Visiting Yosemite & Grand Canyon.

Mar 9th, 2012, 10:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Visiting Yosemite & Grand Canyon.

Hello, folks. My wife and I - we hail from Malaysia - are now planning for our trips to the Yosemite & the Grand Canyon, after visiting Boston.

We are thinking of 2-3 nights at the Yosemite. I was fortunate to have secured 4 nights (3 - 7 Sept 2012) at the Yosemite Lodge.From there, we're planning to also cover the Grand Canyon, again for 2-3 nights (no accommodation yet).

Questions:
1. What's the optimum stay at the Yosemite to cover most of the "must-see" sights? We've secured 4 nights at the Yosemite Lodge. We don't intend to do much hiking.
2. What are some of the "must-see" or "must-do"?
3. Self-drive or public transportation? If self-drive, what's the safest route from San Fran into the Valley?
4. Fom the Yosemite, is it possible to drive to the Grand Canyon? If yes, suggestions for the safest routes.
5. Where should we stay at the Canyon? Suggestions for accommodations please.
6. Which are the "must-see" sights at the Canyon?
7. Safe route back to San Fran.
8. Any suggestions for reasonably-priced & convenient accommodationat San Fran?

Thanks very much, Hope to hear from all you kind folks out there...real soon. C H
tch8 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2012, 10:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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1. Your number of nights at the lodge is great. You could do leisurely walks in the valley and elsewhere without much hiking. One day in the valley taking the free shuttle bus around. A meal at the awahnee restaurant? One day driving up to tuolumne meadows and lloking at view from olmstead point. Part of a day driving one hour south to the mariposa grove and you can take the little tram up tothe sequoia trees.
You can check the schedule for ranger talks. One of the nicest times to walk around the valley is early in the morning before most folks are up. Next best time is when everyone else is eating dinner. Just keep your food out of your car!
2. Covered that in#1
3. Rent a car. Drive from san franCISCO towards the east on hey 80 and hook up to 580 and 120. We take about 4.5 hrs. This goes through the town of manteca. Do a google map. Some folks go hwy 140, but we go 120 unless snow threatens.
4. Yes you can drive from yosemite to grand canyon but it is a long drive. Goggle says 824 miles by way of hwy 5 through bakersfield and says 12 hrs. But it would take me way longer than that in real time, and i would drive east from yosemite, over tioga pass to the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Not sure but it might be easier to drive to drive north Reno or back down the mountan to sacramento and then fly to ummmm flagstaff, AZ
San francisco lodging? Look at recent posts. What are you interested in?
suz24 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 12:27 AM
  #3  
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Hello suz24, many thanks for your suggestions.The drive from yosemite to gc is way too loooong...for me alone cuz wife does not drive. Is it more doable and realistic if we were to return the car at san fran and fly to gc instead? If so, any suggestions for #5,6? As for san fran - our fav US city - we have been there before - quite a few times, many many years ago, except that I can't remember where we stayed and many things have changed. This time, it will perhaps be a day at san fran to relive old fond memories - a convenient accommodation (more for transit) will be great.
tch8 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 03:47 AM
  #4  
 
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We had a room at the Lodge last year. Contact them and ask for a room that's not in the building directly facing the office. Nothing wrong with the rooms. However, that parking lot is reserved for tour buses from 8AM to 8PM. It's a pain looking for parking in another lot and them walking to your room.

I don't know if map programs or GPS units have been corrected. But when we went they were still trying to get us to take the Old Priest Grade road.

The old road is straighter but an extremely steep climb.

They build a new, slightly longer and much curvier road just to the left that greatly reduces the grade. Just drive that couple of miles very slowly.

You have several areas to the park. The Valley (typically people spend most of their time here), Tioga Road the the north, Glacier Point Road (don't miss the spectacular views), and the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias (I was somewhat disappointed here as I really expected more).
Myer is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 04:18 AM
  #5  
 
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Assuming you are planning to be there during the May-Oct period - I (well I drove and had my wife and sister and niece in the car) did the drive from the floor of Yo Valley to Las Vegas - up and over to Tuoloumne Meadows (stop for coffee) - and then down the Tioga Pass - down 395 and thru Death Valley. You can stop there for a little rest/see the Museum - and from Death Valley to Vegas is not that far - a couple of hours.

And I made good time on the well marked roads.

It took the better part of the day (7 plus hours actual driving time) - but if you want to drive back to SF (4 hrs) - and enjoy that for a day and then fly to say Phoenix (or even Flagstaff)and rent a car - it's about 4 hours from Phoenix to the GC a I recall.

Here are some maps - from Yo to Death Valley - 5 hrs or so driving time - and then from Death Valley to Vegas - about 2 hours.

http://tinyurl.com/6pkhjfc

http://www.nps.gov/deva/upload/Route...as%20Vegas.pdf
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 07:09 AM
  #6  
 
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Since you said you are not big on hiking, I think 2 or 3 nights would be plenty for Yosemite. From there, head over Tioga Pass and spend the night enroute to the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas or one of the other parks in Southrern Utah such as Zion or Bryce before heading to the GC. In early Sept. you could do the north rim of the Grand Canyon, if that would work out better than heading to the South Rim.

In SF. look for hotels in the areas of Union Square East or the Embarcadero. There are the big name hotels but also look at the smaller,boutique places for better prices.

