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Thread: Yosemite Advice

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    Yosemite Advice

    My parents have never been to Yosemite, so I'm planning a short trip there this fall (early October) with them. I figure we'll have about 2.5 days in the park. My thinking is perhaps the first day drive up to Glacier Point since we'll probably be getting into the area mid-afternoon. Then maybe the next day drive the Tioga Road since that will be on the weekend. Then spend most of the next day (Monday) in Yosemite Valley. Does this sound like a decent plan? Any advice on specific places to see at each location? My parents are both in their early 70s and in good shape, so can certainly hike a few miles as long as it's not extremely difficult. For example I don't think we'll be doing Half Dome.

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    Some awesome views off glacier point road with a short hike off Glacier Point Road, but i'm blanking on the names. Think it was Sentinel Dome? Also Glacier Point obviously.

    In the valley, even if you don't go all the way to Half Dome, the Vernal Falls/Nevada Falls hikes are worth it on their own merits. Nevada Falls is still a decently long hike but Vernal should be doable (it's possible I have that backwards)
    Or just rent a tube and drift the river for an hour or so.

    Don't know much about Tioga and points north.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyCarter View Post
    Some awesome views off glacier point road with a short hike off Glacier Point Road, but i'm blanking on the names. Think it was Sentinel Dome?
    Yeah, Sentinal Dome and Taft Point are the other biggies up that road, I think.

    I've been to Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point before, but never outside that area, so interested in what others have to say. Looks like there's some great stuff along the Tioga Road, but I wonder if conditions will be getting iffy that time of year. I hope the weather is still good.

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    Weather should be just fine in early Oct. Cool but fine. Tioga Road is usually open into early November.

    Where are you staying, and where are you coming in from? Yosemite can take a while to navigate.

    As for the general to-do, the waterfalls in the valley will be mostly dried up except for Vernal/Nevada by October unless we get some early rains. If your folks are in good shape, the trail is a paved superhighway to Vernal but it's all uphill and doesn't let up. Beyond the Vernal fall bridge the surface gets rougher. You can actually use google street view to hike the mist trail/John Muir trail and gauge the difficulty. (yeah, it gets a lot of traffic). Don't skip the tunnel view on the south side of the valley even though it's packed with tourists.

    Renting bikes and cruising the valley floor via beach cruiser is still on my bucket list. You can rent them at the village. Lots of great bike paths, super chill way to spend the day and enjoy the granite all around you. Mind the deer.

    Try not to drive on the valley floor, traffic sucks, parking is even worse, and deer are everywhere. The valley shuttle is free and good.

    Get a cocktail at the Ahwahnee hotel and sit on the patio for an hour in the afternoon.

    Glacier Point is still a favorite lookout of mine, and the meadows on the way are nice too. If someone is stir crazy from the ride, they can head down 4 mile trail into the valley and the car can meet them at the bottom.

    Tuolumne Meadows in the high country is wonderful, but keep in mind your at 8,600' + so it will be cold and potentially snowy. If you want to drive the pass, head down to Lee Vining and the famous MoMart for lunch. May as well check out Mono Lake while you're there, but Yosemite is more spectacular.

    Mariposa Grove is closed for major repairs until spring 2017. Don't bother with the South end of the park right now. If you want to see the giant sequoias, you'll need to go to Tuolumne or Merced Groves. Bring water, there isn't any on either trail.

    If you head out of the park and down highway 120 for a little way, you'll come upon the Rim of the World Vista, and you'll see part of the damage from the Rim fire of 2013 (~250,000 acres). Horrifying and beautiful in its own way.
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJSapp View Post
    Where are you staying, and where are you coming in from?
    Parents are driving up from San Diego. I'm flying into Fresno and they're picking me up there. We rented a house in Wawona. Yeah, I heard about Mariposa Grove being closed right now. Bummer, but plenty of other stuff to see. They were just in Kings Canyon a few months ago, anyway, so have seen the sequoias.

    Driving over Tioga Pass and eating at MoMart was already on my radar! I thought going to Bodie could be fun, too, but may be a little far for a day trip if we're stopping at other spots along the Tioga Road.

