Yosemite to San Francisco?

Old Dec 12th, 2017, 02:21 AM
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Yosemite to San Francisco?

We will be travelling in early July. Our plan is to visit San Fran and Yosemite. About 3-4 nights in each spot. My question is do we fly into Fresno and do Yosemite first or fly into San Fran and start there? Also, we are thinking of Rush Creek Lodge so if you have feedback on that, we would appreciate it! Thanks for any help and tips.
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 06:41 AM
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Where will you be traveling from and do you have any flexibility in your plans?

My suggestion would be to fly into San Francisco and spend two nights at Cypress Inn at Miramar, near Half Moon Bay. It's right on the ocean, our favorite close by getting a way, beautiful rooms, close to the airport (maybe 1/2 hour). How about spending that time relaxing doing nothing? Then, refreshed, on to the main part of your trip.

As to which first, San Francisco or Yosemite, it depends on your preferences. Do you want to start (or end) with nature or culture? Either way, I like your idea of doing a triangle flight. Driving to Fresno will save you about 2 hours of not very pleasant driving. Roundtrip to San Francisco is an OK idea as well.

I've seen Rush Creek Lodge and it's quite beautiful. However, though it is only minutes from the park border, it's about 45 minutes (without traffic) to Yosemite Valley. I don't remember their cancellation policy. What I would do is make reservations there or Yosemite Valley Lodge (not as nice, kind of Best Western level but much closer to Yosemite Valley). Then I would try several times daily to get reservations in the Valley itself. I would aim for the Majestic--expensive but beautiful in a perfect location at the end of the Valley. Its elegance offers tranquility and protection against summer crowd. Both hotels are probably booked now, however, they will have cancellations and you will get one if you persevere. In fact, I just snagged one for May while looking for you.

There are two single nights at the Majestic in July, one at Yosemite Lodge. The Lodge has nice rooms, but is in a less desirable location. Because it is less expensive, it is more of a zoo.

The cancellation game means going on line several times a day, taking what you can find one at a time. If you are diligent, you will find something. Last week I cancelled 5 nights at the Majestic in April, also 3 nights (it was a special birthday with friends). Most cancellations will come closer to the date, but I'm starting now to get 2-3 nights in May. Deposit returnable until 1 week before.

I just woke up so can't say more about how very beautiful I think both Yosemite and San Francisco are. If you click on my name, you'll find my trip report on how to avoid Yosemite crowds. In short, get up EARLY. If you stay at Rush Creek, you need to leave for the Valley by 7::30 am, 8 at latest to avoid gridlock. But do not despair--it's worth it. Yosemite is the home of my heart. I wake up and look at the view of San Francisco over the Bay every morning.
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 07:21 AM
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Good points and questions by cmstraf. Transportation is possible between San Francisco and Yosemite using the combination of Amtrak and YARTS buses.
There is an Amtrak bus that leaves the San Francisco Financial District or Fisherman's Wharf early that takes you to Oakland to get on a San Joaquin train to either Merced or to Fresno airport.
The YARTS buses go from the Amtrak station in Merced into Yosemite Valley. YARTS also now runs a bus into the south entrance from the Fresno airport.
You can also rent a car at the Fresno airport (FAT).
Be sure to stop at the parking area just north of the tunnel in Yosemite for the great view of the valley and Half Dome.
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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"Be sure to stop at the parking area just north of the tunnel in Yosemite for the great view of the valley and Half Dome."

That suggestion alone seems to me to nix the whole bus idea. Public transport is good for some things and not others. This would be a "not", an awkward trip and likely a time waster too, not to mention the inability to make spontaneous stops, and they'll want to, I'm sure.

Regarding which to do first, SF or Yosemite, work on the accommodations first, as cmstraf describes, and make the decision when the Yosemite hotel falls into place. Otherwise, I know of no reason why one would be better than the other that time of year in a 10 day period. Though somewhat high (village 4,000') Yosemite has the potential to be hotter than SF but in a 10 day time frame it could go either way.
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Only time for a very quick comment: >>Rush Creek Lodge
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 09:41 AM
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janisj is wise. I just have a soft spot for the beauty of Rush Creek Lodge, but the commute is not a good one, to say it mildly. I agree with her ordering.
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Is Rush Creek the former Tenaya Lodge?
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 02:21 PM
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No -- it is totally the opposite direction. Tenaya is near the Fish Camp entrance, Rush Creek is over near Groveland
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Old Dec 12th, 2017, 05:30 PM
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Thanks - it looks somewhat similar.
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Old Dec 13th, 2017, 11:22 AM
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For those wondering about Mariposa Grove and other things in Yosemite. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvis...iposagrove.htm
I'd plan on renting a car if you come through Fresno.
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