Yosemite June 2023

Old Jun 30th, 2022, 10:24 AM
  #21  
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Delta is a much nicer experience, IMO.
I agree, the free movies in all Delta coach seats (Airbus and Boeing jets, not CRJs) seals the deal for me, and I have the miles, and it's nonstop.

Also there's the possibility this will happen: https://www.wzzm13.com/article/trave...2-6591b70f2c24

Last edited by tom_mn; Jun 30th, 2022 at 10:29 AM.
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Old Jul 1st, 2022, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn
I agree, the free movies in all Delta coach seats (Airbus and Boeing jets, not CRJs) seals the deal for me, and I have the miles, and it's nonstop.

Also there's the possibility this will happen: https://www.wzzm13.com/article/trave...2-6591b70f2c24
Another reason to go carryon only.
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Old Jul 17th, 2022, 07:07 AM
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It's all good now. By checking daily for cancellations I was able to get 4 nights at Yosemite Valley Lodge (although 2 nights king bed, then 2 nights double beds). So 4 nights Yosemite Valley, then 2 nights Kings Canyon in a cabin, then a seventh night in Sacramento. I was able to get fairly low miles redemptions for flights, at least based on the recent Delta inflated redemption rates. Rental car (compact) for a week was just over $300 @ Enterprise via the Costco portal which is a nice change from the $700+ that has been happening the last year. I think a compact will be fine for these parks. Fairly reasonable costs all around except the Yosemite lodging is a splurge, but I think there is value for the convenience of the central location.

The video of the Half Dome hike looks rather frightening and arduous so likely won't even try to get tickets. A few years ago I did a 20 mile day hike in New Zealand, fairly level, and I practically went into shock afterward, couldn't stop shivering for a half hour.

Last edited by tom_mn; Jul 17th, 2022 at 07:10 AM.
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Old Jul 17th, 2022, 11:04 AM
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Looks great. The extra cost for Yosemite Valley Lodge is more than worth it IMO/IME being within a short walk (like less than 5 mins depending on which bldg you're in) of the base of Yosemite Falls.
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Old Jul 18th, 2022, 03:11 PM
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Plus you get parking.
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Old Sep 1st, 2022, 08:05 AM
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With Delta, is it worth upgrading to Comfort + or another of the premium seating categories? All flights are full now and probably will be in the future.

Congrats on the hotel booking.

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Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 02:46 PM
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We have deleted a number of posts that did not contribute to the OP's trip.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 11:54 AM
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I'm with MLGB about Tuolumne Meadows (had to check, then re-check spelling), essential as far as we're concerned. We enjoyed it, but had an additional weird experience there when a young man appeared to be trying to take his own life by jumping. We assisted in getting him some medical attention afterwards. Mrs Z in particular deserves a medal for her actions that day.

Am assuming that the road will open by your June date.
Hope it goes well.
I am done. the unexpected cry for help
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Old Sep 4th, 2022, 10:40 AM
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Re dining inside Yosemite, the options have been affected by pandemic staffing issues. Be sure to visit the website prior to your trip for the latest, and perhaps bring some of your own food or visit Degnan's for grab n go.

And if the only option at Ahwahnee breakfast is the buffet, don't do it!!!
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 11:50 AM
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Not a big deal but flights now canceled both ways, so moved to other nonstops but outbound 2 hours later, now arriving at 1 pm.

The scenario for the first day was:
•Arrive SMF after already traveling 5-1/2 hours
•Get bags, take shuttle, rent car
•Drive to Yosemite with grocery stop en route
•Arrive Yosemite Valley Lodge, check in, dinner

Is a 1 pm start from SMF putting too much pressure on day one? We’d planned a big hike the first and third days.

Another possibility is to fly out the evening before and sleep near airport, then relax the next morning. Adds about $200 to the trip, extra hotel night and dinner.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 01:07 PM
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Personally I'd do the drive to Yosemite on the same day you arrive SMF.
June, long daylight hours so you won't be driving in the dark.
That way you get to your destination and can enjoy the next day already being there.

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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 02:14 PM
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Definitely drive after arrival. 1 PM is good re traffic and if you wait til the next morning you'll have commute traffic all through Sacramento, Stockton etc. It could be a nasty drive.

I suggest you go via Merced and Hwy 140 -- the distance is about the same using Hwy 120 but 120 is much more twisty/turny for a longer distance.

I'd stop for groceries in Merced - there is a Walmart practically at the junction of Hwys 99 and 140
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 08:02 AM
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Thanks for the advice, won't change plans.

