Yosemite or Grand Canyon?

Old Feb 15th, 2010, 03:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 49
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yosemite or Grand Canyon?

We are Australians with only three nights available in USA - 26th to 29th May. Should we fly into San Francisco and take a day or overnight trip to Yosemite OR fly into Las Vegas and see the Grand Canyon??
olivetta is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 03:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I vote for Yosemite. At either place you are probably going to have a hard time finding lodging "in park". I wouldn't consider the Grand Canyon unless I could stay "in park". while the Grand Canyon is spectacular, you will enjoy it more if you raft it or hike down into it. You can do a short hike in one day, but can't raft in that short of a time. Yosemite really needs more than a day. 2 and even 3 would be better. Try for lodging inside the park, but you can find some outside the park.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 03:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
whilst both are spectacular, personally I'd do Yosemite. We just loved the drive, the scenery and the walks. It's a place I dream of returning to. I wont be returning to Vegas (not my scene) and I don't feel compelled to return to the Grand Canyon now that I have been there. I did enjoy visiting the Grand Canyon, however.
starofthesea is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 06:08 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unlike the others, I would go to Grand Canyon. It is spectacular and If I could, I would visit it any time I was in the area. So far that makes only five or six trips, and it never is the same, never gets old.

The weekend you will be here is Memorial Day and Yosemite is likely to be very crowded, Grand Canyon may have some crowds too, but I've always been able to walk a bit along rim trail or Bright Angel trail and found it quite uncrowded.

Call the Xanterra number for lodging in the park and keep calling as cancellations happen all the time and they don't always get on the web.
emalloy is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 06:12 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 977
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love them both but, if you have never been to either then it would have to be Grand Canyon. Waste as little time as possible getting out of Vegas.
peterboy is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 07:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 69
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Due to your time limits, I would recommend the Grand Canyon. It is more easily accessible from Vegas; however, if you had another day or two, I would vote for Yosemite, which is one of my favorite locations to visit in the states - the views and hikes are spectacular!
russp3762 is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 07:38 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 25,014
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
Any trip that starts and ends in San Francisco vs. Las Vegas sounds better to me. I also prefer Yosemite over the Grand Canyon, but they are totally different experiences and impossible to compare IMO.
Jean is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 08:18 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You ought to check availability for the type of Yosemite trip you mentioned in your OP before you make a choice. That weekend might already be booked. Googling will yield you lots of options. Those bus trip type of things are not my cup of tea, but it might be a good choice in your circumstances. Try to get an overnight trip if you can as the day trips offer you very little actual time in the Valley.
iamq is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 08:32 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,565
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
I remembered this exact question from last September by another poster, and the responses were really good, so I think you should click on the following link and consider the comments made therein. My comments in the thread below still stand.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...nd-canyon-.cfm
Surfergirl is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 09:55 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,520
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have 4 days/3 nights, of which you will spend two days/one night at the park, and the rest at the city. In that case I would highly recommend San Francisco/Yosemite over Las Vegas/Grand Canyon.

I also recommend that you stay overnight, driving yourselves there and back. Late May is a perfect time as the waterfalls are at their peak, and the weather usually fine. HOowever, you will absolutely want to avoid the holiday weekend---Memorial Day weekend is the most crowded time at Yosemite. So if you arrive in San Francisco in the 26th, you could depart for Yosemite early the next morning and spend Thursday night there.

For a short visit, lodging inside Valley is best. If you don't mind roughing it a bit, there are tent cabins available at Curry Village, which is a great location albeit noisy and crowded. Or you could have a room with ensuite bath at Wawona, which is still inside Yosemite Park but not in th evalley. This is closer to the sequoia groves but you could drive to the Valley in 30 to 40 minutes. For lodging inside the park use the official website:

http://www.yosemitepark.com/

There might be more available (such as rooms at the motel-like Yosemite Lodge at the Falls) if you call rather than booking on the website.

There are also regular hotels and motels near the park entrances. These might offer better rooms and amenities, but the trade-off is the drive back and forth to the Valley.

If you are thinking of a bus tour instead of driving yourselves, they will most likely use the lodging outside the park, usually a place called Cedar Lodge. Unless you have an aversion to driving on the righthand side of the road, you'll probably get better value and have more free time to spend in the park if you drive yourselves.
enzian is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 10:44 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
enzian rocks!
iamq is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 12:17 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SF & Yosemite for sure..... although Yosemite is not a day trip from Sf..you will need to stay over. THe accomodations in the park are ok, not great and that weekend is sure to be booked early. I highly recommend you research/ contact The Homestead Cottages.... a well-priced pretty little place south of the park that my husband and I have stayed at many times. It's a great base for exploring Yosemite & Bass Lake. You can check them out on Tripadvisor..... have fun!
Californiatiger is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 12:59 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,520
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm afraid Bass Lake would not be the best choice for someone coming from San Francisco and with only one night to spend at Yosemite. As I pointed out above, there are (or were a couple of hours ago) still accomodations available INSIDE the park, and even in Yosemite Valley. Granted, Curry Village is not luxury; it is more like camping, but you can't beat the location. We sometimes stay there by choice, and then take the $$$ we've saved and splurge on dinner at the Ahwahnee.

