Yosemite June 2023

Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 05:36 AM
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Yosemite June 2023

Some Yosemite questions:

I am on my last bucket list item in California, Yosemite. This is likely my only visit. Planning on June 6-10, 2023.

Lodging: I have found that it usually makes sense to stay inside a national park. Yosemite Valley Lodge caught my eye since this seems to be a good balance between affordability and location, rooms go for $288 plus tax. Unfortunately, that is booked up now so I booked Curry Village to have something. Maybe cancellations will show up at YV Lodge for part or all of the stay.

Are there rentals close to the park entrance that make sense to consider also? It’s nice to have a kitchen, but it is also nice to not have to queue for entry in the morning and bother with reservations.

Priorities for visit:

-Reasonable flow of water in major waterfalls (checking the webcam of Yosemite Falls today the volume of water now would not be satisfactory).

-Glacier Point shuttle is in operation so that a ride up then a hike down into the valley is possible, I see that the road is nearly always open by the third week of May

-No smoke in the air

Nice to have:

-Not extremely crowded.

-Access to Olmsted Point

Is 4 nights enough for Yosemite if there is an entire day lost to a single hike? I am thinking Glacier Point down to the valley floor for the long hike. For someone who is uncomfortable with heights (but had no problem climbing the chains at Ayers Rock, 800 ft gain, 1 mile long), is the half dome climb recommended?

Last edited by tom_mn; Jun 23rd, 2022 at 05:40 AM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 06:22 AM
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There are rentals in nearby Yosemite West and Foresta (any place else will be 1 to 2+ hours from the Valley and to be avoided)

There will likely be cancellations at Yosemite Valley Lodge because, as you've discovered) people book months ahead and plans change. But another place to look is Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal just outside the west entrance to the Park. It is a very large, nice motel on the river. My order of preference (assuming the Ahwahnee was out of the budget) would be 1) Yosemite Valley Lodge, 2) Yosemite View Lodge, 3) Curry Village, 4) Cedar Lodge (also in El Portal). Curry Village is on the Valley floor of course so location may trump quality of accommodations to move it up to #2.

I think 4 days is a perfect length of time if one is doing a bit of hiking. No way of telling now what the waterfalls or smoke situation will be next year. Waterfalls entirely depend on the snow pack built up over the winter, and smoke depends on if there are any wid fires in the general area. Typically the waterfalls are at their best from late April through mid June. And 'normally' June is before serious fire season.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 06:30 AM
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Re Half Dome -- I did it once years ago, when it was much less crowded (permits were not required). The video on the NPS website give a terrific view and explanation of what to expect. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 06:56 AM
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Thanks, checking I see that the half dome lottery for permits is about a 20% success rate so not even a likely possibility.

Yosemite View Lodge looks great but it also has booking availability issues, they seem to only open up reservations 90 days in advance and already for that 90th say the cheapest rooms are taken. Cedar View looks good too and easier to reserve, but again next June isn't open yet except for non-refundable rates and I want to be able to cancel.

I found the flow of the Merced River online and it appears that the flow has dropped about 50% since early June.

I was able to reserve Kings Canyon lodging for 2 nights, I hope that is enough.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 10:05 AM
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Looks like you are there just after the full moon. There is a small possibility that you'll be able to view a moonbow on Yosemite Falls.
This site is currently giving the 2022 predictions, but they'll presumably switch over to 2023 at some point.
https://www.yosemitemoonbow.com/

Good luck on your Half Dome permit.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 01:01 PM
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If Glacier Point road is closed you can always hike up 4mile trail from the valley, then take the Panorama trail back down.
It's a good prep hike for the trek up Half Dome, maybe with a rest day in between...

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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 08:44 PM
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I love the Ahwahnee Dining room. Breakfast and lunch are very nice there and cost a bit more $ than other dining options in the valley but the ambiance and views from the windows are beautiful. Very casual attire is fine for breakfast and dinner. Dinner is also fun there but a bit more pricey. They used to require nice attire for dinner but it has become much more casual, no shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, flip-flops, or baseball caps.
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Old Jun 24th, 2022, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
There are rentals in nearby Yosemite West and Foresta (any place else will be 1 to 2+ hours from the Valley and to be avoided)

There will likely be cancellations at Yosemite Valley Lodge because, as you've discovered) people book months ahead and plans change. But another place to look is Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal just outside the west entrance to the Park. It is a very large, nice motel on the river. My order of preference (assuming the Ahwahnee was out of the budget) would be 1) Yosemite Valley Lodge, 2) Yosemite View Lodge, 3) Curry Village, 4) Cedar Lodge (also in El Portal). Curry Village is on the Valley floor of course so location may trump quality of accommodations to move it up to #2.

I think 4 days is a perfect length of time if one is doing a bit of hiking. No way of telling now what the waterfalls or smoke situation will be next year. Waterfalls entirely depend on the snow pack built up over the winter, and smoke depends on if there are any wild fires in the general area. Typically the waterfalls are at their best from late April through mid June. And 'normally' June is before serious fire season.
Great answer by janisj! How much snow falls in the winter and how fast it melts in spring are not predictable.. If you have to stay outside the park, there is YARTS bus service that goes into the park from Merced and Fresno. The first bus into the park is at the El Portal Post Office between 0730 and 0740 every day. The fare this year is about $10/person each way (cash or credit card). Many years ago I drove into the park and had a tough time finding a parking spot. We stayed at the "BUG" hostel near Midpines. There was a YARTS bus stop at the foot of the driveway there. Visit yarts.com for this years schedule which ends in September.
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Old Jun 24th, 2022, 10:33 AM
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If Glacier Point Road reopens on time after construction, the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point hikes are worth looking into rather than the full hike down to the Valley, also not so difficult for the height-challenged.