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    Gotcha. Your original plan sounds good. GP the afternoon you arrive (sunset up there is awesome, so kill some time in the meadows on the way in)

    Day 2 high country, possibly push over Tiagoa. Not sure if the concessionaires will be open that late into the season up there, so MoMart may be your only place to buy food, ask around before you go and/or pack some grub. Tenya lake is a great stop on the way up there as well. Bodie is a long way from where you're at, 3+ hours each way from Wawona. Not worth it imho when you're driving right past some good the high country hikes.

    Day 3 farting around the valley. It's just a stupidly awesome place and you could honestly spend all 3 days there if you wanted.

    Yosemite is all about the views, not so much the wildlife.
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

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    There a short, nice, but tough little hike near Wawona, probably a mile from your rental, Chiliyomama Falls...something like that. About four miles up, and some great places to hang out on top. There'll be water, too. I used to run that when I lived nearby. The lower falls are easily accessible, and there's a parallel pack trail that's not so steep for the first mile or so, but you'll be missing the lower falls taking that route.

    The Valley isn't crowded at all in the Fall- in fact, I used to pull over and stop pretty much anywhere so that my guests could take pix.

    Tuolumne Meadows is fucking awesome, but it won't be as green as May or June, obviously, and so loses a bit of luster. Still a nice spot. You can try the Mono/Parker Pass hike just past the Meadows and along Tioga Road. I no longer recommend Mono Lake- the tufa towers have all pretty much eroded. But the brine shrimp seem to be doing fine, so there's that. If you were to make the drive down to Mono, than maybe do the June Lake Loop. The views of the eastern Sierra from there are pretty fucking nice- you saw that when we made the drive. MoMart shuts down for the winter beginning around that time, so check ahead.

    You may also consider, time permitting, to leave the park from either the central or northern exit. The northern exit (Hwy 120) dumps you off very near Sonora, one of the many towns from Kalifornia's gold rush era. It's a k00l spot to check out for a couple of hours and there some fine dining options. From there you can head west to the 99 and take that south back to Fresneck. Fresneck has a very accessible airport, BTW.
    ˇÓrale, vato!

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    Awesome. Thanks for the ideas Viva!

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    One of the things I like to do as get off the road and trails into the meadows by the river. Even when the place is really crowded you can get away from the crowds quite easily. El Cap meadow won't be free of people but bring a pair of binoculars and watch the climbers. If you're lucky you might catch one taking a dump. As far as seeing wildlife your best bet would be camp 4. (For a preview you can watch Valley Uprising on Netflix.)

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    All the above info is solid. A lot depends on physical ability of said 'rents. Too many great hikes to begin to name, tons of short easy hikes as well. Glacier point for the easy view of the valley, but Sentinel Dome if they can handle a bit of a hike and a little scramble (super easy but can be challenging for older people.)

    Definitely spend a day in the valley riding the tram around, walking in the meadows watching the climbers, etc. Toulumne is my favorite place and I can go on about it for hours. Bodie is cool and there are other entrances to it that make it a little more fun then the standard route of 395. Check on whether MoMart will be open, it closes when fishing season closes, not sure when that is this year.

    I've been to Yosemite at least 50 times, if not a hundred, and will be there mid Oct to do Tenaya Canyon. Let me know if you have specific questions.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
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    Forgot to add, if you do go over the pass and have time, the south tufa towers on Mono Lake are pretty cool, and where all the famous Mono Lake photos are taken. Panum Craters is kind of cool if you like geology , can hike a bit and want to see obsidian frozen in its natural location.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

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    FYI: I heard on the radio this morning that they're expecting 2"-4" of snow over Tioga, and are closing the road. It wasn't clear if they'll reopen the road if it melts out later this week (which it should melt).
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJSapp View Post
    If someone is stir crazy from the ride, they can head down 4 mile trail into the valley and the car can meet them at the bottom.
    Lots of good advice in the thread, but the above is not. Unless you are used to hiking down hill, this will hurt. Although I suspect it will cure "stir crazy". Den

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    Quote Originally Posted by dewam View Post
    Lots of good advice in the thread, but the above is not. Unless you are used to hiking down hill, this will hurt.
    But since we're all well-versed in skiing down hill, hiking down hill will be a piece of pie...sushi...whatever.
    ˇÓrale, vato!

