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Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?

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avatar What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 10:50AM
Hi Everyone!

I'm taking my family this weekend for a low impact/slow pace style vacation in the valley. I have a few good ideas about where I think I'd like to go for a nice picnic lunch with a view, but I'm curious what you forum dwellers might come up with.

Here's the criteria:

1) Must be in or near the valley. (I'd like to ride bikes from Upper Pines to the beginning of the hike)
2) Must be accessible to intermediate level hikers. Scrambles and off trail hikes are great!
3) Must have a spectacular view and be reasonably private. Something off the beaten path?

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thank You!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 11:02AM
I feel obligated to give you the correct answer to the Subject line question but that obvious answer doesn't match the body of your post or meet the rest of your criteria.
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 01:12PM
I suppose I should have made it "picnic lunch" in the subject line. Oh well, too late now. Besides, we all know the Curry Pizza deck wins, hands down.



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2012 01:14PM by Jayabrams.
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 11:22AM
Quote
Jayabrams
Hi Everyone!

I'm taking my family this weekend for a low impact/slow pace style vacation in the valley. I have a few good ideas about where I think I'd like to go for a nice picnic lunch with a view, but I'm curious what you forum dwellers might come up with.

Here's the criteria:

1) Must be in or near the valley. (I'd like to ride bikes from Upper Pines to the beginning of the hike)
2) Must be accessible to intermediate level hikers. Scrambles and off trail hikes are great!
3) Must have a spectacular view and be reasonably private. Something off the beaten path?

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thank You!

I am at a loss to think of anything place that meets all of your criteria but maybe someone else here can think of something.

Although it does not have a spectacular view, we like to picnic on the huge boulder that is in front of the Indian Caves. You can ride your bikes to that area and then walk up from the bike path. Easy walk to the boulder and you can walk right up the boulder on it's right side. The trail to Mirror Lake goes between where the Indian Caves are and the boulder but there have been times when we did not see anyone the whole time we were eating there. This weekend there should not be a lot of people in the park so chances are you might have the area to yourselves. Note that this is not a formal picnic area so there are no tables or trash cans.

Another spot that we snack at is a boulder that sticks out into the Merced just above the Vernal Falls bridge. If you go up the trail past the bridge just before the sign for the start of the Mist Trail if you look to your left you will see what looks like some steps and a small sign. Go down those steps which go between some rocks and you will see the boulder which runs from the bank into the Merced. You can get an almost straight on view of Vernal Falls. However, there can be times when there are other people there. Just be careful because although the boulder is fairly flat, it does slope towards the river and there are places that the boulder can be slick. Watch you packs because the squirrels are pretty tenacious about trying to get into them for food. I once had a squirrel try to sit on my lap while I was eating.
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 12:19PM
This was the view from Sierra Point last Tuesday afternoon. Fits some of your criteria, in particular the scramble and off-trail part.


However you might not fit too many people picknicking right at the railing.
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 12:40PM
Go to curry village , find the stream that comes down from Staircase Falls and follow it up to the base of the cliffs above the tree line.
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 03:49PM
Perhaps the Devil's Bathtub (aka base of Royal Arch Cascade) above the Ahwahnee Hotel.



avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 04:25PM
Well... I guess I'll second that one... was gonna say that but someone told me about it and
they seemed to want to keep it kinda hush hush. Since the chick-on is out of the henhouse...

There's actually a number from there here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/BigTreesValley
Few look with detail and no one asked back then... so I said nothing...

Another neat place, just went to... is just below Royal Arches:

Peek of that is this:


Straight up is Royal Arches.
Only issue right now is that the black flies were a pain in the rump roast with the heat and they seem to love oaks.

Have fun



Picasa Pictures
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 04:36PM
I think most of the discussion regarding that group of photos were about the tunnels on Big Oak Flat Road and Wawona Road, IIRC.
.
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 06:28PM
anyone made it to the "bath tub" in the 3 day window that its warm but not stagnant?
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 09:07PM
I strenuously disagree with anyone who thinks the Curry Village pizza is edible.

