Yosemite June 2023

Old Mar 18th, 2023, 03:28 PM
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57 minutes wouldn't change much really. Could it work -- sure. Absolutely. The main issue is construction delays on either Hwy 50 or I-80. You could decide later though -- say by late May / early June we should know more if any big road projects are in the works. I have a place at Incline Village (NE corner of the Lake) and from my home in NE Sacramento County - sometimes the drive takes 2 hours and sometimes 4+ hours.


By leaving Tahoe the evening before you won't really lose any usable 'Tahoe time' (unless you were planning casino time) and could guarantee you'd make your flight. From the Holiday Inn Express at the Del Paso Rd exit off I-5 you'd be less than 10 minutes from the rental cars at SMF
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Old Mar 19th, 2023, 05:02 AM
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Got it, really would prefer not to be too far from the airport the last night, looking at staying in Rancho Cordova now. Fewer points for stay and still leaves open the possibility to swing by the Capitol on the way to the airport.

Last edited by tom_mn; Mar 19th, 2023 at 05:06 AM.
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Old Mar 19th, 2023, 06:41 AM
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Rancho would be fine -- cheap is always good . The Hwy 50 commute into and through Sacramento to I-5 can be a real mess but with a nearly 2PM flight you wouldn't have to leave the hotel until 10:30-ish. Say the Holiday Inn at Sunrise & Folsom Blvd/Hwy 50 is less than 30 minutes from SMF without traffic.

If you want to head into downtown Sacramento - that would complicate things a LOT on a weekday morning. Leaving early enough to see the Capitol would mean driving right in the middle of the very heavy morning commute. Not only the freeway but the surface streets around the Capitol - Just awful. If you want to see the Capitol -- I'd do it the night before after checking in to the hotel. It is illuminated. Don't walk through Capitol Park at night but driving around it is fine. There is a big traffic/parking circle at the top of Capitol Mall between 9th & 10th streets where you can stop and get a terrific view of the building front facade.
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Old Mar 19th, 2023, 07:56 AM
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Last month I got off the southbound Amtrak Coast Starlight (Feb 3) about 6:30AM. I walked (1.3 miles) from the train station down past the capitol to my favorite breakfast restaurant - the Fox & Goose. It opens at 7AM.
After a great English breakfast I hiked back to L street and caught the Sacramento Regional Transit bus # 142 out to the airport (SMF) for a flight to Las Vegas. The SACRT bus runs on an hourly schedule and there are several YOLOBUS trips per day (bus 42B). I have also rented a car in downtown Sacramento instead of renting at the airport.
If you stay in Sacramento and arrive early enough, visit the California Railroad Museum in the north end of Old Town Sacramento.
The place I've stayed in Sacramento several times is the HI Hostel (private rooms or dorms) at the NW corner of 10th & H across the street from City Hall. The hostel is the second oldest Victorian mansion in the city. It has a fairly nice kitchen and good sized dining room with old oak tables.
Some of my Amtrak riding friends say that the Vagabond is a good place to stay near the Sacramento Valley station.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 12:01 AM
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Yosemite is an amazing destination and it's great that you're planning a visit. Here are some answers to your questions:

Lodging: Staying inside the park is definitely convenient and can save you time on driving. If Yosemite Valley Lodge is fully booked, you might want to consider other options like The Ahwahnee or Yosemite View Lodge, although they may be more expensive. If you're willing to stay outside the park, there are rentals available in nearby towns like Mariposa or Oakhurst, which are about an hour's drive away.

