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Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite - need help with lodging

Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite - need help with lodging

Old Mar 15th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite - need help with lodging

Any help is appreciated. I've been trying to get lodging inside Yosemite for months now. I check almost daily and so far I haven't been lucky in being there to snatch up a cancellation.

We are a 5 person 3-generation family taking an annual family trip. We will be driving from Las Vegas to Yosemite in mid-June. Unfortunately, we will only have one full day in Yosemite and so I was really hoping to be able to stay inside the park. I'll keep trying but meanwhile I need to book something else. We need 2 rooms for 2 nights. Lee Vining seems an obvious choice for lodging but the accommodations there aren't very appealing. I'm not interested in luxury but a little above the bare basics would be nice. I had a chance to book the Curry Village tents earlier but my mother nixed that idea. Oakhurst has a few places to stay but I'm not sure how to reach it from Rt. 395. Our plan is to leave Las Vegas on Rt. 95, drive through Death Valley at Beatty, and then head to Yosemite on Rt. 395. Does this sound okay? I know it's a long drive but there are 2 drivers so it shouldn't be too bad.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 03:13 PM
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I'll give you the same advice I have given to others. If you are in Las Vegas fly to Fresno. This avoids a not so enjoyable day driving through the desert to get to a really beautiful place. I like Allegiant airline. If you can find a flight cheaper, by all means take it.
If you can't find lodging in the park, You should find lodging in Oakhurst.
Where are you going after Yosemite?
Return the car to Fresno in any case.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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We're ending our trip in San Francisco. There are no drop-off charges from Las Vegas to San Francisco so we'll drop the rental car off as soon as we reach SF. I don't think flying will work. I'll have a 12- and 14-year old with me and they think it's cool that we're thinking about driving through Death Valley. Is there an easy way to reach Oakhurst?
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 03:52 PM
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The valley floor is another 2 hours from the east park entrance, so it is a horrendously long day's drive from Las Vegas to the Curry Village or even longer to Oakhurst lodgings.

I'd chose a place along 395 in Mammoth for the night, as you will be tired and it will be hot. Everyone will be hot and tired from Death Valley. Allow some time to explore Death Valley. Then plan to spend the day in Yosemite and a lodging outside the park, maybe in Oakhurst or Tenaya Lodge.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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" Is there an easy way to reach Oakhurst?"

Not from Las Vegas.

Before giving up on staying in or near Yosemite Valley (Oakhurst is too far even if it was an easy drive from LV) . . . Try for something in El Portal. Either the Yosemite View Lodge or the Cedar Lodge. Yosemite View is better but either would be preferable to Oakhurst.

El Portal is about 15 miles/30 mins from the Valley floor, Oakhurst is 50 miles/90 mins to 2 hours depending on traffic.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 04:02 PM
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Not by way of Death Valley. You may see a little snow along the Tioga Pass road going west from Lee Vining.
If you can't get lodging in the park and you are entering over Tioga Pass you will want to stay in ElPortal on the west edge of the park.
You really don't want to go by way of Barstow, Bakersfield and Fresno to get to Oakhurst.
One of the other ways to get to Lee Vining would be the 98 mile "Extra Terrestrial" Highway (375) through Rachel NV. There is not a gas station in Rachel. The one gas station in Lee Vining will be over $5/gallon. Gas is not cheap between the park and Merced either.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Yosemite View Lodge and Cedar Lodge are both sold out for my dates.

"I'd chose a place along 395 in Mammoth for the night"

Is Mammoth Lakes a better choice than Oakhurst given the difficulty in reaching Oakhurst from our route? Is it roughly the same amount of time to reach Yosemite Valley from Mammoth via Tioga Pass as it is from Oakhurst to the Valley?
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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Check for Yosemite Lodge 10 times a day and call as well.

I am quite conflicted with Yosemite. I wouldn't go back if I couldn't stay in the park. I would also be careful about anything I reserved there.

That park is the most commercial national park I've ever been to. Everything is geared towards selling you extras.

We couldn't even park in the lot in front of our unit as it was reserved from 8AM to 8PM for tour buses.

If a free shuttle broke down it took days to repair. One used for paying fares is immediately replaced.

It's too back because the place is beautiful. I guess I'll concentrate on other beautiful places.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Sharona - forget about Oakhurst. You can't realistically get there from where you'll be.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Thank you janisj. I agree that it doesn't look possible to get to Oakhurst without a lot of detours. Thanks for letting me know. I'm just getting frustrated at not finding anything close. I'm starting to think it's not worthwhile to try to go to Yosemite.

Thanks everyone. I'll keep trying to find lodging inside the park or at least someplace in El Portal. But I might need a Plan B that doesn't include Yosemite.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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If it was me --I'd just keep trying for the Valley. Because it books up months ahead means there are lots of cancellations. Plans change and a booking from a year ago may not work any longer. Try every day if you can.

And if you are unlucky, then have your plan B - keep heading up hwy 395 and spend the time at Lake Tahoe. It isn't Yosemite but it is pretty darn magnificent in its own right.

Mid June is not yet high season at Tahoe so you could arrive w/o reservations and still find decent places to stay. But instead, you could book somewhere at Tahoe as long as they have a reasonable cancellation policy. That way you can keep trying for YNP and cancel at Tahoe if you get lucky.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 09:19 PM
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Lake Tahoe sounds like an excellent Plan B. I'll start looking into it and I'll probably go ahead and make some reservations that are cancellable without penalty. I've been trying almost daily for inside the park lodging. I guess I need to try twice daily.

It's particularly frustrating because we had planned to do this exact trip last year and had to cancel at the last minute because my mother had a health scare. We had reservations at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. The good thing is we actually have inside the park accommodations at the Grand Canyon this year.
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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Hi Sharona....there are rental cabins inside of Yosemite on the south gate called The Redwoods in Yosemite - www.redwoodsinyosemite.com or Yosemite West www.yosemitewestreservations.com - both are perfect for families and can be easily accessed from the south gate about 1/2 hour from Oakhurst. They are near or in Wawona, Mariposa Grove and about 45 minutes from Glacier Point & Yosemite Valley. You can see other south gate loding options at www.yosemitethisyear.com. Enjoy your vacation!
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