Another hike is Mist Fall trail, to as far as you want up to the top of Vernal Falls. Scenery and not as difficult.. Staying in Curry Village has the advantage of being able to walk to the trailhead instead of waiting for the shuttle bus.

We alway stay in Camp Curry. Sometimes you do get lucky and the motel units show up on the booking website.
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Old Jun 25th, 2022, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the additional advice, especially on hikes.

I knew in-park lodging was in demand but I didnít think 11-1/2 months out would be too late. Even in Kings Canyon I was only able to get 2 nights in a cabin but maybe that will be enough. If I go straight from Yosemite that gives 4 hours of daylight to explore one sequoia grove, a full day for a hike (Morro Rock?), then a half day for another sequoia grove.

Assuming using SMF for nonstop convenience and because itís an easy airport, how much time would a stop to tour the capitol consume, and anything else nearby worth checking out if flight time allows?
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Old Jun 25th, 2022, 06:04 PM
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If you wanted to rent a car from a downtown location in Sacramento, (might be cheaper) you can take a Sacramento Regional bus (Rt. 142) or a Yolo bus (42A) from SMF to downtown Sacramento.
Many years ago I did get a tour inside the capitol building but I don't know if they are still available. The capitol grounds east of the building are nice with trees with identifiers next to them.
Another way to get from Sacramento to Yosemite without renting a car is to take a bus/train combo from SAC to Stockton and San Joaquin train to Merced where you connect to the YARTS bus into the park.
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Old Jun 28th, 2022, 01:05 PM
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The Capitol, Capitol Park and Rose Garden should take 2 hours. . Old Sac is OK but I am not a fan. Railroad Museum is fabulous and could eat up another couple of hours.
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Old Jun 28th, 2022, 06:55 PM
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If you are at all in to art galleries -- definitely visit the Crocker. A lot larger and more diverse collections than many realize. https://www.crockerart.org. I would actually devote time to the Railroad Museum and/or the Crocker over the Capitol. Capitol Park used to be great but except for the Vietnam Memorial and the rose Garden -- much of the rest of the park is a homeless lounge/hang out space.

Another fun site is the California Automobile Museum https://www.calautomuseum.org - walkable from the Crocker.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 05:40 AM
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Thanks for the additional suggestions. For some reason now Delta is now offering 3 nonstops/day (in Oct 2019 there was only one) so some flexibility to accommodate Sacramento sites.

I did snag a one night cancellation at Yosemite Lodge so conceivably if I keep checking could build up 4 one-night reservations to make a complete visit.

I know it's boring but planning to stage the trip out of that strip of chain hotels just west of SMF in Woodland by the Costco, can stay free on points and it's easy to/from the airport.

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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn View Post
I know it's boring but planning to stage the trip out of that strip of chain hotels just west of SMF in Woodland by the Costco, can stay free on points and it's easy to/from the airport.
Maybe look at the chains on/near Del Paso Road instead. Some of the usual suspects -- HI Express, Four Points by Sheraton, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Hilton Garden Inn (there are two - Airport/Natomas is better, South Natomas is less convenient), Marriott TownePlace -- maybe a few others. These are even more convenient to the airport and are in the right direction for driving to Yosemite. Would save about 20 minutes during the morning commute time congestion The whole drive through he Sac metro area in the morning will be slow/congested in the morning and saving even 20 minutes would help/
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 07:13 AM
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When looking for flights to/from SMF, look at Spirit and Southwest Airlines. In late May, I had my first flight(s) on Spirit from SMF to ORD (via Las Vegas). On the way back in early June, I flew on full Southwest planes via Denver.
The California State Railroad Museum at the north end of Old Town Sacramento is my favorite museum within walking distance of the Sacramento Amtrak station.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 09:19 AM
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Be careful with Spirit. Anecdotally only, but it they cancel you are SOL.

Southwest if you aren't using Delta points and don't care about being jammed in like sardines.

Delta is a much nicer experience, IMO.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 01:04 PM
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Our last two stays at Yosemite View Lodge started as one day reservations six months in advance then piecemealed into three and four night reservations. Last trip was two nights Yosemite View two nights Curry Village tent until about ten days prior when out of the blue two nights showed up at Yosemite View and grabbed them. Yosemite View like many in park lodgings when in the room you say "I paid $250.00/night for this" then step outside and say "Now I know why".

Definitely yes to the Panorama trail, many highlights in one hike. Another neat l hike we did was the shuttle bus from the Valley up to Tenaya Lake then hiked to Clouds Rest (higher than Half Dome) then down into the valley via the mist trail. From Nevada falls into the valley same route as Panorama trail.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 01:07 PM
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Sorry, not Yosemite View Lodge (El Portal) it was Yosemite Lodge at the time and now I guess Yosemite Valley Lodge..
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 07:53 AM
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The OP is uncomfortable with heights, therefore Cloud's Rest would be a HARD NO. But hiking up Mist Trail from the bottom as far as one's lungs and legs prevail up those steps should be ok. Def bring poles for the down.

I would include a day out in Tuolumne Meadows (you drive by L Tenaya). There are some other shorter easy to moderate hikes in Tuolumne Meadows area. In June there can still be snow and high water in this area, though.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tmhikes.htm

Assuming the route will be open, I would consider a day trip going all the way out to Mono Lakes as well (sunset photos).

Last edited by mlgb; Jun 30th, 2022 at 08:10 AM.
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