Priorities for visit:
  • Waterfalls: Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls are the most popular waterfalls in the park, but they may not be flowing strongly in June due to the reduced snowmelt. Vernal and Nevada Falls are also impressive and may have a good flow during that time.
  • Glacier Point: If the shuttle is running and the road is open, hiking down from Glacier Point to the valley floor is an amazing experience with stunning views. However, it is a strenuous hike and can take 6-8 hours. Make sure you're well-prepared with plenty of water and food.
  • Smoke: Yosemite can be affected by wildfires during the summer months, so it's hard to predict whether there will be any smoke in the air. Keep an eye on the park's website and social media for updates.
Nice to have:
  • Crowds: Yosemite is a popular destination, especially during the summer months, so it's likely that it will be crowded. However, you can avoid the crowds by visiting less popular areas of the park or going during off-peak hours.
  • Olmsted Point: Olmsted Point is a beautiful viewpoint along Tioga Road with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It's definitely worth a visit if you have time.
4 nights should be enough time to explore the park and take a few hikes, but it depends on your pace and how much you want to see. If you plan on doing the Glacier Point hike, that will take up a full day. As for Half Dome, it's a challenging climb that involves climbing cables and should only be attempted by experienced hikers who are comfortable with heights. If you're not comfortable with heights, it's probably best to skip it and focus on other hikes in the park.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 08:04 AM
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kimbedly: "Waterfalls: Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls are the most popular waterfalls in the park, but they may not be flowing strongly in June due to the reduced snowmelt. Vernal and Nevada Falls are also impressive and may have a good flow during that time."

You must not be from around these parts Absolutely record setting snow pack - and more is due next week. Yes, the falls will be in full flow in June.

. . . which is related to this "Glacier Point: If the shuttle is running and the road is open, hiking down from Glacier Point to the valley floor is an amazing experience with stunning views. However, it is a strenuous hike and can take 6-8 hours. Make sure you're well-prepared with plenty of water and food"

and this: "Olmsted Point: Olmsted Point is a beautiful viewpoint along Tioga Road with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It's definitely worth a visit if you have time"

Because they likely won't even start clearing the roads until late April/early May there is a decent chance Glacier Point road won'r be open. Tioga Pass will most likely be closed but Glacier Point might be open.

Last edited by janisj; Mar 24th, 2023 at 08:06 AM.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 12:34 PM
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The National Park website lists historical opening dates, see the column by snowpack as percent of normal on April 1.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/seasonal.htm
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Old Mar 25th, 2023, 06:43 AM
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Well Iím resigning myself to having to hike up to Glacier Point instead of taking the shuttle due to snow. I did the Royís Peak hike in NZ a few years ago which is similar, constant incline and no shade, 4 Mile is same RT length but 1000 feet less gain so I should be able to do it. Although I was so wiped out after Royís Peak I even had to rest again at the edge of the parking lot on return, I couldnít make it all the way to the car.

Glad to hear that good flow in the waterfalls is guaranteed now.
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Old Mar 25th, 2023, 07:39 AM
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Don't give up on the road being open. Glacier Point Rd typically opens 2 or 3 weeks before Tioga Pass - sometimes more. Just be prepared that it might not be.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2023, 05:06 AM
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Home stretch:

Thank goodness Sequoia NP reopened yesterday. Seeing the largest tree was a goal of the trip. Roads washed out there in late winter. Access is only from Kings Canyon but thatís our direction of arrival anyway. Maybe the main entrance still being closed will keep down crowds?

Glacier Pt Rd has been plowed but needs work so opening date is ďafter July.Ē The hike up there (4 mile) just cleared of snow/ice and reopened, and the Panorama Trail is open, but physically I donít think I am up for the whole circuit hike up to GP, across to the Mist Trail then down to Happy Valley. Maybe if I can climb up to Glacier Point with the road closed it will be uncrowded and peaceful, and that will be enough.

I thought June would be dry but some rain forecast every day, after noon. Well, I am getting 2 of my must haves: good waterfall flow and smoke free air.


Yosemite Valley lodge was proactive and called to ask if I wanted one room for the whole stay, appreciated. I had patched together a four night stay with cancellations of different room types.

Last edited by tom_mn; Jun 3rd, 2023 at 05:18 AM.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2023, 05:25 AM
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Yep -- you're almost there.

"I thought June would be dry but some rain forecast every day, after noon. Well, I am getting 2 of my must haves: good waterfall flow and smoke free air."

Afternoon thunder showers are pretty common in the Sierra throughout the summer.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2023, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn
Home stretch:

Thank goodness Sequoia NP reopened yesterday. Seeing the largest tree was a goal of the trip. Roads washed out there in late winter. Access is only from Kings Canyon but thatís our direction of arrival anyway. Maybe the main entrance still being closed will keep down crowds?

Glacier Pt Rd has been plowed but needs work so opening date is ďafter July.Ē The hike up there (4 mile) just cleared of snow/ice and reopened, and the Panorama Trail is open, but physically I donít think I am up for the whole circuit hike up to GP, across to the Mist Trail then down to Happy Valley. Maybe if I can climb up to Glacier Point with the road closed it will be uncrowded and peaceful, and that will be enough.

