Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Day hikes in Yosemite for family of 4 (2 teens)

Notices

Day hikes in Yosemite for family of 4 (2 teens)

Old Jun 25th, 2017, 04:43 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day hikes in Yosemite for family of 4 (2 teens)

Hi - Headed to Yosemite in late July (not over a weekend, but not sure it matters that time of year). We are staying in an Air BnB on the western side (Sanger).

We are in good shape but not Ironman calibre by any means. Looking for some great day hikes - 2-4 hours.

My husband found the Vernal & Nevada Falls loop and it looks pretty intense. Have you done this hike by chance? Would love to get input and also other areas to make sure we don't miss.

In the area for 3 full days before heading to Sequoia. I know the crowds will be horrid and we plan to get into the park mornings as soon as able.

Thanks!
Weespxx is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2017, 07:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,175
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry Sanger is not a good place to stay for Yosemite. I'm not sure why you think it is. Have you even looked on a map?

It will take you 1.5 hours to get to Oakhurst, and at least another 2 hrs into Yosemite Valley due to road construction on the Wawona entrance road (weekdays). So optimistically 3 hours driving each way. Possibly up to 5 hours with traffic congestion. Inside the park you will have to park somewhere and then take the shuttle to get to whichever walks you want to do. It would be better if you can find at least one night inside Yosemite Valley (try about a week before every day for cancellations). They now book the old Camp Curry (Half Dome Village) at this website, or you can try calling.
https://www.nationalparkreservations...curry-village/

I suppose you have some kind of no cancel thing on your AirBnb?

To answer your question,the hike is easy to Moderate as far as the first footbridge, and even a little farther alongside the falls I'd say it is still moderate. As you go up alongside the falls, it gets more difficult, with lots of steps and can be slippery. Be sure you have good nonslip soles on your shoes.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2017, 08:26 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Swallow the money loss and look for cancellations in the Valley itself. Get up VERY early--it is possible to pay staff to give you rides to trailhead before shuttle buses start running at 7. The Nevada Falls loop is the most beautiful in the Valley IMO, but I only do it in summer if I can be on the trail by 7:15 -7:30 in the morning. The short hike to Vernal Bridge is very moderate, you can then hike up to the stairs of Vernal Falls for more nice views. Beginning with stairs, very slippery, need good soles as said above, I swore I'd never do it again going down 30 years ago and haven't (I go down the John Muir trail).

The Valley loop trails are uncrowded even in summer and underrated, I think. Check to see if parts of trail are flooded out because of heavy rain.

Walking to Mirror Lake is a nice day hike, once again EARLY. The beginning of the Pohono trail is uncrowded because it's very steep. If falls are flowing hiking as far as you want up the 4 mile trail can be very rewarding (it's steep but very well groomed.

There is a good paperback series you can get from Amazon, Easy Hikes in ___________. We are in the Grand Tetons as I write and the one we bought for here is very useful.
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2017, 08:46 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,175
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try this link for Half Dome Village, I think the one I first posted is a reseller and doesn't show live availability

The direct phone is 888 413 8869

http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodgin...-dome-village/

Eg right now there is a tent cabin showing for July 26

You just have to keep checking.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2017, 11:56 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,151
Likes: 0
Received 32 Likes on 7 Posts
>>We are staying in an Air BnB on the western side (Sanger).)
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2017, 12:30 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,589
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sanger is not a good base for this trip, or any trip,for that matter. If the air bnb host told you this is a good base for Yosemite, they are ripping you off.
MichelleY is online now  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 01:41 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 357
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OMG I just went back to check all of my reservations and it is SONORA - not Sanger. Sanger is where we are for the days in Sequoia.

That said, will look inside the park -- just assumed we'd be shut out!

@MichelleY
@janisj
@mlgb
@cmstraf

If we have to stay in Sanger, I see 5 am departures as being the norm. Thanks for the advice on the hikes .. I feel better now.

