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Chirstmas in Yosemite

Old May 9th, 2011, 10:07 AM
  #1  
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Chirstmas in Yosemite

Since our grown kids are planning to spend the Christmas holidays with family of their significant others, we are thinking about spending a few days in Yosemite.

There are still a few rooms available – mainly at Wawona, but they will probably go fast. We are thinking of flying to San Francisco and taking the train.

Any advice for a fairly active middle-aged couple would be appreciated. We love hiking and nature, but do not ski.

Thanks!
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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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I've always wanted to go to Wawona for Christmas!
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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Those rooms will go fast. Yosemite is popular around the holidays. The problem with Wawona is that 1) it's about an hour (but scenic) drive to the valley and 2) sometimes the road is closed due to snow. It's unlikely to be closed that early in the winter, but it's still a consideration. And you'll probably be required to have chains in your car during that time of year.

Which reminds me - if you're taking the train, how do you plan on getting from Wawona to the valley?

I went to Yosemite in January and winter is my favorite time of year there. It's beautiful in the snow. Only the valley will be open that time of year. (Well, a few other places are open if you snowshoe or ski.) There are short hikes to Lower Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls. And there's plenty of longer hikes. These paths aren't plowed so there's a possibility that they could be difficult to use due to snow or ice.

The only real drawback to going around Christmas is if there's a storm while you're there. It would be a bummer to be at Yosemite and not able to see any of the sites due to poor visibility.

I've heard that it's festive in Yosemite over the holidays but as I haven't been there that time of year, I'm hoping that someone with personal experience can tell you more about that.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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For Wawwona ride the San Joaquin to Fresno and take a taxi to the airport to rent a car. I hope you don't get snowed in. The rental car companies don't want you putting chains on their cars. Depending on the forecast consider renting a 4WD.
In early November 2009, my DW and I rode Amtrak to Fresno and rented a car. We spent the night in Oakhurst and got an early start to the south entrance. If it is open, turn right inside the gate and go to Mariposa Grove before heading for Wawwona.
The YARTS buses would only get you to the Valley from Merced.
Be sure to stop at the viewpoint at the north end of the tunnel.
tomfuller is online now  
Old May 12th, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Thank you for the wonderful information. We have not gotten very far in our planning just yet. We had hoped we could take public and park transportation and not rent a car, but it sounds like a car is a must.

We need to get serious soon and all information is helpful.
Thank you again,
Reggie
carmand is offline  
Old May 12th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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If you can afford it, you might see if you can get a Bracebridge Dinner package--a truly special Yosemite Christmas occasion.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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The Bracebridge dinner is a must (but pricey) if you are there in December . They used to be VERY difficult to attend (they had a lottery for tickets) but probably because of the down economy, you can now book directly - though you'll need to be flexible w/ your dates. It would be a once in a lifetime sort of thing.

http://www.nationalparkreservations....e_vintners.php

http://www.bracebridgedinners.com/
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:32 AM
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janis, I think they dropped the lottery and went to reservations when they increased the number of dinner nights to 8. I agree it is a must do at Christmas in Yosemite, if you can afford it--I went as a guest many years ago.
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