Yosemite Report - June 1- 5

Old Jun 25th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Yosemite Report - June 1- 5

Hi - we just got back from an 11 day trip from Yosemite to San Francisco. I have posted the SF trip report separately. It was myself, husband and two boys, ages 10 and 14. Yosemite was more beautiful than I imagined. The views as we entered the park and drove to the valley were breathtaking. The waterfalls were overflowing and the skies were clear.

June 1 Sun - Arrive at SFO at 2:30 and got rental car (Dollar was so easy to work with and cheap!)We stayed our first night (Sat) in Oakdale along the way to rest up. Best Western there was wonderful! Sunday morning, we got groceries, cooler and supplies and were on our way. Arrived at entrance midday and decided to drive to Tioga Pass first thing. Since we are from Alabama, the kids dont see snow, rarely, so they enjoyed seeing the snow and we made several stops for them to play in the snow, take pictures,etc. Drove to Tioga Pass and on to Tioga Lake, which was frozen over. Had picnic lunch in our summer shorts at stop there. Put sweatshirts on, ha. It was so neat! Boys just had so much fun. Drove back more slowly and stopped at several waterfalls, etc along with way. Tuolomne Meadows was still covered in snow (I didnt think about that), so we missed the wildflowers for sure. Drove back to valley and checked into Yosemite Lodge. We had confirmed our reservations for Deluxe room before we left, but when we checked into the room, found it occupied. Nightmare! They had double-booked the room. Not sure how that happened. So we went back to lodge and they searched and searched since all was booked. Finally got a room patio level (had earlier been assigned a balcony as requested), but we were glad to have a place to stay. I wonder if someone who got there late didnt find a room?? Ugh. We were in one of two buildings that had just been renovated. So great! That evening, we ate at the Food Court and took the short stroll to Yosemite Falls. Fantastic! Later we attended the ranger program on the amphitheater on the history of Camp Curry, a film. Very interesting!

Mon - Day 2 - Had breakfast and packed a picnic lunch and walked over to Yosemite Falls. Then boarded a shuttle to the dropoff point for Vernal Falls. Hiked to Vernal Falls and had picnic on rocks overlooking the falls. The falls were very full and there was a lot of spray. The hike got very steep and the falls made the trail very wet so we didnt continue on the Nevada Falls. (DH and 14 yrold son returned another day and did that alone.) Around 3:00pm, we had hiked back down and instead of getting back on the shuttle, we walked a short way in the village and rented bikes to see Mirror Lake and ride around the Valley. DH and I saw a bear along the Mirror Lake road, thanks to other people stopping to take pictures. He was a smaller brown bear and had been close to the trail, but was going back into the woods. (The ranger came along and shewed him back into the woods a little deeper). The boys didnt see him as they were riding fast ahead of us. That was the kids favorite thing we did this trip and I must say we enjoyed it too. The bikes werent that uncomfortable to ride and we stopped for ice cream in Curry Village. We saw lots of deer and squirrels. We kept the bikes til closing and had Food Court dinner on patio of our room. Saw Ranger Program again. Great day!

Tues Day 3 - Drove to Glacier Pt and Mariposa Grove of Redwoods - Along the way, stopped at Bridleveil Falls and hiked around. These falls were so full of water, it was very misty and didnt get as close as we would have liked. We usually carried ponchos, but forgot them this day when we needed them. Drove on to Glacier Pt for great views and hiked out to Sentinel Pt. This was not a long hike, but Sentinel Pt is the peak of a granite mountain, so it was strenous and very cool and windy up there. Of course, we all wore shorts and froze. But the views were worth it. Again, we picnicked and had a hard time with the wind blowing our food wrapers, etc while we were eating. There was snow still all around. I didnt research this hike well enough, ha. But the view was worth it all and I got great pictures. Then on to Mariposa Grove and walked the trail to the Sequoias. They have the oldest living Sequoah there, the Grizzly Giant. My 10 yr old was intrigued by these trees. Returned by way of Wawona Hotel, a southern like lodge with golf course nearby. We were impressed by the huge lawns, big front porch with hostesses in long skirts serving tea, lemonade, cookies. Fancy!