Are flying in and out of SF?
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 07:12 AM
  #7  
 
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At the Grand Canyon, stay IN the park.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 10:14 AM
  #8  
 
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If you really don't want to drive from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon, you could drive back to San Francisco and fly to Las Vegas. Rent a car there and drive to the Grand Canyon.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 11:16 AM
  #9  
 
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If you did not want to double back to San Francisco after Yosemite, take the train from Emeryville (bus from SF) to Fresno. You have to take a taxi from the Fresno station to the airport to rent a car. Enter Yosemite from the south entrance. Return the car to the Fresno airport. Fly from Fresno to Las Vegas. Allegiant Airline flies this route (probably others).
Allegiant also has deals on rental cars, hotels shows etc. from Las Vegas allegiant.com
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 04:36 PM
  #10  
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Many thanks for all your kind suggestions...truly appreciated.

We definitely wish to capture as much of the wonder sights that Mother Nature has provided. If it's possible for us - clearly, it's possible for many others - to do the drive from Yosemite to GC, we'll do - if we can stop to enjoy more sights en route to GC. We're in the mid-60's (still healthy)and wish to do it when we're still able to. We've visited San Fran several times (as group tourists). Now, we wish to wander out on our own...

Can anyone kindly suggest itineraries for the following for us to maximise our time at Yosemite & GC for 3D/2N at each place?

1. Yosemite & GC,
2. Trip from Yosemite to GC plus possible sights/stops en route to GC.

I've scoured the Internet for info, but I think individual's experiences are way more enriching. Hence my seeking for your kind inputs. I believe many of you are seasoned travellers and have much to share. I've read about the Tioga Pass, Death Valley etc and am really fascinated yet somewhat discouraged by some reports of how difficult, intimidating, outright dangerous some journeys could be. If only some kind souls out there could help with suggestions of possible (safe)itineraries from their own past experiences, that would be stupendous. BTW, we're flying in from Malaysia to Boston and then back to Boston for home.
tch8 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 05:45 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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What is your time frame for SF, Yosemite, GC? Total days? You may want to skip GC for another trip, unless you end up flying back to Boston from say, Las Vegas or Phoenix. Depending on how much time you have, this may be too much to do. You could just stick to Northern California: SF, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Monterey and Carmel, Napa.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 07:32 PM
  #12  
 
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If you have a good rental car and take water along - and also have a cell phone - no problem going through Death Valley. Actually - there is enough traffic on the main roads that if you did have a breakdown (most unlikely with a new car)- someone would either stop or call for assistance for you.

Suggest you stay in the Valley Floor of Yo - check the main reservation site - and also for the GC - at Bright Angel or one of the lodges right on the South Rim. see: http://www.xanterra.com/
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 07:34 PM
  #13  
 
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And here is the site for Yo reservations: http://www.nationalparkreservations....FWYZQgoduD8PXw
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 07:55 PM
  #14  
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Good point. Actually my schedule is quite flexible. Here's my tentative planning:
1. dep Boston on 4 Sept am; arr SFO mid-day.
2. 2-3 nights at Yosemite
3. 2-3 nights at GC
4. 1 night at SFO
5. back to Boston Sept 14, which would give us a good 10 days.

I would appreciate really all your insights on how best to maximise this time to enjoy the National Parks in the area.

If it's possible for us to cover as much as possible during our journeys from Yosemite to GC and GC to SFO, that would be great. If folks could also propose doable itineraries for these 2 legs, we'll be grateful. If we're too ambitious, then we could consider flying back from LV/Phoenix to Boston. Really open to suggestions. We've been to Monterey, Carmel & Napa and thoroughly enjoyed them.

This time, we wish to cover the great US outdoors - the wonders of nature.
tch8 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 08:05 PM
  #15  
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I'm trying to book lodging inside the GC park now. The website says there are 7 lodgings inside the park. Any good suggestions for not-to-expensive ones? Anyones to avoid?
tch8 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 09:42 PM
  #16  
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I've checked the sites for lodgings inside the park (s.rim). To date, only 1 king rm w/ bath available for dates that I wanted at the Yavapai Lodge. That would soon go away, I guess. I'll continue to monitor the sites for possible changes.

Any insights on this lodge, please?
tch8 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 10:28 PM
  #17  
 
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Reserve it but keep checking. Rooms are always opening up. We stayed at the Bright Angel cabins which are a little closer to the rim but Yavapi would be fine.

Hopefully, others will offer more info for your trip and route from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 10:31 PM
  #18  
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Yes, MichelleY, I've just reserved it anyway. Thank you.
tch8 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 10:40 PM
  #19  
 
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The only problem with going to the GC is you having to go ALL that way back to SF to fly to Boston. Try to find out what one way drop fees would be in LV or Phoenix and then do some cost comparing.

The western US is large and distances vast.
MichelleY is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 11:01 PM
  #20  
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Yes, I will definitely do that. Now, I have 3 nights (8 - 10 Sept) at GC (S. Rim). I really hope now that some kind folks could suggest interesting itineraries for the 2 drives from Yo to GC and GC to SFO that would capture as much of the natural parks as possible. It would be great if each leg of the journey captures a different set of scenic sights/places. Otherwise, I'll definitely consider dropping the car at LV/Phoenix, or at worst cancel the GC trip altogether.

Please folks, help me out. Thanks.
tch8 is offline  

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