Yosemite - May 15

Apr 23rd, 2010, 10:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 13
Yosemite - May 15

My oldest son is flying out to visit us in the Bay area. We've lived here less than 2 years and have yet to visit Yosemite. There will be myself and husband, and then 19, 6, and 4 year olds.

We'd love to visit Yosemite but I know nothing about where to stay and what to do there. Drive around? With the 4 and 6 year old, hikes over a mile or so are out.

Anyone have some tips? Thanks!
geth is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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There is a valley train that takes you around, or you can go a similar route for free using park shuttles. Don't worry about 6 and 4 year olds - they will find plenty to do chasing squarrels

The best if you can get Yosemite lodge in the park (not to confuse with Yosemite view lodge - beautiful place, but not IN the park) - do they still don't have TVs there?

Go to Nat'l parks' website, they have photos, descriptions, shuttle routes. Make sure you go to Yosemite falls really close so you get wet

In the center, where Yosemite lodge is, there is a cafeteria with several food stations, don't remember exactly, maybe a restaurant and some shops. I mean, food is not a problem in the park.

Will you be driving, or you need help with Amtrak?
Dayenu is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We couldn't get lodging in the park, so we will be staying at the Miners Inn Motel in Mariposa. It got pretty good reviews and offers a free continental breakfast. I can't tell you any more than that as we won't be there until next weekend.

There is a butterfly program/celebration next weekend that includes butterfly release, a parade, and various other programs starting Friday in Mariposa.
ronkala is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Cancellations may be made without penalty as late as three days before the reservations begin. People's plans change. If you are interested in booking at the Lodge, you might try again (and again).
kmbp is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mariposa is a charming town and its a beautiful drive into the park. Let the kids make stick boats and watch them flost down the river, chase squirrels, ride the shuttles and see if they can earn a jr ranger badge! We loved climbing rocks and riding the horses too. Enjoy your visit!
onemoneygirl is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 01:14 PM
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thanks so much! I had no idea where to start .
geth is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 01:39 PM
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Review the Yosemite Guide that is currently out.

You can park inside the park and use the shuttles to get around.

Walk to Mirror Lake, it's flat. Kids and old people alike actually make the hike to Vernal Falls. Even if you only get part way, looking down to the Merced river or off in the distance to Illilouette Falls is worth it.

Since it's pretty much waterfall season in Yosemite, take a look at this web site for great waterfall info in the various areas in Yosemite.
Suzie is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2010, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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You will love Yosemite - we always stay at a bed and breakfast whenever we travel - although I think maybe yours are too young to enjoy that - we stayed at the Poppy Hill Bed and Breakfast in Mariposa - was so fantastic - but again not maybe for children.
Southwestfan is offline  
Apr 24th, 2010, 07:10 PM
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There are a bunch of trails along the river through the valley as well - they make for nice walks and since they are along the river, you can stop at small beaches long the way to wade and float leaves downstream. Fabulous with little kids.
november_moon is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Thanks for the responses. It looks like it will have to be a short trip. Would it be worth it to drive over from East Bay on Friday afternoon, stay Friday night, visit the park on Saturday and drive back Sat evening? Or should we just look for something closer to home? My son is just not that much into the beach so I was looking for something that was not.
geth is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Spending a whole day in Yosemite would be better than not visiting at all but can you get a room for that Friday night on such short notice?

Whether you go or not depends on your interest and desire. No one here can really decide for you. If you can switch your days, it is always best to visit Yosemite Valley on a weekday.

As far as beaches are concerned, I'm sure that the Merced will be a raging torrent in mid-May. Probably not the safest place for young kids at this time of year.
Otis_B_Driftwood is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Please be very careful when beside the streams or rivers this time of year. It's so easy to slip on the rocks and that water is very swift and unforgivingly cold right now. Quite dangerous, in fact.
Placename is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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We once went to Yosemite from San Francisco leaving early, coming back the same day, still I think it was worth it!

Other area you might enjoy would be Lake Tahoe.

For a shorter visit check out Safari West in Santa Rosa.
Dayenu is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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You would probably have a great time visiting the Mariposa Grove and Valley area. Ride the tram among the trees to save steps for your kids.

You could stick with Muir Woods or Pt Reyes, which is closer. Pt Reyes is a beach, but really isn't anything like a beach to swim in. Tidepooling there was really nice.

I would pick Yosemite for a day or two if at all possible.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 6th, 2010, 08:23 PM
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We like to stay at Yosemite Lodge: http://www.yosemitepark.com/Accommod...miteLodge.aspx which I recommend, if you can get a reservation. Try, and try again. Cancellations come up all the time. I'd recommend two nights, so you can spend a leisurely day in Yosemite.

Have you considered Calaveras Big Trees. You could do this in a day. It would be a long trip, but would be possible. If you decided to stay the night you could go to Big Trees and Columbia State Park ( http://www.columbiacalifornia.com/ ). You might even be able to do it in one day, but I think two would be more manageable. You could get a taste of the "Old West" with these two places.
nevermind is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 08:15 PM
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I really appreciate all the responses! Nothing like a little travel planning to relax.
geth is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We had a nice stay at the Miners Inn in Mariposa. It was about fifty minutes to the park and a few more to valley. A nice drive with nice views. We shortened our plans for Yosemite from three days to two as the Mariposa Grove was closed as was Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road due to snow. That was this past Monday and Tuesday.

Do heed the advice to park your car and use the free in-park bus. They have several buses running and the wait for one is very short. I think there are twenty one stops so parking near a stop is not hard to find.
ronkala is offline  

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