The FAR BETTER pizza is at the Yosemite Lodge cafeteria. Buy your pizza (or any other food you want) there, wrap it up and put it in your backpack.

Though not technically the Valley floor, hike the Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point. Trailhead is in the Valley floor. Great view, water fountain and then eat your pizza up there. Nothing else comes remotely close.
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 09:19PM
Quote
Ulysses61
I strenuously disagree with anyone who thinks the Curry Village pizza is edible.

The FAR BETTER pizza is at the Yosemite Lodge cafeteria. Buy your pizza (or any other food you want) there, wrap it up and put it in your backpack.

Though not technically the Valley floor, hike the Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point. Trailhead is in the Valley floor. Great view, water fountain and then eat your pizza up there. Nothing else comes remotely close.

curry pizza inedible ? 4 mile trail blows everything else out of the water ? troll alert
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 25, 2012 09:47PM
smileys with beerEl Cap meadow would be my choice. Not very private but easy access and a great view of the greatest piece of granite on earth.
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 26, 2012 08:47AM
Thank you all for your input. I've been to Sierra Point, and while I plan to visit again, I don't think we'll do lunch there.

My brother also suggested the cascade above the Ahwahnee. That is looking to be my first choice at the moment. I assume it will be flowing nicely after the recent rains and hot weather. However, if the weather is right, The El Cap meadow may be the best choice. Gonna offer a few choices to the family on that morning and see what happens.

I can appreciate the sensitivity of some of these "favorite places". So a double thank you to those who shared. I'll be sure to come back and post some follow up pictures.

Just to be clear...I would never eat Curry Village pizza anywhere but on that deck with a cold beer. It's good, but it ain't that good...I plan to pack a fun, satisfying, healthy meal of course. (Twinkies included)



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 26, 2012 08:57AM
It is... (you can also see it on the Ahwahnee Webcam)
Here it is from last Sunday:


I was too lazy at this point to go to the upper tub...

It literally will take MAX 10 minutes to hike to THIS location from Ahwahnee.

All that said... my first choice would be El Cap meadow. It was SOOOO nice last weekend...
and it will be again this weekend. nice bike ride to there and lounge looking up at the captain.
I wanna go now.. (ok, not right now... it's raining)

Have fun and say hi if you see me on Saturday
Chick-on is looking at you!



Picasa Pictures
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 26, 2012 08:41AM
a couple of options

Easy: Sentinel Beach---walk along the river until you see fewer people. You have views of the Valley, and the river nearby

Harder: 1/4 mile up the Snow Creek Falls trail. You get above the treeline, and the views open up. Very few people take this trail in the middle of the day, for good reason. It's a steep hot climb to the top.

More strenuous: The base of Ribbons Falls west of El Cap. A very steep but short hike, very few people, views of the valley



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 30, 2012 09:32AM
Hi Everyone,

What a wonderful weekend. The weather was perfect and even though it was free entry weekend, it was not totally overrun. Crowded, but not "July" crowded.

The Lunch spot winner from the weekend was the Upper bathtub (Devils Bathtub?) at the Royal Arches Cascade. We rode from the Upper Pines CG to Yosemite Falls and played in the mist for a while then headed back and used the valet parking for our bicycles at the Ahwahneee (just kidding). After playing at the lower cascade for a while, we quickly found the path to the upper bench and the tub.
Upper Royal Arches Cascade


Obligatory Lower Yosemite Falls Shot


Left some bait to see if there might be a chick-on near Sierra Point...


Sadly, my daughter did not get the significance and ate the bait shortly thereafter.

It was a really fun, low impact, family oriented weekend. Now that I've got that out of my system. It's back to back country exploring!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 30, 2012 09:39AM
Sounds like you had a great time. I will have to try the upper bathtub for a picnic on a future trip. Chick-on missed a good looking twinkie.
avatar Re: What's the best place to have lunch in the Valley?
April 30, 2012 11:17AM
Nom nom nom!

Well... Old Dude and I were there Saturday. Got my flippers wet.
Glad you enjoyed.

With the amount of water coming down it was pretty neat...




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