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Trip Report Two days in Yosemite in early May

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Spent Monday and Tuesday at Yosemite. No, it wasn’t enough time, but it was all we could manage and I wanted to see the waterfalls and Mariposa Grove before it got too crowded.

We stayed at Tenaya Lodge just south of the southern entrance. Like pretty much anything anywhere near Yosemite, it’s expensive. But it’s also clean and comfortable. We liked the room and the buffet breakfast. Tenaya Lodge is quite a drive to the valley – at least an hour and that’s without construction – but we stayed there because it’s convenient to Mariposa Grove. Personally, I think it’s way too far if you’re going to the valley, but it worked out fine for our purposes.

According to the Yosemite spring guide, weekday shuttle service to Mariposa Grove doesn’t start until May 7. I called the park and asked a ranger if we should go on a weekend and take the shuttle or would we be able to park at the Mariposa Grove parking lot on a weekday? He advised me to go on a weekday – said it was starting to get hectic on weekends and we should be able to get a parking space during the week as long as we got there before 10am or after 3pm.

We arrived at Mariposa Grove around 9:30 on Tuesday and there was still plenty of parking. By the time we drove off just before noon, the access road was closed and people had to walk an additional two miles from the next nearest parking lot. Without the tram and shuttle service, there were relatively few people on the trail when we got there. Although we only went as far as California tree, there were stretches of the trail where we were the only two people around. I actually got to sit and enjoy Grizzly Giant all by myself. It took a bit of waiting around, but we eventually had California tree all to ourselves, too.

The trail was muddy and had running water in places. Definitely needed boots for it. BF has knee problems so we switched to the road – no mud or running water there and we could have easily walked it while wearing regular shoes. Still lots of snow off the road. The weather, however, was beautiful – clear, blue skies and it was probably in the 60s during the morning and quite a bit warmer that afternoon. No mosquitoes and very few bugs of any kind. In other words, it was a delightful walk.

I’ll try to write more tomorrow.

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