Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Yosemite Valley

The Moon is New


Advanced

Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 30, 2011 08:15PM
Hi. I am Jeff from St. Paul, Minnesota. I will be making my first visit to Yosemite April 6, 7,and 8. I am a 47 year old and I try to visit a differant national park each year. I will be flying in to San Francisco and staying a couple nights near Fisherman's Warf. Then I will be joining a group from Extronomical Tours for a guided trip into Yosemite, three nights at the Yosemite Lodge, and a guided tour back to SF. Have any of you tried Extronomical Tours? During my two free days inside of the park, I hope to do some casual hiking, but I can't bring along a whole lot of gear. Hopefully some warm clothes, hiking boots, and a standard backpack will be adequate. I will probably hike the valley loop trail one day and hike to Mariposa Grove the next. What else do you suggest for my short visit? Are there additional things to see and do in the village area?
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 30, 2011 08:25PM
Quote
JeffTheGreat
During my two free days inside of the park, I hope to do some casual hiking, but I can't bring along a whole lot of gear. Hopefully some warm clothes, hiking boots, and a standard backpack will be adequate. I will probably hike the valley loop trail one day and hike to Mariposa Grove the next. What else do you suggest for my short visit? Are there additional things to see and do in the village area?

I'm pretty sure snow shoes will be needed for Mariposa Grove. Not to persuade or dissuade, but just keep that in mind.

The Valley itself has a lot of options that can occupy two days, including hikes to Vernal Falls (not sure how much snow/ice will be on the way, this year's been wet), Mirror Lake, Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls. It's turned warm in the last couple days, and the forecast is for more of the same (w/ scattered...exceptions), hopefully that'll mean more water in the falls.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 30, 2011 09:02PM
I would ride the shuttle to Mariposa Grove, otherwise it's a really long walk.

I think you would like Chilnualna Falls, tho you might find snow near the top. Depends on the weather when you are there.
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 30, 2011 09:25PM
I would suggest the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail to at least Columbia Rock.

Just remember that the higher altitude makes one tired faster.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 31, 2011 04:36AM
There are quite a few great hikes out of the valley---I would spend my time there. You can do the Valley loop--but first take the shuttle around the Valley. Hike out of Happy Isles towards Vernal and Nevada Falls. Hike to Mirror Lake and up Snow Creek Falls (very steep). Hike up Yosemite Falls as far as you can...

And yes, you will need a shuttle to get to Wawona/Maripoas Grove...but I am not sure about the snow shoes. The last time I was there in winter, hikers had pretty much stomped a usable trail in the snow. We had snowshoes, but didn't put them on until we got to the trees and decided to go off that beaten path



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2011 04:36AM by balzaccom.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 31, 2011 06:51AM
I don't think there will be a shuttle to Mariposa Grove in April. The only shuttle to Wawona is the one at the end of the day for Wawona Hotel folks who have spent the day in the Valley. You might make new friends at the Yosemite Lodge and be offered a ride to Mariposa Grove (1 hr from Yosemite Valley on clear roads, longer on snowy roads) for a day trip.

Since the Glacier Point Road and the Mariposa Grove Road are both closed, I doubt the Grand Tour is available now. But there should be plenty to keep you happy in Yosemite Valley.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 31, 2011 08:40AM
So the valley shuttle runs year-round but the Mariposa shuttle only runs in good weather?
Is there a shuttle map/schedule some where online?
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 31, 2011 08:52AM
Quote
JeffTheGreat
So the valley shuttle runs year-round but the Mariposa shuttle only runs in good weather?
Is there a shuttle map/schedule some where online?


Click on the "Free shuttle service" link on this webpage:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/publictransportation.htm
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 31, 2011 10:25AM
"The Mariposa shuttle" is unclear. Let me try...

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is in the southwest corner of the Park. There is a two mile road from the South Entrance to the Mariposa Grove parking lot, then several miles of trails in the Grove to see the trees. The Mariposa Grove road is about 5,000' elevation and usually opens in the spring. When it's closed, anyone can walk, hike, snowshoe, or cross country ski on the road.

Mariposa Grove is a popular destination and has a teeny tiny parking lot. During the busy tourism season (spring - fall), there is a free shuttle from the Wawona General Store to the Mariposa Grove parking lot. That's what most folks mean when they say "Mariposa Grove shuttle." It runs a loop between Wawona & Mariposa Grove, that's it. Generally it runs from 9 am till 5 pm or so, or until the last fee tram tour of Mariposa Grove. I don't think either of these (free shuttle TO Mariposa Grove or fee tour OF Mariposa Grove) will be running in early April.

The only free shuttle to Wawona leaves the Valley at 3:30 pm and takes folks to the Wawona Hotel. The ride is about 45-55 minutes.

One other point of confusion ... there is a town called Mariposa that is outside the Park on Highway 140. And there is the county of Mariposa. Too many places with the same name!

Contact Extranomical and ask if a stop at Tuolumne Grove or Merced Grove is going to be part of the drive into or out of Yosemite NP as part of the winter tour. Some folks will not be prepared to walk 1.5 to 2 miles to the Grove from the road.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
March 31, 2011 11:24AM
Quote
NacciNW
Contact Extranomical and ask if a stop at Tuolumne Grove or Merced Grove is going to be part of the drive into or out of Yosemite NP as part of the winter tour. Some folks will not be prepared to walk 1.5 to 2 miles to the Grove from the road.

