Yosemite June 2023

Old Jul 3rd, 2023, 09:06 PM
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Check out day, walked over to the Lower Falls Trail which we had not done yet, busy and interesting. Said goodbye to the waterfall. Left Yosemite via the tunnel and drove south to Fresno, more Mexican restaurant food, then east to Kings Canyon. Lodging was at the Grant Village cabins, pretty dilapidated and frankly if this were public housing it would be condemned. Whole cabin was at a 3 degree slope, grotty curtains and beds, kind of a joke really, and over $180/night. Arrived to a 45 minute hail storm and needed to turn on the heat. After the storm walked through the Grant Grove, not very impressive and still a lot of winter storm damage, gullies and mud everywhere. Compared to the grand sequoia groves at Calaveras Big Trees seen years ago this grove is a come down. Hoping for better at adjacent Sequoia NP tomorrow.

Drove into Sequoia NP for the day, via the only current access (south entrance still was closed). Park was surprisingly busy but not crazy busy. The groves of sequoias here are much better than the Grant Grove, and the main road winds right through them which I think is rare. The Sherman Tree, the largest sequoia, is quite impressive and made the trip worth it. Returned to Grant Grove Village and ate at the restaurant, take out service only.

Drove to South Lake Tahoe, a full day. Comment: Sometimes California is unlike the other 47 states, for example the CA state building code requires hotel bathroom doors to open away from the bathroom and swing into the main room (or slide sideways) whereas in the rest of the country hotel bathroom doors open into the bathroom (but older CA hotels are not like this). Another variation is for the other 47 states Costco or similar is the cheapest place to buy gas, but in CA it's these cash only stations, find them with an app like gas buddy, there can be substantial savings for buying with cash, even a dollar a gallon difference at stations only a few blocks apart. I don't think this magnitude of gas price disparity occurs in other states.

Drove around Lake Tahoe, lots of pretty views, busy, several road construction sites around the lake and then on US 50. There was a lot of rain but photos don't show it because it was sunny and bright on the other side of the lake. Loved it but it was really too busy to find parking for hiking. Drove to Sacramento late afternoon for a Capitol photo. I was kind of intrigued by the city, lots of low rise housing downtown and pretty walkable. Nice feeling to it.

Late start and fly home, SMF easy again.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2023, 09:41 PM
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Tom, your quote describing Half-Dome beginning to 'feel like an old friend' really sums up your experience, your familiarity with that park, your intimate connection. Then to top it all off with Lake Tahoe!
What a spectacular place to have that relationship with. May it continue with your next trips.
I am done. the park
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Old Jul 4th, 2023, 03:37 AM
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Great report. So glad you got to go up 4 mile trail to GP - it's one of my favorites for the views, the solitude (or at least not crowded...), and the switchbacks, if you love switchbacks...

Good reminder on poles for those of us approaching or past 35......
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Old Jul 4th, 2023, 07:24 AM
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It would probably be better to start a new thread with a Trip Report tag
I didn't feel up for a full trip report with photos and menu items and such, and was trying to be brief, but I ended up with a fair bit of text anyway. I also liked having the trip prep and the trip report on the same thread for context. I appreciate everyone's help, it was spot on, even the part about US 50 likely having winter storm damage repairs, that ended up being true.

Final comment about Yosemite: The waterfalls are a good part of the appeal and it makes sense to time a visit to take advantage of them. We also seemed to just miss the summer crowds by days. It was busy on some of the trails but not too bad, and no traffic on the valley loops, at least before June 10. On our departure Saturday there were at least 2 hour waits to enter the park at noon. We heard of 2 couples at home cancelling trips because of closures like Glacier Point Road, and also some campgrounds and trails were still under water, but the quantity of water flow during this time made the visit especially worthwhile for me. One of the couples was on an REI tour that was cancelled for this same time period and I don't understand why.
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Old Jul 4th, 2023, 09:14 AM
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Thanks for the trip report! I'm so gad you had a fabulous stay in Yosemite. I didn't know that about bathroom doors!
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Old Jul 4th, 2023, 10:41 AM
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Re the bathroom doors:

I had 6 different hotel stays in California one month in 2019 and every hotel had bath doors swinging out. So I knew there had to be a reason. BTW both outside the parks hotels on this trip had bath doors swing this way too.

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