Yosemite Questions

Old Oct 13th, 2010, 06:07 AM
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Yosemite Questions

If we decide to stay in Oakhurst near the south entrance to the park rather than stay in the park, what order is best for a day:

Go to Glacier Point and Sentinal Dome and or/Taft Point first and do the hikes there and then head into the Valley late afternoon or

Go to the Valley first and see the Ansel Adams museum, the village etc, hike in the valley and then go to Glacier point and Sentinal Dome later?

Baskingstoke mentioned a nice place he stayed at in Oakhurst and the area sounded interesting--near the Mariposa Grove also.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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End the day at Glacier Point. If I had a choice, I'd end this life at sunset at Glacier Point, looking at Half Dome. It is truly one of the most awe-inspiring views I have seen in almost fifty years of travel.

Better still is to spend the first day in the Valley, and the second day hiking from Glacier Point down the Panorama Trail.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 07:30 AM
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You may want to check out accommodations at Yosemite West...it's a private "inholding" inside the park boundaries and much more convenient to both the Valley and Glacier Point than Oakhurst is. There are condos and cabins there.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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What month are you going? Any particular reason not staying in the park. We really like Wawonna and our cabin in Curry Village this past summer. Yosemite is a very amazing sight, you will have a great time.

PaulRabe, I can think of few places that are like that. The kind of places that nearly bring you to your knees. A first look at the Grand Canyon or Crater Lake. Yosemite has several of those places(and I have only been there once). Mist Trail was really special for me.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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We will go in the summer but still haven't pinned down exactly when. We are working on it. Right now we don't know if we will have only one day for Yosemite or if we can add more time and spend more in the park which I think is what we need in order to see the wonderful area. If things book up fast for the park, and we haven't decided yet I was thinking there would be more options outside the park like in Oakhurst or Mariposa.

This is another question that would help in my planning which I should probably post separately but I will try here. How much time is needed for Point Lobos in the Carmel area? We were originally only going to go to the aquarium in Monterey but I read so much about Point Lobos and want to squeeze that in too. If we do that though then we are short changing ourselves in Yosemite. Can you do Point Lobos toward evening after the aquarium? They close a half hour after sunset.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Oakhurst is pretty nice. Get an early start and you can see Mariposa Grove on your way to the Park. Drive up to Glacier Point then down to the Valley. If you get a second day in Yosemite, stay in the Park. Don't drive back down to Oakhurst.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 09:02 AM
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How much time do you plan to spend at the aquarium? Some people spend all day there, but I personally think that while it's terrific, it's also pretty small, and I can be in and out (having seen plenty -- actually, if I just see the jellyfish, I'm happy) in 2-3 hours. So you could get to the aquarium when it opens and be done by lunchtime.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 09:34 AM
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I should clarify what we want to do.

When we arrive, we plan on heading straight down to Monterey from SFO and spend the night before driving over to Yosemite for two nights. From Yosemite we are heading for one night in wine country and the remainder of the time in San Francisco before heading back home.

By the time we arrive on the first day it could be late afternoon and then we only have a couple of hours for the aquarium that first day or early morning the next before taking off toward Yosemite. I read so much about Point Lobos that we want to squeeze that in now also. However, we don't want to cheat ourselves on the beauty of Yosemite. We only have a week to work with. DH and I have been to San Francisco twice before and we have seen Monterey but not Point Lobos but son has never been to any of it and there is tons to do in the city for him. None of us have been to Yosemite before.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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So,

We need help planning the best route possible. Should we attempt the aquarium and Point Lobos on day 1? Should we split it up between arrival day and the next day? If we do that and it takes between 4-5 hours to drive from Monterey to Yosemite then that doesn't leave much time for Yosemite on the day we arrive there. Can you cover Glacier Point and the Valley in one day? It sounds like you really need more time to do it justice. How would you structure it to make the most of the limited time?
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Should we attempt the aquarium and Point Lobos on day 1?

No. We've done (as a day trip from the area near SFO) the following -- drive down and stop in Capitola for an hour, keep driving along the coast all the way to Nepenthe, stop for snack. Turn around and on the way back, stop at Pfeiffer Beach. We left home at 9 a.m. and got back to Pacific Grove at 5 p.m.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Just to clarify geography. Oakhurst is south of Yosemite & San Francisco is West. Oakhurst would therefore take you to far out of the way. Is that correct, California Experts?
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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Don't short change yourself at any location. I always hate to feel like I've missed a lot. Yosemite has 4 or 5 areas. The Valley(what everyone see), Maripossa Grove(big trees and most people see it), Tioga Rd/Tuolmne Meadows/High Country, and Hetch Hetchy, and Glacier Point Road. How much time you spend in each place depends on how much hiking, rafting, horseback riding, etc. that you want to do.

We went the last part of May. I really like waterfalls, so I wanted to see them at their peak. The only negative thing was that it had snowed so much that we didn't get to see Tioga Rd or Glacier Pt. We were there 4 days and never got the least bit bored. I think 3 days would be the absolute minimum for me there, but really a week or more would even be better. The crowds weren't that bad. Later in the summer, it will be more crowded. However, you could do a little rafting or even swim in a spot or two. Generally all of the "high county" doesn't open fully until the end of June. This year was a super snow year and some of it didn't open until mid-July.

While the coast is fantastic, I don't think that many things can equal Yosemite(perhaps Yellowstone). Don't miss it!!
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Oakhurst is South of Yosemite and SF is West but they will be coming from Monterey to Oakhurst if I understand correctly.

You can see the aquarium in a couple hours if you wish. It is not that huge that you have to plan an entire day.

Just a note: Yosemite Valley can get stifling hot depending on the temperature. And it will be crowded in the summer. Last time we went it was 110F by noon. We got right out of there. If it is warm when you visit plan to see the valley early, minus the crowds, and then head to a higher elevation where it is cooler to do some hiking.

Glacier point is spectacular, looking straight, and I mean straight, down on the valley.

You could spend weeks, and we have, exploring Yosemite and never see it all. The driving takes a bit of time so plan that into your schedule also. It is a beautiful place not to be missed.
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Old Oct 15th, 2010, 05:23 AM
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Ok. Thanks so far.

How long does it take to hike from Glacier Point to Sentinal Dome? The guidebooks say from the Sentinal Dome parking lot it is a 2.2 mile round trip and it is a 1/4 mile longer and steeper from Glacier Point to Sentinal Dome. Of course though I'm sure you stop at various points along the way and don't run through the 2.2 miles so how long does it typically take?

Has anyone done the Taft Point hike? What is that like? The guidebooks stress that there are no guardrails there.

What about Mariposa grove? There is a tram but if you decide to walk a loop trail, how long does that usually take? A couple of hours?

What is everyone's favorite Valley hike?

How long does it take to drive to Tioga Pass and to the meadows from the Valley?

This would help in alloting enough time I hope. Although there is never enough time when you try to see too many things in a short period.
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Old Oct 15th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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Don't miss the Mist Trail. You could hike from Glacier Point to the Valley via the Panorama Trail and then connect up with the Mist Trail. You can take a shuttle one way from the valley to do this hike. Of course, do walk up to Bridal Veil and Yosemite Falls. Those are just walks from you parking spot. Allow an hour for each of those. We saw a bear and two cubs not far from Bridal Falls.

For the Maripossa Grove. How long it takes, depends on just how many of the trees you want to see. To see all the Major trees probably 3-5 hours. This includes clothespin tree, etc. If you just wanna see the Tunnel and Grizzly Giant, probably an hour is enough. I say, see them all while you are there.

You can probably allow for 1 to 1.5hrs(one way) for the drives.
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