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5 day trip to San Francisco with day at Yosemite

5 day trip to San Francisco with day at Yosemite

Old Aug 28th, 2020, 01:21 PM
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I would spend 2 nights in Yosemite Valley or the Yosemite View Lodge you have booked. You will be able to take your time and enjoy the Valley. See Mariposa Grove either your day there, or on your way back to the Bay Area after checking out early on the second day.
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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 04:07 PM
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I agree that two nights is always better than one (heck we were talking about a day trip when this started ) But it 100% depends on your plans for the Bay area. If you can cut another full day from your itinerary in SF, then definitely stay 2 nights in YNP. What I would NOT do is - stay in two different places the two nights. If you can spare two nights, stay both in the same place. Just waste too much time checking in/out/packing/unpacking.

El Portal is a good location -- but if you are staying two nights you might look for a rental in Yosemite West or in Foresta. They are both enclaves of privately owned condos and cabins inside the park boundary so you wouldn't need a day use pass. Residents are allowed to enter w/o a pass booking.
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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 01:00 PM
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[QUOTE=janisj;17149656]The problem with any (coastal redwoods) parks near the Bay Area -- every single one has been impacted to seriously impacted by the many fires and even if there are no new fires between now and then - mop up will still be happening. "

This is actually FALSE, perhaps the expert is not aware of the redwoods in Marin County, which, last time I checked, is still in the Bay Area.

Muir Woods National Monument is close to Larkspur (cute town in itself). Muir Woods has an accessible trail.

All park alerts are here

https://www.nps.gov/muwo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

BTW I would check the smoke conditions for travel to Yosemite, as well.
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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 03:19 PM
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Yes -- just about every redwood stand in the Bay area is impacted. Muir Woods didn't burn but the smoke varies from just annoying to gawd awful depending on the winds. Armstrong Redwoods are in the center of a large multi-fire zone, and of course Henry Cowell and Big Basin . . . That's four impacted parks in the 'Bay Area' .

I didn't say every one was on fire . . . I (intentionally) said every one is 'impacted'

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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 04:32 PM
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Probably a LOT better than where you live! And better than Yosemite Valley which will trap any smoke and haze. Actually, nearby Mill Valley and even Stinson Beach are "green" today. The park is not Closed or "impacted" in any normal sense of the word today. Yosemite Valley will trap any smoke and haze (there are fires nearby in fact). (Marin fires are to the north of Muir Woods at Point Reyes). The park website link I posted will also have updates on smoke issues.

https://www.baaqmd.gov/

https://fire.airnow.gov/

Furthermore, the trip is in OCTOBER.

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 1st, 2020 at 04:44 PM.
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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 04:54 PM
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Well, I will be keeping an eye on weather conditions in the Bay Area & Yosemite. I was able to get a day use pass today. So excited. After checking the in park lodgings, I noticed they all required a substantial deposit & had limited cancellation options. At this point I want to be able to cancel if weather conditions don’t improve & not lose too much.
As it stands now, I will spend 2 nights in Larkspur, drive to Yosemite View Lodge to visit Yosemite Vally, next day drive to Tenaya Lodge so we can visit Mariposa Grove the next morning. Will be driving back to San Francisco on Saturday. Fly back on Sunday. Flight at 5:00 pm.
Does that sound doable?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 02:50 AM
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Yes that sounds doable.

Since you are planning to visit Wawona in the am, then drive directly back to SF it's a toss up whether it's better just to stay in El Portal the 2nd night or Tenaya.
There are pros and cons either way.

In the past the in-park lodging had a 3d cancellation window, with 100% deposit refund. If they still have that 3d window then I think staying in park is by far the best option (my opinion), and do that for 2 nights. The advantage of "being right there" cannot be overstated. A 2nd night gives you the optinon for a morning hike, a midday rest or glass of wine on the balcony, afternoon further eplore, nice dinner at the Mountain Room restaurant, a stroll after dark - all part of the optimium Yosemite experience in my book....

But being at Tenaya the last night lets you get an early start, shorter drive to Wawona, and overall shorter driving day back to SF, and Tenaya is an excellent property.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 12:03 PM
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BTW ALL of Marin County is "Green" today... No "Mop Ups" or other "impacts" at Muir Woods.

El Portal has been having some poor Air Quality in the mornings as there are two fires not far from Hwy 120.

It's always a good idea to check the webcams for reduced visibility, for example it looks pretty hazy right now.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/photo...ia/webcams.htm


Last edited by mlgb; Sep 2nd, 2020 at 12:16 PM.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 12:16 PM
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Thank you! I did find a cabin in The Redwoods, Wawona inside the park. 2 nights for $1,010. So now do I stay in the park close to Mariposa Grove or stay at Tenaya Lodge the first night (get early start to see Grove) & then up to Yosemite View in El Portal. Or 2 nights at Tenaya Lodge. Suggestions???
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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 12:17 PM
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$500 a night!

I'd just stay in Oakhurst!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 12:25 PM
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Tenaya is close enough to Wawona Grove - no need to be in the park on the souther side. "In the park" in the valley (eg Yosemite Lodge) IS a better proposition since it's centrally located, you can walk or shuttle bus with that as a a base.

You definitely do NOT want to drive back to Tenaya from the Valley for a 2nd night. So your option of 1st night at Tenaya, next morning at the grove, then on the Valley would be the way to go. You can stop by Glacier Point on the way from Wawona to the Valley.

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Old Sep 2nd, 2020, 03:49 PM
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Thanks again for helping me plan this. We usually do like to stay in the park because my daughter has some disabilities & it’s worth it. I think this is probably the best Itinerary since it will be a short visit & both lodges are fairly close to the entrances.
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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 04:18 AM
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At the moment the Wawona area is under a fire advisory (not evacuation) and Mariposa Grove is closed, due to the Creek Fire. There is also poor air quality in Yosemite Valley, which is common during fire season.

Stay up to date on the park alerts before making nonrefundable reservations

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm



Last edited by mlgb; Sep 10th, 2020 at 04:29 AM.
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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 01:09 PM
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Thank you! We are wondering if we should reschedule the whole trip. Maybe end of May or early June. I had not realized that this was the beginning of the fire season. Will continue to watch air quality.
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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by darnwright01 View Post
Thank you! We are wondering if we should reschedule the whole trip. Maybe end of May or early June. I had not realized that this was the beginning of the fire season. Will continue to watch air quality.
If Yosemite is a major part of your wish list -- 100% (actually more like 100000%) May or early June would be better than now. Even IF this wasn't an especially bad fire year, late Spring is so much nicer in Yosemite. The water falls are raging, the meadows are bright green, the crowds are smaller - just everything is better.

And with the hundreds of fires burning all up and down the west coast -- the air quality will likely be impacted for weeks if not longer.

This year I would not plan any trip to CA until late October at the very earliest.
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Old Sep 10th, 2020, 04:31 PM
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Thanks Janis, I appreciate your insight & will look at planning our trip for next year. When we began considering a trip to see the Redwoods/Yosemite the excitement of the trip took over! After 6 months of COVID restrictions it seemed like a dream. Looking forward to our FUTURE trip.
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Old Sep 11th, 2020, 09:52 AM
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Just postpone & reschedule. Seriously! Besides covid screwing things up, now we're on fire, all up and down the West Coast. I'm in Seattle are even here we're inside with windows closed because the air quality is so awful. Sure hopefully by next month things are better. But this is simply not the time to visit.
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Old Sep 12th, 2020, 06:51 AM
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The biggest downside of May and June is that the Glacier Point Road may be closed if there is a snowpack in Tioga Pass. But that shouldn't affect Mariposa Grove. Crowds are normally bigger if the waterfalls get a lot of publicity but that may be different next year if they still have a permit system.

Sometimes the fires can smolder for months, as the Ferguson fire did two years ago. The fires up and down the entire west coast are also heavily impacting the entire Bay Area, in fact much of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is closed, including Muir Woods. It all depends on the wind direction.
https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

We used to go often in October, since we like the Tioga Pass entrance better (and then out via Oakhurst). Often included an overnight on each side of the park (eg Mammoth, June or Bishop) and Oakhurst/Fish Camp which have more affordable lodging options and better food. Doesn't work for a start from a Bay Area airport though.




Last edited by mlgb; Sep 12th, 2020 at 07:04 AM.
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Old Sep 12th, 2020, 12:05 PM
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Mlgb- where do you like to stay in Mammoth, June Lake, and Bishop? Thank you!
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Old Sep 12th, 2020, 05:01 PM
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My most recent stay was in Bishop at theTravelodge on Elm, which is nice because it's on a side Street. Some of the group I was with used the Best Western since it had breakfast, but that isn't happening at most places now, and others found the BW noisy. I was pretty happy with the Travelodge and it was a good value.



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