Extranomical tells me that they stop at a picnic area near Tuolumne Grove for an optional hike to the Giant Sequoias; if weather permitting.
But they also say that currently, weather is not permitting. sad smiley
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 04, 2011 03:41PM
Have a great trip soon. Let us know how it went.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 12, 2011 05:28PM
Well I am back from my trip now and every thing was terrific. As planned, I took the Extronomical guided tour into the park. The driver was very informative and entertaining. I got lots of great pictures that first day, the weather was warm and sunny. Stayed three nights at the Yosemite Lodge, very nice but very pricey. I hiked the Valley loop Trail, the Mirror Lake Trail, and the Upper Falls trail. It snowed about 6 inches Thursday morning which made the trails a bit slippery but some of the views became even more awesome. In the evenings I went to some of the ranger programs such as the Wildlife Walk, The Geology Hike, an animal mimicry slide show and an Ansel Adams documentary. I stayed very busy, had lots of fun, and I hope to visit again some day.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 14, 2011 08:59AM
Glad you had a nice trip. And what a cleverly disguised ad for the tour company.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 15, 2011 07:13AM
Thanks for sharing your trip report. Extranomical is a great option for folks who do not have a car or who choose not to rent a car.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 16, 2011 05:21PM
There are actually a ton of tour companies to choose from.

Not sure why anyone would choose them, but eh. To each his own. YARTS and the shuttles are a cheaper deal.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 16, 2011 10:05PM
If you are comming from San Francisco, This is the only Yosemite tour that I know of that will drop you off inside the park and come back to pick you up a differant day.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2011 08:10AM by JeffTheGreat.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 16, 2011 10:23PM
What if you don't want a tour? Amtrak and YARTS are cheaper.

Please don't advertise on our board. Spammer.
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 07:45AM
I don't see any issue with a tour company putting up a "flyer" on the board.
It will scroll down pretty quickly.
I'd be more blatant about it though and put the name in the title.

I highly question the "only" tour comment though.

A quick search produced:
carpartours
starlinetours
incadventures

All multiday.

On a related note, a couple years ago I was getting really good at making it
JUST in front of the SF tour bus that would stop at McDs in Oakdale.
Right around 6:30 am I believe... I pulled in when they were there already
once... and I didn't let that happen again. smiling smiley
On their way back they probably stop and see how cheese is made too.
wink



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 08:18AM
Please don't call me a spammer. I have no connection to the tour company.
I was simply explaining that I was happy with my tour and enjoyed my whole trip.
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 04:09PM
Hi Jeff,

While most people would blanche at the thought snow during their vacation, I would certainly testify that one of my most enchanting trips to Yosemite was after a blizzard (I cannot say the driving was fun, but well worth it) I have not reached the level of the Resident Goat when it comes to snow camping, but any which way that one gets to see Yosemite all frosted up is sure to please.

I think that those of us who have had a lot of experience with message boards are very leery when company names are batted about, because we have all been buried at one time or another by Spammers.

I am glad that everything worked out, and feel free to post more winter pictures, as they are not nearly abundant enough (thank goodness that Chick-on provides some winter entertainment)



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 04:51PM
Glad to hear you had a great time... but there are plenty of tour companies, frankly, and I don't have to go out with them to know that. You can just look out at the buses and vans you see in the parking lots all over the park. I have been out with NONE, because I much prefer to have my own schedule and my own friends out there with me, for a fraction of the cost.

And yes, we see a ton of spam on the board. Repeated endorsements that appear to be one sided and glowing about some service look like spam to me. Your tour is not the only one with plenty of stops in the park, nor is it the only way to get to the park conveniently.
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 06:19PM
Quote
chick-on
On a related note, a couple years ago I was getting really good at making it
JUST in front of the SF tour bus that would stop at McDs in Oakdale.
Right around 6:30 am I believe... I pulled in when they were there already
once... and I didn't let that happen again. smiling smiley
On their way back they probably stop and see how cheese is made too.
wink

I was actually driven out of the Iron Door (the classiest saloon in Groveland) by the atrocious karaoke of French tourists a few years back the night before we were going to go up to Vernon. I learned quickly after that night to A) avoid tourist buses and B) avoid the Iron Door on their Thursday night Karaoke.

Speaking of Oakdale, am i the only one very sad to see that Robertitos is out of business? I used to stop by there after every trip to get a burrito on the way back to the Bay Area.
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 06:35PM
Quote
oakroscoe
atrocious karaoke of French tourists

Thanks a lot! Now I'm afraid to go to sleep and have nightmares.
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 06:40PM
The French have a very hard time keeping their mouths shut.



Old Dude
avatar Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 04:50PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Please don't advertise on our board. Spammer.

Doesn't look like he's a spammer. Just someone enthusiastic about his trip.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 24, 2011 03:52PM
One of these days when I am older, my only means of visiting Parks might be on tour buses.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 24, 2011 03:53PM
One of these days when I am older, my only means of traveling to Parks might be on tour buses.
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 17, 2011 04:37PM
Jeff

Never took it as a spam or advertisement. Happy to hear all went well. Agree with Bee about spammers and Chick-on (Love the pictures. Wish I could share the same from Ohio)
Re: My First Visit - April 6,7,8
April 18, 2011 02:39PM
I am glad you had a great trip.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login