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    Was up there last weekend. Momart still Rockin. Had the carnitas tacos this time. Awesome. But it's Always so tough to decide what to get from their menu.

    Definitely cold at night but most services still rolling and plenty of peeps. Pretty sure the Rangers were saying the road would reopen after snow melted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJSapp View Post
    FYI: I heard on the radio this morning that they're expecting 2"-4" of snow over Tioga, and are closing the road. It wasn't clear if they'll reopen the road if it melts out later this week (which it should melt).
    Just got back home and we actually drove the Tioga Road on Sunday. They closed the road at 7:00 p.m. We were out of there by 5:00. Saw just a few flakes. Not sure if there was actually accumulation or not.

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    Went to Taft Point the day I arrived. Pretty cool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    My parents have never been to Yosemite, so I'm planning a short trip there this fall (early October) with them. I figure we'll have about 2.5 days in the park. My thinking is perhaps the first day drive up to Glacier Point since we'll probably be getting into the area mid-afternoon. Then maybe the next day drive the Tioga Road since that will be on the weekend. Then spend most of the next day (Monday) in Yosemite Valley. Does this sound like a decent plan? Any advice on specific places to see at each location? My parents are both in their early 70s and in good shape, so can certainly hike a few miles as long as it's not extremely difficult. For example I don't think we'll be doing Half Dome.
    Taft point is a short 1 mile hike near the Glacier Point area. Honestly the best short and easy hike in and around Yosemite Valley

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    Dude! Great pic!! Did I miss the TR somewhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    Went to Taft Point the day I arrived. Pretty cool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rehabit View Post
    Dude! Great pic!! Did I miss the TR somewhere?
    Thanks, man! I guess I never got around to writing a TR.

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    Bump. Looks like I might have an opportunity to spend two days in late September in Yosemite. Lots of great info in the thread to read through.

    What is camping like in the park that time of year? Are there any non-reservable spots to look at? I would probably be arriving pretty late in the day the first night. Could also stay at housekeeping camp or Half Dome village it looks like.

    Current plan is to spend one day riding the shuttle around and the second day doing a couple of short-ish hikes. Both days I want to post up for sunrise and sunset at good photo spots. One sunset at Tunnel View, one at Glacier Point.

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    We are heading there on Friday, no reserved spot. Plan on staying in Lee Vining on Saturday night and heading into the park on Sunday am.

    Odds on grabbing a non reserved spot? There will be 3 small campers in our group.

    More info on the floating the river in tubes?

    Other info on crowds last week on August?

    We will have a 75 yr old bad lungs ex smoker in the group, ideas?

    Also the 6 and 8 year old grommettes who are stronger than anyone else.

    Bringing bikes.

    Bears?

    Thanks
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phildo_Baggins View Post
    Bump. Looks like I might have an opportunity to spend two days in late September in Yosemite. Lots of great info in the thread to read through.

    What is camping like in the park that time of year? Are there any non-reservable spots to look at? I would probably be arriving pretty late in the day the first night. Could also stay at housekeeping camp or Half Dome village it looks like.
    Late September is usually a little quieter than the summer but still busy. Pretty unlikely you'll find anything at Camp 4 then unless the weather has gotten bad. You might find something at Tamarack Flat or White Wolf, especially if mid-week. If you're coming in from the west on 120 you could also look for somewhere to crash the first night before you get to the park (e.g. in the Stanislaus NF if you're taking 120 from the west).

    Also there's a backpacker's campground near Curry Village (uh, "Half Dome Village") that usually has spots - you're supposed to have a wilderness permit to use it though. Enforcement used to be pretty lax, don't know about now.

    If you can get a reservation in the tent cabins that's going to be easiest and you won't need to worry about where you're sleeping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post

    If you can get a reservation in the tent cabins that's going to be easiest and you won't need to worry about where you're sleeping.
    Cool. Thanks! That's kind of what I was gleaning from the interwebs. I think I'll grab one of the tents at Half Dome Village and just shell out the $$$ for it so I don't have to worry. Looks pretty central to everything.

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    If you're an early riser get up before the shuttle starts running (7AM I think) and hike Vernal & Nevada Falls (up the Mist Trail, down the John Muir). The trailhead is only about a mile from HD Village. Really cool getting there before anyone else and only starting to see people when you hit the bridge on the way back.

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