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Yosemite - June or July?? PLEASE HELP ASAPPP!!!! I'm in turmoil!

Yosemite - June or July?? PLEASE HELP ASAPPP!!!! I'm in turmoil!

Old Jun 7th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Yosemite - June or July?? PLEASE HELP ASAPPP!!!! I'm in turmoil!

Ok so I need to make this decision like, tonight. My husband and I are going to Yosemite for our 1 year anniversay (yay!) - but we are totally divided on which weekend to go. Our first option is this upcoming weekend in June (the 11, 12, etc) ooorr we could also go July 9, 10, 11 (second weekend in July).

We have heard that the flowers and the waterfalls are better in June - so that makes us want to go now. However, something in the schedule has come up (a bday party for a very good friend) and now we are considering July. We could just not go to the party, but we do want to spend time with her.

Basically, my question is - will our trip experience be better in June or July? Is it that much better in June that we should really do all we can to go then, or will July be just as good? I know the waterfalls depend on the rainfall - but if someone with experience could respond, that would be sooo helpful!! My husband has never been to a national park, and thus never seen any awesome waterfalls - so I would love for him to experience that.

PLEASE HELP us make this decision!!!!!
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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GO IN JUNE! The falls will be better and the crowds will be MUCH less. Have breakfast at the Ahwahnee (the most beautiful dining room in the United States IMO, make sure to hike a bit up from the valley, have a picnic.

Happy anniversary--we also spent our first anniversary in Yosemite.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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The waterfalls will be better in June than July, but have you checked lodging availability yet? Unless you are camping, not a lot of choices in the park itself, and both the Lodge and the Ahwahnee fill up quickly. Happy anniversary.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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1) June is better then July

2) July is better then not going at all

3) July is better if it means to keep peace in the family (talking from my 33 year marriage experience)

4) it's only one year of your marriage, you have your whole life ahead: Niagara Falls, Iguazy Falls, Victoria Falls...

5) Yosemite will be there 100 years from now.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 08:14 PM
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Yosemite is beautiful whenever you go. There will be more water over the falls in June but there will still be water going over the falls in July. June will be cooler, July warmer. Fewer people in June, more in July. Let us know what you decided to do and hope you can get a reservation. If you go in July, that will give you a little more time to plan and be more organized so you will know what you want to see and do.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 09:58 PM
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Wow thanks for all the input!! This is really helping - what about crowds? Are the significantly different in June vs July? We will definitely report back with what (& why) we decide when to go.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 11:14 PM
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Many schools are just getting out this week for summer vacation so the crowds should be a lot less this weekend over any July weekend.

Count me in as one that would pick June over July.

Utahtea
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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A weekday is always better than a weekend because it's less crowded. However, once school gets out, summer weekdays and weekends are about the same as far as crowds.

June is much better than July for several reasons:

- Less crowded in June than July (until school gets out)
- Usually cooler weather in June, often hot in July
- Mosquitoes scarce in early June, in full force by the end of June - bring lemon-eucalyptus mosquito repellent if going at the end of June or July/August
- Wildflowers are plentiful now, may be less in July. Lupines were everywhere last week
- Waterfalls are still at their peak flow now, even the temporary seasonal ones like the elusive Ribbon Fall (although Horsetail Fall is gone). Flowing right now are Silver Strand falls, Bridalveil Falls, Ribbon Fall, Sentinel Fall, Staircase Falls, Yosemite Falls, Lehamite Falls, Royal Arch Cascade, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Illilouette Fall, and countless tiny unnamed falls. By July a good number of these will have lesser flows, some may be just a trickle and some may be completely dry. At one extreme, Ribbon Fall is certain to be dry, while Bridalveil Fall runs almost all year, due to the hanging valley above it.

We were there last week and I posted a video of several of the waterfalls on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WELCF3f5XWc

I would always recommend going on a weekday rather than a weekend to any national park, however, the National Park Service has announced three weekends this summer when admission will be free to all: June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16. However, the regular entrance fee is only $20 per car, and that's good for 7 days, so you will only save $20 on the free weekends. A drop in the bucket compared to the expenses of getting there and staying in motels, etc.

To sum up in one sentence, I would say: Go now. I have been to 14 of the national parks and Yosemite is the best, in my opinion. Yellowstone is worth going to also, but Yosemite is more beautiful.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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What did you decide?
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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They decided to go in July. Click om her name and look at her other thread.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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Ok so we decided July because....

