Yosemite in one day

Old Jul 9th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Yosemite in one day

We will be traveling through Yosemite from South Lake Tahoe headed eventually to San Francisco. We have only the one day to see what we can see in the park. As of this moment we are planning to drive into the park from the east driving south from Tahoe on 395 entering the park on 120, Tioga Road. Please, please advise on highlights we can experience in just one day. I have heard of Yosemite Falls, The Tunnel, and The Valley but have no idea are these are things to see from the car or if a hike is necessary. Any help at all will be appreciated!!!!!!
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 08:03 AM
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So you probably need to look at a map of the valley. Here's a link to the Yosemite Guide which you should get as you enter the park:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/yg12-5.pdf


None of the items on your list require hiking. You can stop along Tioga Pass to see the sights like Olmsted Point. Then you can see the valley including Yosemite Falls which will probabaly not be flowing all that strong now since the snow melt is over. Tunnel view you can see after your visit to teh valley but then you'll have to back track to teh valley to exit the park to SF.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Thanks Suzie!!! This is EXACTLY what I needed and could not find!!!!!
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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As I just posted on your other blog - when you get to the Valley Floor/Village/main area - park the car somewhere and ride the bus around - and from the visitor's center - you can walk down to look up at the Upper and Lower Falls.

A bit further beyond these main falls (just a short ride on a bike) is El Capitan - where if you have some binos - you can sit in the meadow and spot rock clmbers making their way up the sheer face. http://tinyurl.com/7bf9tj7
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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Long time Yosemite Ranger Carl Sharsmith was once asked what people should do if they have one day to see Yosemite:

http://www.yosemite-motels.com/itineraries/one_day.htm

The above itinerary will have to suffice, but remember that you'll be doing two things as you exit:
1) kicking yourself for scheduling only one day to see Yosemite.
2) starting to plan your return visit, during which you give yourself enough time.

And I say this only half in jest.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Skip it and save it for later. This is like going to Disney, riding one ride, then leaving. IMOP.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Last year we bought 1 day park hopper passes and all the Disneyland experts said you need at least 2 days. We got to Disneyland early and left late,. Had the time of our lives. We only had 1 day so we did the best we could. It's certainly better than not going at all. That's probably how Maggie feels about Yosemite. I say go for it, you only live once.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Suzie, is right! This started out as just a quick birthday party trip to Vegas. When we realized that we could get away for the rest of the week we wanted to squeeze in as much as possible. This little snapshot visit will help us better plan a return when we have more time. You all's help if FANTASTIC!!!
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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I think you are doing something like the following.
Vegas, Flying to Reno, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite(including Trees, Valley, and Tioga rd), Berkley, San Francisco, and Wine Country.

All of this in 6 days? Different things for different people, but really you aren't even going to get a "snapshot overview" of any of it. You might as well go ahead and throw in Carmel and Monterey also.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Do figure in the cost of car rental drop fees from Tahoe to San Francisco or are you driving back to Reno?
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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spirolbulldog. You are re-hashing old news. We went over all that on other threads. After reading and discussing it (thoroughly) they decided to give it a shot. No need to revisit all the options/issues ( been there - done that )
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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I did read the other thread not threads.

"Thanks friends! I was getting panicky and DH reminded me that this was supposed to be a relaxing road trip to just be together and see some of the beautiful sights our great country has to offer, RELAX!! Man, did I marry right or what!!!! We are going to book this thing this evening an consider it an adventure...whatever happens - happens!! Thanks again for all the wonderful advice. It certainly sounds as if I will be returning to plan another trip to this part of the country when we have more time to explore!"
No Way is this a relaxing trip.
Just yesterday OP was thinking of taking a train. Just a few days ago was headed in a different direction to Seattle.


"Maggie101 on Jul 8, 12 at 9:58am Okay experts, I am getting ready to book this trip and I am so insecure I need someone to tell me it will work out great"
Just posted yesterday, so I can re-hash all I want to. There is no way this is gonna all work out great. You have way way to much your trying to accomplish in a week. Your going to spend nearly the entire time in a car, unloading suitcases, checking into hotels, checking in airlines, cars, train(whatever means of multiple transportations you decide). The only place that I see you actually spending time at is Vegas.

I'm not trying to be negative, I'm being realistic.
You can't fly from Vegas to Reno, see Lake Tahoe, then head thru Yosemite(and actually see anything there)then be in Berkley all in the span of two days. Not to mention if the airplane was delayed. And 1 day in San Francisco, really?

To my original point. This isn't like Disney in a day, it's Disney in an hour.

The last thing I saw was a Weds Thurs, Fri, and Sat. Those four days included leaving Vegas, getting to Reno, see Lake Tahoe, se Yosemite, see Berkley, see San Francisco/alcatraz, and possibly a wine tour. Can't be done. I'm not saying it can't be done by getting from point A to B to C to D to F. I'm saying your not going to be able to really stop and see anything at any of the points.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Janis, who made you the police over me and tom's on the other post? We can offer suggestion on here just like you can.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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>>

I agree it "can't be done" if a wine tour is included. But the rest, I don't see why not.

