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Re: Getting Around in Yosemite

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Getting Around in Yosemite
July 08, 2009 04:03PM
Hello all. I am new to this forum, but I do contribute regularly to other National Park forums.

I have some questions for you Yosemite regulars. My parents plan a visit early next week. They are taking a road trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Neither they nor I have ever been to Yosemite, so they do not know what to expect and I do not know how to advise them.

First off they will be looking for a place to stay – hotel room. They will be doing car excursions into the park (unless access is limited to transit buses such as on Grand Canyon’s south rim…..you see I am very familiar with Glacier, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, but I know very little about Yosemite). Which towns/locations would you recommend they look into?

Looking at the map the size of the gateway towns is unclear – will there be issues finding a room at a reasonable rate (say less than $100)?

What would you recommend for an older couple who cannot hike but want to spend a couple days visiting the highlights of the park? They will be arriving from the north after visiting some old friends in Boise, Idaho, then leaving toward the south to head to Sequoia National Park.

I know these questions are terribly broad, but any help or advice you can offer to a first-time visitor would be greatly appreciated.
avatar Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 08, 2009 04:17PM
Quote
Family Man
They will be doing car excursions into the park (unless access is limited to transit buses such as on Grand Canyon’s south rim…..

There are no such restrictions in Yosemite.

Quote

Which towns/locations would you recommend they look into? Looking at the map the size of the gateway towns is unclear – will there be issues finding a room at a reasonable rate (say less than $100)?

Under $100? The only thing I can think of off hand is the Motel 6 in Mammoth Lakes.

Quote

What would you recommend for an older couple who cannot hike but want to spend a couple days visiting the highlights of the park? They will be arriving from the north after visiting some old friends in Boise, Idaho, then leaving toward the south to head to Sequoia National Park.

The Valley (or course) and Tuolumne Meadows.
Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 08, 2009 05:22PM
Oakhurst and Mariposa are probably the closest "gateway" towns where you'd have a chance of finding a reasonable room without advance planning. I'd check online with something like Expedia, etc., for those two cities or the vicinity. I'm not sure how summer prices are, but perhaps with some searching and discounts they can find something reasonable. They're roughly an hour (Mariposa) to an hour and a half drive (Oakhurst) to Yosemite Valley. The Valley is the central area, and I'd suggest they go there.

There's a day parking lot inside the valley, and from there buses run constantly to shuttle you around to different parts of the valley. They might want to go first to the visitor's center (walkable from day parking) to get oriented. There are valley excursions that leave regularly that will give them a quick, 'touristy' overview of the falls and general valley sights and features. There is also a bus that goes up to Glacier Point twice (and return) daily, I'd definitely recommend doing that; it leaves from Yosemite Lodge (where you can get advance tickets (important) around 8:30 and 10:30 in the morning, I believe. They can also drive to Glacier if they prefer, but it's a winding road, buses sometimes take the middle half (!), and the tour bus ride from the valley is pleasant and educational.

There is decently priced food around (for a park/resort), if they're on somewhat of a budget the food court at Yosemite Lodge gives a good amount of choice and prices aren't bad. There is other food around the village...Degnan's deli for sandwiches etc. and a pizza loft upstairs, or miscellaneous food at crowded Curry Village. Or, pricier places at the Lodge and the Ahwahnee hotel, if they prefer.

Bikes can be rented at Yosemite Lodge; depending on their age and condition, it's a great way to get around the valley independent of the shuttle, but they should orient themselves first by taking the shuttle or a tour around. The walks to Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil fall are short and usually worthwhile, though I don't think even the El Capitan shuttle goes down to Bridalveil, so they'd want to drive there and park in the lot. That's definitely a good one, as the walk is as short/long as they'd like, and they can see Bridalveil falls and creek, El Capitan and other sights on a leisurely walk.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 08, 2009 05:47PM
Last year in June the Miner's Inn in Mariposa charged us something like $96. per night plus taxes and that was with AARP discount.

Jim
avatar Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 09, 2009 07:28AM
Be sure to check http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/where.htm , I noticed some Curry Village vacancies that might be good if the parents can tolerate a rustic arrangement.

Also, calling various motels directly may yield some options even if there websites suggest no vacancy. For national brands, I get better rates and options if I call the motels directly rather than going through the national 800 numbers.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 09, 2009 08:56AM
Quote
Family Man
First off they will be looking for a place to stay – hotel room. They will be doing car excursions into the park (unless access is limited to transit buses such as on Grand Canyon’s south rim…..you see I am very familiar with Glacier, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, but I know very little about Yosemite). Which towns/locations would you recommend they look into?

Looking at the map the size of the gateway towns is unclear – will there be issues finding a room at a reasonable rate (say less than $100)?

Mariposa and Oakhurst are small unincorporated communities, although Mariposa is the county seat of Mariposa County (which has no incorporated cities). Mariposa is not a very large place. Oakhurst is a bit larger and there's a supermarket. If you're talking under $100 - maybe in the offseason. I stayed one night a couple of years ago and got under $100 at the Best Western in June with AAA discount. You might also have problems getting a room now - especially in Mariposa. There are also some really nearby places (Cedar Lodge and Yosemite View Lodge) but they're rather pricey now and may be fully booked most days during summer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariposa,_California
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakhurst,_California

Worst case scenario cold be shuttling in from Modesto or Fresno. You would have no problems finding a place to stay there.

The more affordable places to stay would be the tent cabins in the park. It's not a lot of luxury and you have to be careful about food. In fact - don't ever, ever store food in your car after dark. Yosemite bears have developed a skill at sniffing for food and prying open car doors. I know you can store food in you car nearly everywhere else with black bears, but not Yosemite. They've got a car door displayed at Curry Village from a car broken into by a bear.



There are vacation homes available at Yosemite West. It's a community just outside the park boundaries. They also may be out of your price range.
avatar Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 09, 2009 02:35PM
Quote
y_p_w
Oakhurst is a bit larger and there's a supermarket.

Actually there are two in Oakhurst.
Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 09, 2009 11:51AM
It's possible to find rental properties in the Groveland area for $99.

One example:
http://www.yosemitegoldvacations.com/site/Overview/PropertyID__5371/942/DesktopDefault.aspx

Groveland is an hour's drive from Yosemite Valley. Some of these places require a full week's stay. I am not familiar with this particular property, it's just the first one I found.

Given the economy, you might be able to negotiate the price and/or the length of the stay.

You can find a list of area realtors on this web page:
http://www.pinemountainlake.com/?pg=revr

There is a new hostel in Groveland, also. Just noticed it last week.
Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 09, 2009 03:00PM
We spent 3 nights in the Comfort Inn in Oakhurst last week (June 30, July1 & July 2) for an average of $89 per night with the AAA discount. They were were not full and getting a room for an extra night (we only booked two) was not a problem. The place was quite reasonable and included a free breakfast. I would recommend it. The drive to the Valley, with the extra wait for construction & fire fighting delays was 75 to 90 minutes.
Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 10, 2009 08:09AM
Thank you all for your help. My parents are leaving our place in Montana today to head for Boise for a few days, then on to Yosemite middle of next week. They appreciate you input as well.
avatar Re: Getting Around in Yosemite
July 10, 2009 02:31PM
I stayed one night recently at a very cute place in Fish Camp called the Narrow Gauge Inn. I would highly recommend it. It has a restaurant, pool, jacuzzi, is closer to the park entrance than Oakhurst, (maybe 10 minutes from the entry) yet the Portal (Mariposa) is still closer to the Valley. This place is closer to Wawona and Glacier Point. Has a complimentary continental breakfast and lovely gardens. I think they have a web site.
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