I thought June would be dry but some rain forecast every day, after noon. Well, I am getting 2 of my must haves: good waterfall flow and smoke free air.


Yosemite Valley lodge was proactive and called to ask if I wanted one room for the whole stay, appreciated. I had patched together a four night stay with cancellations of different room types.
4 mile trail up to GP is a great hike. Itís a lot of vertical over relatively short distance but the views from up there are great.

Panorama back down is a lovely but very long hike and Iíd say that until you get back to the 2 waterfalls Vernal and Nevada absent unique aha moments.

Hiking the Mist or Muir trail another day will get you close up to one or both of those falls. I avoid the trail that comes straight up to the falls from the bottom as itís crowded and a lot of steps. I find it ok to go down that way but not up. Not sure the exact trail name.
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Old Jun 4th, 2023, 06:21 AM
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Hiking the Mist or Muir trail another day will get you close up to one or both of those falls. I avoid the trail that comes straight up to the falls from the bottom as it’s crowded and a lot of steps. I find it ok to go down that way but not up. Not sure the exact trail name.
The John Muir trail is still closed (unstable foundation or something requiring adding material), I think the steps way is the only trail open around those 2 falls.
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Old Jun 4th, 2023, 07:38 PM
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PLEASE check the Park Alerts page before posting
I'm cutting and passitng as of 6/4/23 as people are apparently not aware of current condtions and/or are posting based on their experiences of unstated time frame (obviously not this year!)

Yosemite Valley Area

  • The Four Mile Trail and the Snow Creek trail have both reopened.
  • The Lower Yosemite Fall loop trail is open, however off-trail areas remain closed. Please remain on the trail.
  • The Mist Trail from the John Muir Trail junction just uphill from the Vernal Fall footbridge to the top of Vernal Fall will be closed Mondays through Thursdays from 7 am to 3:30 pm from July 10 through November 2 (dates subject to change). The trail will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and will usually be open from 3:30 pm to 7 am (there may be some nights when the trail must remain closed). Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and beyond are reachable during the closure via the John Muir Trail and Clark Point cutoff trail. This closure is due to trail work.
  • The John Muir Trail is closed between Clark Point and Panorama Trail junction (near the top of Nevada Fall) because the trail is unstable and may fail. Do not enter this area. It is possible to hike to the top of Nevada Fall via the Mist Trail.
  • The trail to Bridalveil Fall is closed due to the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Project until fall 2023.
  • The Half Dome cables are down for the season. They are usually available for use starting Memorial Day weekend in May, but will go up late this year due to snow. All permits have been cancelled through June 8. In previous years with heavy snow (but less than this year), the cables went up in mid- to late June. A permit is required to hike to the top of Half Dome when the cables are up.

Last edited by mlgb; Jun 4th, 2023 at 07:40 PM.
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Old Jun 9th, 2023, 07:41 PM
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Wow! Wow! Wow!
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Old Jun 9th, 2023, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tom_mn
Wow! Wow! Wow!
Gob smacking!

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Old Jun 9th, 2023, 10:02 PM
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Was there supposed to be a photo attached? I don't see one.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2023, 05:10 PM
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I will put a short trip report here. This was a sensational trip, exceeded expectations, the flow of water in the Yosemite waterfalls and rivers was mesmerizing.

Yosemite, Tuesday-Saturday early June.

Tuesday:
Flew nonstop into Sacramento airport, easy and had an empty middle seat. Auspicious. Delta has video screens, watched the Tom Hanks Otto movie, kind of a downer. Easy rental car experience, my SMF experiences have all been good. Sailed down Hwy 99, thought we were in the clear with traffic until we hit Manteca, then lost time, at least 45 minutes, crawling through towns I've never heard of. Had a few stops in Merced, the Costco and a supermarket to stock up on breakfast stuff and backpack lunches for the trails. Ate interesting Mexican and headed east into the park. Merced had several nice shady streets with bungalows, not what I was expecting. Arrived about 7:30 pm at the park entrance, no one there to take the fee (I have a pass anyway) so proceeded to Yosemite Valley Lodge, a bit circuitous with the one way loops. Heavy forest on the valley floor means only glimpses of views, so really no idea where we were or were going. They had merged the reservations correctly (see above) and I paid for the one remaining night, about $330. The lodging for 4 nights was a spectacular $1400 but it is so worth it to be in this location. Not only did we have a view of Yosemite Falls from our balcony, we could hear it thundering (with an occasional BANG sound every few minutes like a garbage truck makes) night and day. 2 major trails are also within walking distance, and 3 restaurants and a shuttle stop. Really, you want to stay in the park, if not here then camp.