Wednesday - fly to Reno in the morning, get car, drive to and around Lake Tahoe, stopping as desired (Incline Village, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, DL Bliss State Park, Emerald Bay, etc). You could even drive from Reno to Truckee on 80 (40 minutes), have lunch in Truckee, poke around a bit, and still have time to take a fairly leisurely drive down at least one side of the lake. The lake is only 71 miles in circumference.

Thursday - leave Tahoe very early a.m., drive to, through and around Yosemite per earlier posts, leave park late and drive to Modesto to sleep.

Friday - leave Modesto, drive to Berkeley (not sure why -- if this is just to stay outside the city, I'd probably not, better to get into the city and have more time there, but if Berkeley itself is on the agenda, then it works).

Saturday - spend the day in San Francisco, including Alcatraz.

By the way, in case noone mentioned it, you should pre-book Alcatraz as it does sell out.

This is the official site:

http://www.nps.gov/alca/index.htm
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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The cruises for Alcatraz are booked via:

http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Maggie was never going to take a train until a Fodorite suggested that.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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Sprio: We all travel a bit differently - but I usually like a first visit to an area to be a "survey" type trip and then - to come back later to return to the places where I really want to spend more time, or use as a base for more exploring.

From Reno to Lake Tahoe - and driving around the Lake (or at least down one side) - to see that emerald beauty is doable in one day. Personally - rather than have lunch in Truckee - I would stop at a place that is on the Lake and has a nice view looking down/across the lake.

And as for leaving there the nezt day (again, way early is my best suggestion) I think you can go down 395 to come in the east side of Yo- via the Tioga Pass - through Tuoloumne Meadows and over to the Valley floor - arriving sometime in the early afternoon if not before - depending on how much you stopped along the way.

I think this page that PaulR provided http://www.yosemite-motels.com/itineraries/one_day.htm shows the main highlights in the valley floor - and other than having a long lunch - I think you can see most of them - or at least get an overview of the area - while - hopefully - making plans to return again.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Wow, I really didn't mean for my indecision to cause such a stir!

You are correct a train was never in our plan, though it sounds lovely. We have been aware of the drop off fee for our car rental all along. We have done this sort of thing on many, many trips and we have found it to be worth the $$ for the convenience.

Berkley is OUT! It was just a stopping point out of the city to begin with and it was determined that it was too far to drive on that day. You are absolutely correct that no one can see San Francisco in one day or two days. We have visited SF several times and one of the things that DH regretted was not going to Alcatraz (mostly because of me! I had other things I wanted to see in SF so he gave Alcatraz up) Making sure that my DH got to see Alcatraz and getting another night or two in one of my favorite cities was the reason we were visiting. We contemplated staying one more day to do a shuttle wine tour but threw it out as DH felt he needed to get back to his business on Monday.

Because of all the valuable information I have been given on this board I am very aware that there is no way to see and do all that Yosemite has to offer in one day. We have plenty of air miles. Since we only have the one day would you really advise us to skip Yosemite and fly straight to SF from Lake Tahoe?? I say absolutely not! I liked the advice that we were given to just "Go for it!" It is, what it is, and IMHO one day is better than nothing!! We truly enjoy each others company and traveling by car in beautiful surroundings with no phone or secretary bothering us sounds like a relaxing day...even if it is 16 hours long.

I really appreciate the information about Alcatraz. I was not aware that it may sell out! It would be awful if we got to SF and he couldn't check Alcatraz off of his bucket list!!!

Again thank you for your help...and sorry I caused such friction :/
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Personally - rather than have lunch in Truckee - I would stop at a place that is on the Lake and has a nice view looking down/across the lake.

Agreed! One very nice place on the lake is WestShore Cafe.

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/wtRR0...dWt4MjI3hTWAlw
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Old Jul 10th, 2012, 10:37 AM
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Hi I just came from there and hopefully this hasn't already been said.
Yosemite Falls were trickling down the last week in June and are probably out by now. Bridalveil Falls still looked good and are a quick walk. Vernal Falls looked good and would take a few hours of steep climbing but oh so pretty. You could even stop at the base if you needed to to save time but the area near the top of the falls is the prettiest. Ride a shuttle to the trailhead to save time.

Mirror Lake is a slither so maybe skip it. It was pretty and we enjoyed the meadow but is a lot smaller than usual. Snow melt was 50% of usual this year whereas last year it was 200%.

Don't waste time in a restaurant. The Ahwanee isn't worth missing the natural areas. We saw Glacier Point which was cool but not worth it on a one day trip. So to sum up, if it were me I would do Vernal Falls and Bridalveil Falls. You can look at Yosemite Falls from the shuttle bus stop and take photos 100 yards from there without going on the trail since it is probably dried up by now. There are also 2 museums you might visit if you have the time for a quick walk-through.

When we were at Alcatraz on July 4th, a sign said they were sold out until July 18th so 2 weeks out at that time. Be warned that during the day the last boat leaves at 6:10 but they start pushing everyone to the ferry at 5:40 and they stay on your heels until you get there. We did the 3:20 tour and you don't get off of at the island until 3:45. Two hours wasn't enough for us. There were a lot of neat burned out buildings, flowers, birds, city skyline etc. to photograph besides the prison. There is also a small exhibit and film if you want. We would have preferred 3 hours.
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