specific's q about yosemite trip

Apr 19th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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specific's q about yosemite trip

we are going to be heading from south lake tahoe to yosemite on the 5th of may. we have bookings at the yosemite lodge at the falls for the night of the 6th and the 7th.


1.) are there any wineries worth visiting on the way from south lake tahoe to yosemite valley? that way we can cut our trip to napa. we dont drink alcohol so the wine tasting is not neccasrily a big draw for us.

2.) what kind of weather should we be expecting and what kind of clothes do you suggest? clothes for two adults and a 3 year old.

3.) we will have a rental from san francisco.......is a suv or minivan better than a regular compact car to drive through the yosemite valley? in terms of better viewwing, gas mileage or better horsepower...any other criterions that might be applicable? Plus since there is no gas available in the valley itself...what is the best place to fill up if we are entering from the tioga pass entrance.

4.) what kind of foods should we take into yosemite valley considering they have limited stores and the food there must cost quite a bit.

5.) any ideas as to how to configure our trip? right now we are flexible....only that we have to reach san francisco anytime on the 8th. we can leave any time pn the 5th from south lake tahoe.

6.) no bookings yet made for south lake tahoe. any recommendations for accomodations?

thanks for your help.
borivlikar1 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Tioga Pass is closed and will not likely open unti late May. You cannot enter the park from the east side until Tioga Pass opens. You will have to go through one of the west entrances.

You should go to the www.tripadvisor.com site for USA forums/California/Yosemite National Park. The answers to your questions are there.
Placename is offline  
Apr 19th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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We have been to the Ironstone Vineyard winery. It has a beautiful setting. It might make a nice stop for you. There is a map on the website.

bratsandbeer is offline  
Apr 19th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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From South Lake Tahoe I recommend driving on US 50 to the turnoff south to Highway 89 at Myers (still in the Tahoe basin) and taking it over the small pass to Highway 88. Then turn right (west) on 88 and follow it for about 1 1/2 hours to Jackson. It's a beautiful drive, with some pretty lakes at the upper part, and in Jackson you can connect with Highway 4 South to get to one of the western approaches to Yosemite. You should get a good-sized map of California to help you with this.

Jackson is in the Gold Rush country, and there are vineyards in the area, but I don't know which ones. You really don't need an suv or van for the driving you will do.
charnees is offline  
Apr 19th, 2009, 04:57 PM
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1.) I agree with bratsanbeer about Ironstone. If you don't drink alcohol, this winery would probably be the most interesting since it has a number of displays, an interesting gift shop/tasting room and a small museum. On weekdays, they have a tour at 1:30 but you probably won't make that if you leave Tahoe in the afternoon.


There are other wineries in Murphys too if you do get interested in visiting some others.

2.) Weather in early May is usually very nice. Expect warm days and cool nights. So dress in layers. At Tahoe, you might run into a snowstorm. They do happen that late in the season, although very rare. If there is a storm warning, you might want to leave Tahoe early because you might not make it then to Yosemite for your two nights at the Lodge. Pay attention to the weather reports.

3.) You don't need a large car. A regular rental car will be fine for Yosemite Valley. The Valley is only a few miles long. It's best to park at the Lodge and take the tram around to the different locations in the Valley.

4.) If you have special needs regarding foods, pick them up in Tahoe. Tahoe has some great supermarkets. In Yosemite Valley, there is a grocery store and several restaurants. Usually, people who stay in the Lodge eat in the restaurants.

5.) I would take Hwy 88 down to Hwy 49 on your drive from Tahoe to Yosemite. This is more scenic than driving Hwy 50 which is mostly in a valley. Take a look at a map to see how to get to 88.

6.) Where you stay in Tahoe depends on what you will be doing there. If you want casino life, it's best to stay near Stateline. If you want a more quiet stay then the North Shore might be better at that time of year. There are many options at Tahoe.
Supercilious is offline  
Apr 19th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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You do not need a 4 wheel drive car or SUV for the drive to Yosemite or in Yosemite itself.
Michael is online now  
Apr 20th, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Be aware that you cannot leave food in your car overnight when staying in Yosemite Valley.
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Apr 20th, 2009, 07:06 AM
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Here's a link to a picture of the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite from yesterday showing why it's not open, and won;t be for a while! They usually update every day.

Barbara is offline  
Apr 20th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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It's not only the snow. The road needs to be cleared of downed trees, rocks. A couple of years there have been avalances up near Olmstead Point, and they had to bring in heavy equipment to removed the rock and stabilize the hill. So, just seeing bare road at the Tioga Pass entrance does not mean the road will be open imminently. You can check with the NPS.gov site to see the progress.