I tried to update the Enterprise reservation and of course moving it 2 hours later they want to raise the price $100. I asked once and I think the unwritten policy of major chains is they will honor the car/price 24 hours from reservation time, and 2 hours late is pretty common in any event.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn
Thanks for the advice, won't change plans.

I tried to update the Enterprise reservation and of course moving it 2 hours later they want to raise the price $100. I asked once and I think the unwritten policy of major chains is they will honor the car/price 24 hours from reservation time, and 2 hours late is pretty common in any event.
I'm confused about this statement. AFAIK you get a 30 minute grace period on late returns, but if you are asking will they honor the reservation if you arrive two hours late, probably, if they still have a vehicle for you. Enterprise has the best ratings, hopefully you will get good service.

Anyways keep an eye on rates, you could find a better deal between now and June of next year. I think I saved over $300 on a week's rental in North Carolina for last month, by checking back. I was a little bit after my pickup time and Alamo still had a car for me (Alamo is part of Enterprise Holdings along with National). A couple trying to do a walk-in rental were out of luck.

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 20th, 2022 at 08:11 PM.
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 06:08 AM
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Yes, I will keep checking for lower rates, but note that the high rates of recent years have now moderated so there will be no big drops for me, $300/week is a pretty good price already.

Actually, the late pick up policy is in writing, but I am pretty sure it was not Enterprise the time I asked, so perhaps a broad policy across major brands:

https://www.enterprise.com/en/help/f...ht-delays.html
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Old Sep 21st, 2022, 09:09 AM
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In most places it has dropped but yes $300 is (relatively) good and is about what I paid in NC last month.
And your flights may change again (at least once!)
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Old Mar 18th, 2023, 09:24 AM
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Background: I have a slew of Virgin Atlantic points I got from a Chase Ultimate Rewards Points transfer, which I was hoping to use on Delta flights. I booked the original tickets to SMF with Delta miles, refundable, hoping I could book the same flights with Virgin Atlantic points.

A few months ago the outbound segment opened up and I booked it with VA points and got a refund of the Delta miles. Now the return has opened up (but for one day later) so I booked that and got the Delta miles back.

I have decided to add Lake Tahoe, a third stop to the itinerary, with the extra day. So how many nights in South Lake Tahoe, 1 or 2, if the flight the last day leaves SMF at 1 PM? It there any hustle required at all to make that flight leaving from there if I spend 2 nights at SLT? Note that I have a free night certificate to use up by August so that's why looking at SLT, there is a Holiday Inn Express there. Plan to spend the entire last day, a Tuesday, driving around the lake and enjoying a second sunset over the lake, unless spending the last night in Sacramento is recommended.

Editing to add that as another stroke of luck, the 8 day rental will be at a lower rate than my old 7 day rental rate was.


Last edited by tom_mn; Mar 18th, 2023 at 09:58 AM.
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Old Mar 18th, 2023, 09:55 AM
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OK - are you asking IF you can stay at Tahoe until the morning of a 1PM flight out of SMF - the answer is no. Like, Hell No

If you are staying a South Lake Tahoe you'd be taking Hwy 50 down the hill to Sacramento then I-5 to the airport. More than likely there will be major construction points along Hwy 50. It has been a VERY heavy snow season (and it isn't over yet) and there has been a lot of road damage which they really won't get to til May or June.

Even without delays in the mountains the traffic on the Hwy50 corridor through Eldorado Hills/Folsom/Rancho/Sac can be stopped up at any time. That would usually be about a 2:20/2:30 hour drive -- but any SNAFU could easily make it 4 hours. Then you have to deal with the rental car return, and wait for the shuttle - just no.
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Old Mar 18th, 2023, 10:05 AM
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Meant to add; Since it is light late in June, I'd stay at Tahoe until after an early dinner and start the drive down the hill by around 6:30 or 7PM. There likely won't be any active road work going on at that time (unless there is some night freeway work in the Sacramento area). You'd be out of the most twisty/mountainous bits by the time the sun is low and in your eyes. Stay in any of the chain hotels in North Natomas and head to the airport in the late Morning.

You could still drive around the lake if you wanted, and have plenty of time to drive to Sacramento that evening (Same issues re road works if you decided to take Hwy267 or 89 and I-80 from North Shore/Truckee)

Last edited by janisj; Mar 18th, 2023 at 10:08 AM.
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Old Mar 18th, 2023, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the detailed reply. The flight is actually at 1:57 pm if that makes much difference.
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