Wednesday:
Slept in and ate our own breakfast. Decided to do a warm up walk, so picked Columbia Rock about halfway up the Yosemite Falls hike. Trail starts a very short walk from the Lodge. This was out introduction to Yosemite hiking which is STEEP and ROCKY. So glad we brought hiking poles, honestly anyone over 35 really needs them for these challenging, brutal trails. It was great to get above the trees because then the views up and down the valley come and they are really something! I was disappointed with the views from the valley floor (almost none) but once up on a trail it's just amazing all the beautiful things to see in every direction. There were waterfalls everywhere, many not labeled on maps people were carrying. Turned back about halfway up at the base of the upper falls and this was just about right for the first day. It clouded over anyway at the time we turned back so anyone who went up there after saw nothing.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2023, 05:47 PM
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Wednesday Evening:
Walked to the Ahwahnee for dinner at the bar. It was interesting to see the place and the food was good but expensive. It's under construction so most of the main floor is closed and the dining room is in a funny partitioned off area. I didn't feel the location was as good as the Lodge. Took the shuttle back.


Thursday:
Our first big hike day. Took the shuttle over to the Mist Trail. This is the other busy trail it seems (along with Yosemite Falls which we did the previous day). Loved this steep and exhausting hike up beside two different waterfalls, both brimming over with water, first Vernal Falls, familiar to me from pictures, this is the one that soaks everyone, then Nevada Falls. Both are significant drops and spectacular to see. I confess to being really wiped out by the time I got to the top of Nevada Falls, lots of steps, lots of rocky inclines, really hard work. Because the John Muir Trail is closed here we had to retrace our path down to the top of Vernal Falls, then take a spur up to the John Muir Trail so more elevation gain on this trip than usual. It worked out though because that little spur trail had some of the best views of the whole hike which we would have normally missed taking the JMT all the way back down from the top of Nevada Falls. At this point Half Dome is beginning to feel like an old friend. Returned to the shuttle stop and had a rather hideous overstuffed ride with about a dozen 8 year old Russian kids slapping each other, no parents, a long 40 minute ride, unpleasant. Ate at the Lodge dining room and had quite a nice meal.

Friday:
Our last full day, this time devoted to Glacier Point. Since the Glacier Point Road was still closed, the only way up was by foot so took the Four Mile trail starting from near the Lodge. There was flooding on the path over so backtracked to the shuttle stop and rode the shuttle over to Four Mile. Unlike the first two walks this one had few steps and was more switchbacks. It was our highest gain, over 3000' but I didn't find it as tiring as the steps the previous day. Took about 8 hours. As I had hoped, Glacier Point was deserted so it was great to be up there with just 15-20 other people. Oh the views, Half Dome of course, and the 2 waterfalls from the previous day, and all the steps of Yosemite Falls brimming over. We ate lunch up there and just had such great weather to soak it all up. There are great views of El Capitan and Yosemite Falls through most of the hike. Very memorable. On the return decided to brave the flooded walkway, and it worked out for me since my socks stayed dry (not my wife's).

Returned to the room to veg out and then I noticed that unlike the previous 3 days there was no 5 pm rain and it was still sunny. So we jumped in the car and drove up to Tunnel View for the famous view with the sun going down and lighting up the valley, especially Bridalveil Falls and El Capitan, with a golden light. So Amazing! It's like the valley elements are arranged just to be photogenic. Ate in the Lodge bar for dinner.

Last edited by tom_mn; Jul 3rd, 2023 at 05:52 PM.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2023, 05:58 PM
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Looking forward to reading this - but first a hint -- It would probably be better to start a new thread with a Trip Report tag rather than burying it 60 posts into your original thread


. . . Now back to reading . . .
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