1. Yosemite WILL be there next year and next...and next...so we can plan better next year and go to Yosemite during May/June for a great springtime experience if we want (we live in LA so its an easy trip to make - generally speaking)

2. We are looking forward to some good hiking in the high country - so we're thinking there will be less snow in July (we got some great advice on some good hikes)

3. There is a decent amount of rain in the forecast for this upcoming weekend (although it is a low percentage chance, it still was enough to help with a final decision)

annd finally - we decided it was very important to go to our friend's birthday dinner.

Also - our anniversary is actually in July, so that will also feel more like a celebration too

Honestly though - it really came down to just making a decision and sticking with it.

My final thought - based on all the information and advice we've received, as far as the park itself is concerned - we believe it would have been better to go this weekend (June). The waterfalls, the crowds, the hotness factor....all makes for an all around better trip than July - so for other people, I would definitely tell them to go in June.

As for reservations, we did not have a problem with either week. I had called and had booked a room last weekend for this upcoming one - so a week in advance - and White Chief MTN Lodge had enough room. We also had planned on staying at The Narrow Gauge Inn for a night or two (it looks so cozy and romantic!). We are young (25) and sticking to an allotted amount of $$ - so a minimal (& clean!) place like the White Chief is perfect for us. For us, it is about the park moreso than the place we sleep. (I will be writing back with our review of our trip and our hotel accommodations). We had no problem changing the reservations to July - except prices went up a little (of course).

Everyone has been so helpful - I love travel forums now! Maybe I'll get some good advice for the Europe trip in the fall
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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Here are a few other tips for Yosemite.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is just inside the southern entrance to the park. It is very close to the lodge you are staying at. Bring a picnic dinner and eat it in the grove around 6 p.m. or so. Most of the people will be gone and it will be a wonderful quiet picnic spot. We ate dinner while watching the deer. Do not have food with you after dark and do not leave food in your car after dark.

Plan your trip so that you will be at Glacier Point in the very late afternoon and sunset. That is the most spectcular time to be there if the weather is clear and as the sun hits the mountaintops. There will still be a lot of people including photographers there. Enjoy the view but if you have any fear of heights, do not look over the edge of the wall.

In Yosemite Valley you can park in the day use parking lot and take the free valley shuttles to almost any point in the valley worth visiting. This is much easier than trying to find parking over and over again.

Don't pass up the Happy Isles area. The trails through the woods and onto the 3 small islands are really gorgeous and refreshing. A great place to be on a hot day as it is cool and shady. Lots of wildlife there, in fact we saw 2 bear cubs frolicking. Happy Isles is at the far eastern end of the valley, shuttle stop 16. This is also the same stop for the Mist Trail which takes you to Vernal and Nevada Falls if you are planning to hike to those. (You can also see those falls from Washburn Point and Glacier Point, but you are way above them, not down close to them).

There is a free 30-minute movie called "Spirit of Yosemite" that shows all day long at the theater at the park headquarters in Yosemite village. It's well worth seeing and has spectacular photography. Other than that I don't see any reason to go to Yosemite village. There is a short, easy trail to the base of lower Yosemite Falls which goes through a nice forested area.

There are places to eat in Yosemite valley but why would you go inside to eat, when there are plenty of places to have a picnic in the world's most specatcular park? Eat as many of your meals outdoors and enjoy the scenery rather than sitting at a table in some crowded building.

Plan for one whole day exploring Tioga Road (Hwy 120). It takes about 2 hours to drive the road one way from Yosemite Valley to the eastern entrance to the park. There are many things to see along the way. Just outside the eastern entrance at Tioga Pass is beautiful Ellery Lake, and down the hill at Lee Vining is the Mobil gas station with the Whoa Nellie Deli, the best food in or around the park (with the exception of the pricey Ahwanee Hotel). You can pick up food at the Whoa Nellie Deli and bring it back up for a picnic at Ellery Lake or any of the spots along Tioga Road in the park. There is no good food in Oakhurst, don't eat at Katie's Country Kitchen.

Tioga Road in the park is mostly winding mountain roads and an easy drive if you are used to mountain driving. Outside the east entrance to the park, there are a few miles of Tioga Road that are steep and pretty scary. The rest of the road is not scary. Just go very slow and you will be fine. Only drive it if is completely dry.

There is so much to see and do in Yosemite that you have to pick and choose which things you really want to see. You can't see it all in one trip. Have your camera ready at all times because you never know when you will see an animal or another gasp-inducing view.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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Remember to tell the hotel(s) it's your anniversary, they may have gifts/discounts. Even if not, it never hurts to ask.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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oooohhh totally good call!
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