I understand that tent cabins at Curry are not for everyone, and if so there is still Wawona or the motels at El Portal, either of which would be more convenient than places south of the park.
enzian is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 03:47 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you using your time as a brief stopover on the way to another destination? If not, I don't really see the point in flying all the way from Australia just to spend three days in California.

Otherwise, I'll agree with those who are suggesting Yosemite. If you can stay in the park, that would be best; I grew up near Bass Lake and it's a bit too far away for the time you have.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 04:21 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 34
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with ElendilPickle. Can you give us a bit more about the WHOLE trip. I can't believe you are flying from Australia to just do this and return. Maybe we can all help you reapportion your days so that you can really experience one of these 2 wonderful sites. I have been to both and would take Yosemite in a heartbeat. But unless we know where else you have been or are going it is tough to help you decide.
shraid is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2010, 04:48 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 49
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for your help. The three nights available are before we go via Spokane and many places on the eastern side of the Rocky Mts, ending up in Banff, Calgary and then into Toronto, Niagara, Montreal, St Lawrence Thousand Islands & New York for 4th July. The other places have a set schedule with a group of other travellers, so we have only the three days spare on our own before arriving in Spokane.
I really appreciate your help, especially knowing about crowded times and public holidays which may make it hard to find accommodation.
It has been a great response.
olivetta is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2010, 06:58 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't take the train to the GC. At least that's my opinion.

Grand Canyon= 10 on the Wow Factor Scale(but only 1 time-your first look at it) The first look is a powerful experience
Yosemite= 9.9 on the Wow Factor Scale(many times)

The Grand Canyon looks similar from each viewpoint. Hiking down a bit, or rafting raises the level of the overall experience. To me, the Grand Canyon isn't a "total package" park like a lot of the other parks. That said, you really can't go wrong with either place. I do agree with Louie, to check out the El Tovar. We had the chance to see a condor up very close in Zion last year and they are ugly and impressive at the same time. I have been to many National Parks and the Grand Canyon 3 times. I wouldn't even rank it in my top 5. However, it is the one place that you will gasp outloud at the first sight. The last time I rafted a portion of it, and that was pretty awesome. If you do go to GC, I think a helicopter flight over it is nice to give you the entire spectrum of it. You don't realize just how big it is standing at the rim(although you know its one big hole), but from the air you can see it for miles.

Yosemite has a ton of hikes to choose from, amazing waterfalls, and trees that will leave you in amazement.

Either place won't be as crowded on 26 and 27. I would think the 28 and 29 would be.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2010, 03:25 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 20,661
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to say, this is very, very bad that you cannot see both. I would choose Grand Canyon over Yosemite if one must choose.

As for lodging, yes, it's a holiday, and probably you may call to check for cancellations, but instead of staying on the rim there is Tusayan, and we even stayed at Sedona! Another gorgeous place by the way, close to the canyon.

Whatever you choose, make sure you have a spare memory card for your camera!
Dayenu is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2010, 04:18 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,880
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Either Grand Canyon (been there 50 times, rafted several hundred miles thru it on several river trips, hiked over 1,200 miles below the rim, I love the place) or Yosemite (been there maybe a dozen times, mostly for hiking) would be wonderful, hard to choose between these American icons. Can't go wrong with either choice.

But if I had to choose between San Francisco and Las Vegas I'd always pick San Francisco (unless you are a big fan of casinos or shows). Not even close.

So that would tip it to Yosemite and SF for me ...
Bill_H is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2010, 04:55 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 462
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just in case you have not finalized your trip yet: As you are going to Banff and surrounds I would skip Yosemite and go to the Grand Canyon which I think is much, much better in all ways. I was in Yosemite last May and was rather underwhelmed - yes it was nice but nowhere near as grand and beautiful as those areas around Banff and at least the GC gives you a different view of the natural wonders in North America. I am not a big fan of SF either and although I don't gamble I do think that one has to see the " big person's Disney World at least once in their life.
I think that the GC has a fantastic WOW factor and the areas around there are just magnificent i.e. Flagstaff, Sedona, to mention but a couple. The Indian history is also very interesting.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -