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Salt Lake City to Yosemite then to Yellowstone

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Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:17 PM
  #1
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Salt Lake City to Yosemite then to Yellowstone

Help! I am trying to plan a trip to see a few sites in Yosemite (sequoias, yosemite falls, and el capitan) and made my original plans to go to Yellowstone (where I usually go every year). I will be flying into Salt Lake City. I got a great deal on a car rental for 7 days in SLC ($159 unltd miles) and am hoping to drive from SLC to Yosemite -- then to Yellowstone where I'd like to spend a few days before heading back to SLC.

Can this trip be done in 7 days? (I don't mind staying in a different place each night)
If so,
--what is best route to take? (through Ely?, through carson city?)
-- where is best place to stay (just need a place to sleep with coffeemaker) near Yosemite? (There is a room at the Days Inn-Oakhurst)
Can I see the three things I mentioned above in Yosemite in one day?

I like to view lakes, mountains, bears, and birds. I cannot hike anything strenuous and don't need to stay at fancy hotels.

My travel dates are in June 2011.

Thanks,
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Perhaps your style of travel is different than what I prefer. I don't think 7 days is enough to do what you are describing and have it be enjoyable.

I would spend your time in either one or the other park .

If you already have booked your flight to SLC would you consider an alternative that requires less driving ? Jackson Hole/Teton National Park is beautiful.

Or go south to Zion and Bryce . If you are traveling in early June it will still be cool enough and pleasant.

There are limited lodgings inside Yosemite. Staying outside of the park means yet more driving and less time to enjoy the park.

I hope you decide against this itinerary and elect to enjoy your visit in a more leisurely fashion. I usually don't find that a week is enough time for for Yosemite or Yellowstone ! Take care.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:47 PM
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Just in case I am being too subtle... let me state clearly ... absolutely not, this is not doable.

Sorry I just want to be sure you don't even consider this itinerary. It takes us half a day to drive just from SFO to Yosemite !
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:54 PM
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carolyn,

Driving from SLC to Yosemite will take you 12 hours or longer. Plus, it's a pit of a boring drive between SLC and Reno. I did it once and hope never to do it again (I live in SLC).

Trying to drive that far on a 7 day trip, then see Yosemite in 1 day is ridiclous.

Either make this a CA trip or a Yellowstone/Grand Teton trip. Can't do both in 7 days driving.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 07:52 PM
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Of the 42 national parks I've been to, Yosemite and Yellowstone are at the top of my favorites. I normally would NEVER tell anyone not to go to either.

But you can NOT see both of them in seven days if you start in and return to Salt Lake City. Don't even try.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Here are some things to consider:

1. In early-mid June, Tioga Pass may not yet be open, which means a detour of about 4 more hours to get to Oakhurst.

2. You still have to drive about 45 min from Oakhurst into the park.

3. You could technically do the three things you mentioned, or you could just buy a video, because that's all you are going to remember of it.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 11:27 PM
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Nope -- no way -- nigh on impossible.

Salt Lake City to Yosemite Valley is more than 800 miles and easily 15-16 hours w/o ANY stops.

YNP (yosemite) to YNP (yellowstone) is more than 1000 miles and 20+ hours driving w/o ANY stops.

And staying in Oakhurst means 90 minutes each way to/from the Valley

So basically you would be driving the entire time

(Tioga Pass will probably be closed until at least mid/late June)
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Apr 24th, 2011, 01:01 AM
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I agree that it would be really tough to do both Yosemite and Yellowstone in 7 days.

IF you decided to go, then I'd take I-80 to Wendover then South on 93 to Ely and then South on 6 past Tonopah, NV to Benton, CA and take Hwy 120 into Yosemite if the pass is open.

To get to Yellowstone, I'd head back over Hy 120, take 395 up to Carson City and head across I-80. At Wells, NV head north on Hwy 93 which is a little quicker and you wont' have to retrace your tracks to Salt Lake City.

Oakhurst is really out of your way, I'd shoot for El Portal

Day 1 Salt Lake City to El Portal is 615 miles...that's going to be one LONG day.