At the base of Tioga Pass, outside the park, there is a large metal gate across the road, so you can't even start to drive up the pass until the road is fully open.
Placename is offline  
Apr 20th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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Buying groceries in advance is difficult for Yosemite Lodge guests, as there are no cooking facilities at the lodge and you absolutely must NOT leave any food in your car, not even the trunk. Bears are very good and smelling the food and breaking into the car. You may keep food in your room at the lodge but then you might need an ice chest.

You may want to bring a few snacks and favorite foods for your child, but there are casual dining options in Yosemite Valley that should meet your needs. The cafeteria at the lodge will have salads, pasta dishes, and other vegetarian options. The grocery store in the Valley is large and well-stocked. And near the store, Degnan's offers a deli and cafe with soups, pizza, etc.
enzian is offline  
Apr 20th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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I agree that you don't need to stock up on food before entering Yosemite - a small ice chest with some snacks and little kid food should do fine. The grocery in Yosemite is pretty good anyway. And definitely bring the ice chest into your lodge room, as well as any gum, candy, lotion, etc. that you may have in the car.
november_moon is offline  
Apr 20th, 2009, 10:39 PM
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The temps in Yosemite are going to be in the 80's tomorrow when we get there, but by the end of the week it's going to be in the 50's. I say this because this won't be the first time I've worn shorts in April but I've also seen snow in Yosemite Valley in May. I suggest checking the 10 day forcast before heading out, because Spring weather is very unpredictable.

utahtea is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 06:04 AM
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thanks for your replies....can anyone then suggest the fastest/shortest route from south lake tahoe to the correct open entrance of yosemite valley? notwithstanding our detour to ironstone vineyards.

also need some help with what we can do inside the park? my son loves water so waterfalls would be the first option. we can do horseback ride so that's an option. i love walking trails and doing nature hikes but my wife and child may not be able to keep up.which shuttles should we do first and in what order if anyone has ideas? also what specific locations should we visit in our rental car that the shuttles wont cover? please be as specific and detailed as u can be in this answer.

I am beginning to think that the food might be passable enough for us not to carry too much except dry food that might work for the kid. also from ysoemite lodge at the falls, what breakfast/dining options would be best for us considering our restrictions? absolutely no salads for us unfortunately.

And when we leave yosemite any recommendations on what route to take to reach san francisco? any idyllic spots on the way, low traffic times in SF etc. we are going to be staying at a hotel in union square/nob hill area.
borivlikar1 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 06:08 AM
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also if anyone of u is from SF....i am going to buy the muni pass for me,wife and the kid. But any recos on the BART pass? we will be in SF on the 1st ( from SFO to hotel),2nd( pretty much whole day),7th,8th( whole day),9th( only need to reach SFO). While in SF we will cover alcatraz,golden gate park,fisherman's wharf and we are planning to drive down the scenic 17 mile drive called the cur?
borivlikar1 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 08:57 AM
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Within SF you will not need to use BART. Busses and streetcars will be sufficient. There are seigns for a 49 mile drive around SF, I do not know anyone who has done it, but am unfamiliar with a 17 mile drive, aside from the one in Carmel.
Michael is online now  
Apr 21st, 2009, 11:39 AM
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4) I would not bring any food except something specific for the baby. There is a "food court" with affordable food for all ages, all tastes, and a small shop next door.

San Francisco: BART is a system of local trains connecting the city with east and south towns. They do not have passes. Have small bills to get exact tickets. Or you can pay more, and use the rest of the ticket later. It will have an electronic stamp how much money left on it.

San Francisco buses are called MUNI, and a 3-year-old rides free (up to 5 or 6 years old, I forgot). The pass you will buy, it will cover buses, trolleys, streetcars, cable cars.

17 mile drive is in Monterey. Are you confusing it with Big Sur? Is this what you mean by "cur"?
Dayenu is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 01:02 PM
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In Yosemite, your child will be too young to ride the horses but biking is a great option, walking the trails... dropping sticks off the bride and watching them go down the river will entertain little ones for hours. You can ride the trams all over the place and get off at each stop to walk to the falls. Have a wonderful time.
onemoneygirl is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Barbara- the photo of Tioga Pass is great! What is the website? and are their other parts of Yosemite with a daily photo?
bwg is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 01:39 PM
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In Yosemite Valley there is the free shuttle and then there is the tram tour. The free shuttle is just a bus that takes people around to various points in the valley - soley transportation. The tram tour takes a couple hours and go ride in these open air cars pulled by a truck - sort of like a train, but no tracks. This tour is a lot of fun and leaves from the Lodge, so it is quite convinient.
november_moon is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 03:30 PM
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That photo is from the NPS website.


Under "quicklinks", click on "current conditions & facilities status"

Next, on the right side of the page, click on Yosemite webcams, and there you are.

Today's pic shows that they have stared ploughing.
Barbara is offline  

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