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No accommodation left at Yosemite - is it worth commuting in from Sonora?

No accommodation left at Yosemite - is it worth commuting in from Sonora?

Old May 4th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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No accommodation left at Yosemite - is it worth commuting in from Sonora?

Hi all

I know this is a much discussed topic but nothing I've found so far has helped with my dilemna so am hoping you might be able to! I find myself very last-minute able to combine a business trip to NZ with a week in the States. With my new-found week I plan to drive from LA to San Francisco up the Coast route, then REALLY want to also take in Yosemite NP. This is where it gets hard! All accom that i can afford is fully booked and my choices are to stay in Mariposa or Sonora (less expensive but a long commute)

Do you think it's still worth it - commuting in - I think it's a 2 hr journey each way to the Park and I'm unsure whether there's more driving once I'm inside the Park but I think so.

Yosemite looks INCREDIBLE (and I've seen some things in NZ!) but I am aware that I'm going to be doing it in less than ideal circumstances and wonder if it will be just an awful lot of driving.

Would even 1 day in the Park - eg go to Glacial Valley or Tuolomne Meadow - and commuting from Sonora - still be a good idea?

Please help!

Many thanks in advance,

Rosie (currently in England)
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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My wife and I like this place: It is a lot shorter commute into the Valley than Sonora. There is a bus stop at the foot of the driveway if you are not driving a rental car. The BUG Hostel near Midpines, CA on CA 140 http://www.yosemitebug.com/
They have a nice cafe if you don't want to use their kitchen.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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Mariposa is going to be closer and less driving time if you can't find anything closer.

Not sure what you meant by Glacier Valley. There is a Glacier Point and Yosemite Valley which is a glacier valley. For just one day in the park, I recommend Yosemite Valley over Tuolomne Meadows or Glacier Point.

Depending on when you are coming, the road to Tuolomne Meadows might not be open yet. You can keep an eye out here to see when the road opens http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm

Utahtea
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Try El Portal - would cut your commute by more than 1/2. Even if it costs a bit more the saved drive times would more than make up for it.

Sonora would be a slog. Mariposa or Midpines would be a slog too -- but a bit less 'sloggy'.

Unless you are going after about the 3rd week of June (and even then isn't a sure thing) you probably won't be able to visit Tuolomne Meadows. They are still several weeks away from opening Tioga Pass.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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Thankyou both so much!

Tom: The bug looks wonderful!

Utahtea: My trip is the beginning of July. Yes I meant Glacier Pt, oops!

I'm wondering if I'm just trying to fit TOO MUCH IN with this trip. I don't have a lot of cash or energy as I'm recovering from being really unwell last year. And it's a lot of driving and then walking. I could do the tour from SF with the Bug Bus Tours but am worried they'll be too strenuous for me since I can't manage much walking and was hoping to be able to drive to most places (not being lazy just limited by body!)

So am now considering just enjoying the drive from LA to SF, stopping at 2 or 3 places along the way - Monterey looks nice and maybe Cambria each for a night. Then enjoying SF at a relaxing pace for a few nights. Rather than trying to fit in Yosemite too, when I don't really have time, since everyone says you need a few days and I'm also daunted by all that driving!

Thank you so much again and pls don't feel you've wasted your advice - I'm already planning to come properly, next year, and stay in the Park and do it properly!

Rosie
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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I just drove back from Yosemite and drove through Sonora. It is not only a two hour drive. It is a twisty, turning two hour drive that includes a five mile stretch of road between Big Oak Flat and Moccasin where there's an elevation change of close to 2,000 feet.

I hope you're able to visit Yosemite. It's incredibly gorgeous. But I sure hope that you can stay someplace closer to the park.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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JanisJ: THank you. They're all booked up at El Portal sadly. I tried really hard to find something there (that wasn't too expensive) and had no luck Sonora and Mariposa were the best I could find so I think perhaps it's not a good plan this time. Thank you ever so much. I'm new to fodors forums and am amazed and touched that several people have taken the time to respond and offer help to a stranger. Makes me more hopeful about humanity! Anyway, probably sounds crazy, I am English after all, we're all a bit soft in the head (for all our 'reserve')!
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:13 PM
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Shanti: Thanks, yes that's confirmed for me that I'm doing the right thing in leaving it this time and planning instead to come back and do it properly - staying in the Park itself! Thanks so much.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:38 PM
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OK -- w/ your latest info -- as sad as it makes me to say so -- I'd skip Yosemite this trip. To give you some perspective --Yosemite and NW Scotland are just about my two favorite places on Earth. And if someone was a bit worn down, I'd tell them to skip Skye too.

I'd take a more leisurely drive up the coast and stop wherever/whenever the body starts to flag. A week is a nice time for a bit of LA, 4 days on the coast, and a bit of SF. You would want to prebook for Fri/Sat nights along the coast - but if you are traveling on weekdays you can more wing it.

It is a shame -- but one day/night in Yosemite would entail a LOT of mountain driving and you'd really only have a few photo ops since you probably won't feel up to many walks.

YNP is magnificent -- if it is too much it is too much
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:26 PM
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Have you tried Yosemite West? These are condos and private homes on an inholding within the park boundaries. http://www.yosemitewest.com/
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Old May 4th, 2011, 07:29 PM
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I didn't mention Yosemite West because Rosie mentioned budget several times. Places in Yosemite West will cost more than the motels in El Portal, Mariposa, etc.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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Have you tried the Groveland/Buck Meadows area? There are about a dozen properties there a half-hour or less from the North entrance on Hwy 120, the most direct route from the Bay Area. The visitors bureau can hook you up:

www.tcvb.com
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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:27 AM
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Thank you all for your replies and input. I've decided to take the leisurely drive up the coast from LA to SF and let YNP go for this visit. Am going to plan out my coast drive today and try and get some things booked up!
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:21 AM
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Rosie have rented a car out of SFO

gone down to carmelcalifornia.com

then a 3 hour drive through Stienbeck country

to Oakhurst CA 10 minutes from the Mariposa Redwoods

at south gate of yosemite.com

For $59/nt stayed at Shiloh Inn had a view suite

and a yummy breakfast fee got to make my own Belgian waffles.

Would not do it as a day trip but easy as an overnite

Lots of cheap good lodging in Oakhurst.

mapquest.com directions distances.

Otherwise stay along the coast Big Sur Ventana.com

Hearst Castle nepenthebigsur.com

all amazing a do not miss for me.

Happy Planning,
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:23 AM
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http://www.orbitz.com/hotel/United_S...o_Inn_Oakhurst
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:27 AM
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www.ventanainn.com sorry missed the link above
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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I think it is a good choice to stick to the coast this trip. Come back another time for Yosemite
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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I always manage to get a room at the Lodge at the Falls because cancellations are inevitable and most travelers give up trying when they are told everything is booked up. If you want to spend a night in the park, don't give up.

HTTY
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Rosie: (don't bother clicking that Ventana Inn link -- it is VERY up market/expensive)
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Old May 5th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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I grew up near Oakhurst, and it's closer to 40 minutes from there to Yosemite's south entrance.

But I think you've made a good decision leaving Yosemite for another trip.

Lee Ann
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