Day 2 Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and Sequoia Trees can be done in one day, but you won't be able to spend much time at each.

Day 3 El Portal to West Yellowstone is 890 miles so that's going to take at least 1 1/2 days

Day 4 Arrive Yellowstone
Day 5 Yellowstone
Day 6 Yellowstone
Day 7 Drive back to Salt Lake City 321 miles

Do you really only want to spend 2 1/2 days in Yellowstone, one day in Yosemite and 3 1/2 days just driving?

BTW, I actually enjoy driving thought Nevada.

Utahtea
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Apr 24th, 2011, 05:48 AM
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Thanks to all who responded. I have decided to go to Yellowstone (lodging is easier to find) -- AND -- plan a trip to Yosemite at a later date.

Now -- for my Yosemite questions! Where is best place to fly into for Yosemite in early June? I will plan on staying IN the park.

thanks again for all your help.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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For Yosemite -- pick whichever one gets you the best fare/schedule. But all things being equal -- the order of ease of access to Yosemite is:

1) Fresno (highly unlikely you'd get a decent fare - a very limited access airport)
2) Sacramento
3) San Jose
4) Oakland
5) San Francisco.

3, 4 & 5 are just about six of one/half dozen of the other.

Assuming you can't get anything decent into Fresno, I'd choose Sacramento if the schedules worked.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Sacramento definitely. I usually take Hwy 16 out of Sac to 49S. Plan plenty of time on 49 to Groveland which I would use as base camp for a Yosemite Visit rather than stay in the valley. Less expensive, nice accommodations, everything from yurts to hotels. Most of what you really want to see is not in the valley anyway and a couple of day trips or an overnight stay at the Ahwahnee $$$$$$$ but worth it is plenty for the Valley if no strenuous hikes are on the menu.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 04:59 PM
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I would 100% NOT stay in Groveland if there was anything available in the Valley. One absolutely does not have to be as 'spendy' as the Ahwahnee -- but Groveland is 50 miles/90 minutes from the Valley.

Groveland is a sweet little place -- but to see Yosemite - stay in Yosemite Valley. Otherwise you spend hours a day just commuting back and forth.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 06:09 PM
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The Yosemite Lodge in the Valley , or any of the other accomodations within the village is worthwhile to avoid commuting. They do fill up quickly but rooms do open up as reservations are canceled ,so worth rechecking frequently.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 11:12 PM
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Glad you are making two different trips. Please try to find lodging in Yosemite Valley. If you can't find anything on the first try, keep checking back for cancellations!

Utahtea
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Apr 25th, 2011, 08:08 AM
  #15
 
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Cheapest flight you will find to Fresno (FAT) is from Las Vegas on Allegiant Airlines. http://www.allegiantair.com/
The car rental was not too bad. Gas prices in CA seem to be getting worse. Depending on when you get into Fresno, you might want to spend the night in Oakhurst and come in the south entrance in the morning.
I would not fly into SLC for a low rental car price. LV beats them all the time. The last $2.999 gas I bought was in early January in LV.
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Apr 25th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Tom -- "I would not fly into SLC for a low rental car price. LV beats them all the time. The last $2.999 gas I bought was in early January in LV."

if the carolyn is going to Yellowstone are you actually suggesting she fly into Las Vegas?? That doubles the distance and more than doubles the drive time! Sometimes the mind boggles . . .

(and Jan. gas prices have no bearing on today let alone in June. But today -- best price you'll find in LV is about $3.75 which is about .20¢ MORE than the current prices in SLC . . . .)
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Apr 25th, 2011, 10:23 AM
  #17
 
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She asked about how to get to the Fresno airport to go to Yosemite after she decided it was two trips.
I have rented in Las Vegas and SLC within the last 6 months.
Glad to hear that gas is still less than $4.00 in both places.
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Apr 25th, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Tom: "She asked about how to get to the Fresno airport to go to Yosemite after she decided it was two trips."

I don't see anywhere that carolyn asked that . . .

You mentioned SLC and LV together as though one was an alternative to the other. I'm sooooo confused.
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