Help with a Yosemite/Sequoia trip

Old May 1st, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Help with a Yosemite/Sequoia trip

We have planned a trip to San Francisco and then on to both Yosemite and Sequoia for late August. We will be traveling with our two kids (12, 16). I have already booked us lodging at the Yosemite Lodge and in Sequoia at Wuksachi Lodge. We will be staying for 3 nights in Yosemite and 2 nights in Sequoia. My question is, what should I do now? Should I be making dinner reservations at the park restaurants? I know that in August the parks get very crowded. Should I (can I) do anything about booking any activities or hikes? I don't want to show up in August and be closed out of anything! So, should I be making any arrangements now? If so, what? Thanks!
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Old May 1st, 2003, 08:50 AM
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Most brief ranger walks are open to anyone who shows up, but if there are any longer activities, you may need to reserve a place. At most parks, two ot three days ahead will be adequate. I'd call a ranger station at each park to get more details about what may be available at the time you'll be there. If you call as soon as the station opens, they'll probably have time to answer your questions.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 09:18 AM
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I agree, calling a few days ahead for tours/activities is all that is needed. There is also a free shuttle that goes around the Valley, in addition to the tour tram. However, the Visitor's Center in the Village is the first place to go. There is a ton of information and people to help you, direct you, daily newspaper of activities. Also, there is a short movie that must be viewed -- it gives you the history, and its beauty just heightens your appreciation of Yosemite. Late August, the water going over the falls is minimal. And once you get 150 feet from the road, the crowds are gone and it is quite pleasant. I imagine the situation would be similar at Sequoia.
 
Old May 2nd, 2003, 04:36 AM
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Thanks! What about dining? Should I make dinner reservations in advance We were not considering the Ahwanhee, but I read that the other restuarants in the parks get booked up.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:56 AM
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If you want to find out anything about Sequoia or any of the other national parks log onto the park website at www.nps.gov. Links will take you to lodging and other non park service sites. A wonderful trip I did a number of years ago was drive to Glacier Point. From there is downhill passing the major waterfalls and the side trip to Half Dome if you want to climb it. Just allow yourself plenty of time to take the shuttle back to where you pick up the bus for the return trip to Glacier Point. I did not and faced a long,hot, dry (no water)walk back up in the late afternoon sun. Might want to consider getting a National Parks Pass. Costs $50 but gets you in to any national park or monument where their is an admission charge and is good for a full year. Yosemite and I believe Sequoia both charge $20 to get in.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 09:15 AM
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This is old information, but about 10 years ago, early in August, my husband and I ate at the restaurant up at Tuolumne Meadows. We made a reservation in the morning for supper that evening. I think that calling a few days ahead would be sufficient, but if you already know what you want to do, you could always call now and see if they reserve that far in advance. It sounds as if it would set your mind at ease to have this taken care of.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Once you have the lodging, I would let the rest wait until you get there. There is enough to fill your days without booking special activities. One possible exception might be if the kids (or you) wanted to do a rock-climbing class, though I think the day ahead is good enough for that.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 12:32 PM
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Cant help you with Sequoia, but there are really only 2 places to eat in Yosemite which require advance recommendations.

1 is the Ahwahnee, the other is the Mountain room at the Lodge. I'd try to call the Mountain Room directly, and ask them. My suspicion is that you'd need a few days advance res, but that they probably don't take them this far in advance. Most of the other eateries are so casual that no reservation is needed, you just get in line. There is a cafeteria also at the lodge, and most the other places are burger/pizza stops.
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