We live in Williamsburg, VA and tourist season is my least fave ... too bad our timeframe could not have been flexible!
Weespxx is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 02:01 AM
  #8  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,584
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sonora is better. It's only a 2hr drive each way into Yosemite Valley, so 4hrs in the car each day, way better than 6.
J62 is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 05:52 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you have a computer? Bookmark the site for Yosemite travel (someone listed it above), when you have breaks at work, before or after meals, try all lodging. Yosemite Valley Lodge is best, then anything in "Half Dome" Village, even Big Trees would be OK (and is charming). It takes about 90 seconds, patience, persistence, and determination.

And yes, Sonora is better. Lodgings in El Portal best outside the Valley, or condos in Yosemite west.

Get the Falcon guide to Easy Yosemite Day Hikes. It will make you happy
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 06:11 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,151
Likes: 0
Received 32 Likes on 7 Posts
Sorry, while Sonora is a MUCH nicer place for sure -- but is NOT a better base for visiting Yosemite. In summer it will take more than 2 hours to drive into the Valley. And if anyone in the family is prone to car sickness, the drive will be torture.

I would 100% reconsider BOTH of you accommodation bookings. Sanger is closer to SNP -- but is still a long drive
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 06:18 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodgin...ng-experience/

You have to get into a zen space. I do this maybe 15 times in a day--as I said it takes 90 seconds, accepting disappointment, a little later trying again. Also if you see anything grab it and build on it. You can always get money back.

I don't know Sequoia, but I think janis j makes good points.
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 07:35 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you have specific dates in July that you are tied to? Are there 4 of you in all?
What is your spending range and your tolerance for austere vs luxury range?
I'm looking for a cancellation at Glacier (where I have to change rooms right now); I'd be glad to check Yosemite for you while I'm doing so. Off to hike soon but will be back later in day.
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 08:55 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,589
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sonora is not a great option for Yosemite. Sanger is not a great option for Sequoia. Trust us.
MichelleY is online now  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 09:44 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,175
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think they got that message.

I think you may have bigger problems with Kings/Sequoia. Maybe Sanger will be the best you can do for that. If you use booking.com map view you can get an idea of distances and street access. Be sure to read the park websites re access, shuttles, and road construction.

For in park lodging it's via Delaware North, www.sequoia.com

They do have tent cabins at Grant Grove Village but the John Muir Lodge would probably be a better option.

It's better to come in via 180 if you are coming from Yosemite. If coming in from the south you might find something in Three Rivers.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 09:47 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I DID IT!!! I just nabbed you 3 nights at Yosemite Lodge July 23-26, 2 double beds. I payed the deposit.

Will this work for you???

We'll have to figure out how to change names etc and for me to get your deposit back, but it's doable.

my e mail is [email protected].

Hopefully going out for much of the rest of the day but will be back in room a couple of times (to try for my Glacier cancellation)and at end of evening (going rafting down Snake River).
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 09:59 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,151
Likes: 0
Received 32 Likes on 7 Posts
>>Maybe Sanger will be the best you can do for that.
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 09:59 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ACTUALLY, NOT KNOWING YOUR PREFERENCES, I HAVE NOW RESERVED YOU TWO ROOMS FOR THAT TIME PERIOD. AT THIS POINT A FOURTH NIGHT, THE 26TH IS ALSO AVAILABLE.

The rooms are in the high 200's, you can check for how much and I will confirm later. You can also tell me if you want 1 room or 2. This may seem expensive by
Virginia standards, but trust me, it is good value for Yosemite.

Let me know when you can.
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 10:00 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,151
Likes: 0
Received 32 Likes on 7 Posts
stooopid site locked up on me - tried to add . . . That is TERRIFIC cmstraf! How nice of you.
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 10:17 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,015
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just realized how I did it. Cancellations are for one month from today--that means that rooms held for an event like a wedding were released. There are also some at the Ahwahnee (Majestic) but one of nights is gone now and it's $$$$. What site locked up janis j? Do you want these if OP does not?

We are getting such a late start on today that sloth has set in (we were sick with some evil virus for 6 weeks in May and
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2017, 10:23 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,175
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you go on the direct website right now, which didn't lock up for me, there are tent cabins on at least three nights the last week in July. And they have separate single beds for the children. Don't take the Stoneman Cabins which are double beds. I see tent cabin pricing for under $200 a night including taxes so I don't know what cmstraf is booking.
mlgb is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO