 or 1:30, assuming all has gone well so far. Do you try to go to Glacier Point? The parking lot up there might be full. Drive from Wawona to Chinquapin, abut 30 minutes. This is the intersection with Glacier Point Road. Map http://goo.gl/maps/7IbIQ (Swing the street view map to the right to see the restroom building!)

Option A: Glacier Point Road is closed. Rangers are standing there. They are staging visitors in the parking lot by the restroom. Just drive on by rather than wait.

Option B: Glacier Point Road is open. Drive 17 miles / 35-40 minutes up this road. Stop at Washburn Point first, then drive on to Glacier Point. You still may have to circle around to find parking. The restrooms at the farthest end of this parking lot are less crowded and usually cleaner. Park. Take in the views. Spend some time. Back in the car and drive down to Chinquapin, arriving there sometime between 4 and 4:30 perhaps. Turn right and head down to Yosemite Valley.

Either option ... Stop at Tunnel View. Parking on the right. Views! Stop again at Bridalveil Fall (probably no parking available if it's Option A and now 2:30.) On to your reserved lodging in Yosemite Valley.

Option A: now it's 3:00 or so and you have time to enjoy the Valley. Is the Valley Floor Tour "worth it"? After all those hours in the car, it seems like a poor choice to sit again for 2 hours. But you'll have information fed to you all about Yosemite NP, and maybe that matches your travel style. Take the absolute last tour of the day when it's starting to cool off. Or maybe just walk a path or trail, ride the free shuttle, sit by the river to gaze at the beauty.

Option B: now it's 5:30 or 6:00, again IF all the timings have been perfect and you haven't encountered any traffic. Watch the sunset light on Half Dome after dinner, maybe going back up to Tunnel View or watching from a bridge or meadow? (Sunset is after 8 pm.)

=========

Places where this fast paced itinerary can break down..

-> South Entrance - the queue might be 15 -30 minutes

-> Mariposa Grove - there might not be any parking near the South Entrance, so you have to drive down to Wawona and take the shuttle back up to Mariposa Grove

-> Wawona - lunch at the Hotel may take longer

-> any road - "Bambi jam" ~ tourists see a wild animal (deer = Bambi, bear, coyote) and stop in the middle of the road. Everyone stops.

-> Glacier Point - slow downs for the last 2 miles, hard to find parking, etc.

-> Yosemite Valley - traffic slow downs as you enter Yosemite Valley. Sometimes traffic is moving at 5-10 mph on the 25 mph road

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

Thank you PacificNWFamily for your very comprehensive response.

You are right - we are planning a whistle stop tour seeing as many things as possible rather than focusing.

Your plan seems like exactly what we what so will try for something like this. Thanks also for taking the time to point out where the problems might be.

Really appreciate your time.

Washington State
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5. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

You're welcome.

If possible, we'd love to have a "whistle stop" trip report after your return. It's nice for us to know how well our suggestions worked (or didn't work!)

Have a great visit.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

I think you can safely skip the tour given your schedule and do some walking around yourself. You can use this as a reference when you drive down from Glacier Point. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c2636/Yosemite…

Edited: 06 May 2014, 02:24
Boston...
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7. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

loved the "Bambi jam" description!

8. Re: Yosemite on 9th July

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