Wed Day 4- DH and older son got up very early to hike Nevada Falls and and we slept in. This part of the trip was so relaxing. We had breakfast and then took the shuttle to the Indian Village, Yosemite Cemetery, Yosemite Museum and had pizza lunch on the patio at Curry Village. Warning, at 1:00pm, there was a long line, but the pizza was very good and worth it! Later caught up with the boys and checked out the Ahwannee Hotel and walked around. Very nice! Also, hiked in El Capitan Meadow and watched rock climbers. Later hiked the Cooks Meadow loop after dinner which is located near the Visitor Center. A nice trail, but unmarked. Saw Ranger program in amphitheater each night.

Thurs - Packed up to leave and took one more walk around the beautiful Yosemite Falls. Then made the lovely scenic drive back to SF, stopping at all the overlooks along the way. The shuttle buses were very convenient to see all of the valley and the Food Court was a reasonable priced way of getting good quality of food for our meals. There was also lots of variety. For our picnics, we shopped in the grocery store near the Visitors Center and got meat, cheese, PBJ, flatbread, fruits, etc. Prices not bad and much better than buying from the gift store. Picnicking along the trails is the only way to go!
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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I really enjoyed your report! Not as much as your family enjoyed the trip

Double-booking, what a nightmare! I wonder too, what happened to other travelers.
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Great report! My husband and I will be visiting Yosemite in AUgust and plan to do many of the same activities. What did your husband and son think of the hike to Nevada Falls? We made it to Vernal last time and we want to go all the way to Nevada this time.
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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So nice to hear of someone driving through Tuolumne Meadows. Most people just stick to the Valley and miss so much. Another destination out of the Valley that we enjoy is the Hetch Hetchy area.
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Kerry, they thought the hike was very worthwhile, but longer than they thought. They were amazed at the volume of water flowing over the falls. DH said the speed and flow of the falls was terrific. Made me wish I had gone, but me and the little one just werent up for it. Next time we will go, like you said. You wont have to worry about slick steps probably when you go in August. But be sure to carry a couple bottles of water each and lunch or snacks. They said they ran into one couple that didnt bring ANY water and were so sorry! Disbelief!
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 03:33 AM
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Great trip report! Brought back nice memories of our family trip in August 06. Did much of what you did although, of course, the water was less prevalent and the crowds were a disappointment (although expected).

I'm curious about the renovations at the Yosemite Lodge. What are the rooms like now? I'm guessing no brighter than they were but wondering if the bathrooms are updated, etc.
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 04:22 AM
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I love reading trip reports of places I've been, it brings back memories and it's like being there again. Thanks for writing!
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 07:13 AM
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Hi, you were in my neighborhood!I'm glad to hear your night in Oakdale was wonderful. You were lucky to be there in Yosemite before the fires. There is a fire burning near Groveland,and with all the other fires in Northern California the San Joaquin Valley is engulfed in smoke. Yosemite is one of my favorite places and it is always good to hear someone else's praises of it.
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Thanks for a great report. What an awesome trip you had! Like you, I also love Sentinel Point It is one my favorite viewpoints in all the Valley. Well done!
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Well, in response to the renovations, our bldg and one other were the only ones completed as of June. We were told that when they were trying to find us another room. Since we had paid for a Deluxe, they said that included the renovated rooms. I suspect the renovations were new bedspreads, pillows, mattresses and maybe carpet. Also, the rooms had TVs, which surprised me. The beds were very comfortable, but the room sizes were small and not much they could do to improve the bathrooms, so not much change. I wouldnt have even noticed if they hadnt told me, but was glad we had a "renovated" room.

Sharon, so sorry about the fires. I guess these are an act of nature, from what we hear! How awful! Yes, we were fortunate. We loved driving through Groveland and were going to eat lunch there, but couldnt find parking, ha. A cute town and I took several pictures there. Oakdale is very charming and would have liked to have seen more of it, but got in late on a Sat evening and left Sunday around noon.

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments. We loved every minute of our trip.
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