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Yosemite National Park Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 06, 2017
Yosemite Valley  (5 Answers)


Me and a friend are planning of going to Yosemite valley in about a week (17-18 feb 2017). Will we be able to drive there from the west (Mariposa) without any snow chains on the car? Is the road even open?
Thanks in advance for answer!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 06, 2016
Accommodation  (3 Answers)

Can anyone advise two Brits in their late 50s, who love camping, where to stay for a three-night stay next November '17?
I have camped there before in 1980, but no longer being the young buck I never was, we would like to stay in a more convenient location.
Alas, the logistics of packing all of our camping stuff is already leading to WW3 as we shall be driving there from San Francisco, before going back to Napa Valley.
Many thanks for your suggestions and advice.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 28, 2016
Family drive Yosemite NP to Death Valley in April  (13 Answers)

Hello. Our family of 4 (2 kids under 5 years old) are looking to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas in April next year via Yosemite and Death Valley. We have several days to do this. Looks like Highway 120 is closed that time of year so how do we set about planning our adventure? Can anyone help us out with insider knowledge, useful hints and tips please, especially routes. Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 05, 2016
What the parks service don't say  (6 Answers)

We're from the UK and have bought an RV for our road trip which will be in stages. We would like to be in Yosemite in late April or early May, could be mid May. RV is 31 feet long, tow car say 15 feet with the connection. Should we abandon one or the other outside the park? Is there a campground that will accept both? Easy to disconnect and back in provided it's permitted to park alongside This would be the best option for retirees going out by day in the car and having a base to return to.

Which camp ground/site number should we be hovering our mouse over when the dates are released? This is a very specific question but someone may know a goody or three.

The Camp sites outside the park seem a very long way, talk of a 45 minute drive in doesn't really feel like the full Yosemite experience. Advice welcome.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 23, 2016
Any Alternatives to Valley -> Tuolumne Hikers Bus?  (7 Answers)

Hi Everyone

So a few weeks before the Yosemite Valley -> Tuolumne Meadows Hikers bus schedule was finalized, I booked campsites in the valley for mid-September (I have to do them 4 months early or else the spots are always gone) since the description on the NPS site said the buses would run through late September.

Now the schedule is out and the bus ends on September 11:

I already paid for my campgrounds and my plans to use the bus are foiled.

Is there an alternative? I want to do a 1 way hike from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley and I was counting on the buses to run.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 24, 2016
One day in Yosemite (June Lake to Merced, via Yosemite)  (18 Answers)


We are staying at June Lake and next day stay is booked at Merced. It is for coming weekend. Between this, we want to see few points in Yosemite, as much as we can comfortably. We are travelling with elder parents, who will not be interested in hikes and long walks, so most of the time, it would be stop, see, click pictures, come back to car and go for next spot. I am reading idea on TA and came up with below sequence. Please fix/comment on its order or feasibility, if you feel it can be better planned.
- Start from June Lake around 9 AM
- Tuolumne Meadows
- Tenaya Lake
- Olmsted Point
- El Capitan Meadow
- Yosemite Falls
- Cook's Meadow Loop
- Curry Village
- Bridalveil Falls
- Tunnel View
- Glacier Point
- Back to Merced via Mariposa

While coming back from Glacier Point, do I need to backtrack all the way back till Bridalveil Falls and then take El Portal road to Merced ? Or I need to take some other road, I couldn't find on Google map.
Being less water in Yosemite Fall, is it still worth to stop there ?
Please suggest.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 17, 2016
Charges for attractions within Yosemite National Park  (2 Answers)

Are there charge for car parking within Yosemite after you have paid your entrance fee?
Are the attractions like Tunnel View and Sentinel Dome free of charge once you have paid your entrance fee to Yosemite Park?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 09, 2016
Hitchhiking  (3 Answers)

Im going backpacking early August, I am leaving from glacier point. I need a ride to the top of glacier point from the valley, but the bus is too long and there is no taxi service. I know I can park up there but I am coming back to the valley afterwards, so I need to leave my car there. My questions are
1)how safe is hitchhiking in the early morning (7:00ish)
2) how reliable is hitchhiking
3) is there any place I can post asking for a ride
4) could I offer to pay a park staff to take me up there?
Btw we are a group of three total

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 29, 2016
Walking in Yosemite National Park 2 adults 2 teenagers  (3 Answers)

We are staying at the lodge at the falls, early August. 3 nights.
We enjoy a walk with a view. Should we do our own walks or take a guide?
Any suggestions for other excursions while there? Should we book in advance?
Our Daughter rides horses, we don't! Any suitable pony/horse treks?
Any chances of water fun? or too dry.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 13, 2016
Tioga Pass  (12 Answers)

I am due to enter the park from the east from Mammoth Falls on the 30th May and getting a little anxious it may not still be open. I have seen the Tioga pass update and it has not changed since the 6th May, but this also shows me that the Glacier Point has opened, looking at historic dates Tioga pass normally opens not too long after. Is this a fair assumption and can anyone say from experience if they think it will open in May?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 27, 2016
Nighthiking dangers  (9 Answers)


I'm planning to stay near Yosemite NP from May 27-29 and in one of those two nights, I'd like to drive up to Glacier Point two shoot some milky way photos as it rises righthand of Half Dome (between 10pm and 1am) if conditions permit. Lateron that night, I'd like to hike halfway down the 4 Mile Trail to be at a scenic spot where I have a reverse tunnel view, to get some sunrise photos as the first sunbeams strike the walls to the west.
As I will be travelling on my own, is there a significant danger of mountain lion or bear encounters when I'm alone? Where could I look for other people/photographers who might be interested to join my plans?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 13, 2016
Yosemite Valley Stables  (1 Answer)

When do the Yosemite Valley Stables open for reservations?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 10, 2016
Evergreen lodge-Nov sat, do I need chains?  (8 Answers)


My family are thinking of staying here 3 & 4th Nov for 2 nights as cheaper than inside park, however will I need chains at all as off the beaten track

The reason I ask is that it is a rental car and if chains needed then I will not stay here as will invalidate the insurance

We are coming from San Francisco

Any advice appreciated

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 09, 2016
The most kids friendly route from south Lake Tahoe to west Yosemite  (1 Answer)

Hi my family of 4 are planning a road trip in the beginning of April. We have 3 years old and 7 months old. We're looking for the best / easiest / comfortable route from Lake Tahoe to west Yosemite. Any advice? I'm actually thinking to stop for a night in between to make a trip easier for all of us of course if it's necessary. Many thanks for your advice in advance!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 21, 2016
RV Sites, Help!  (8 Answers)

Need some help!

Booked flights last week, with a plan to fly into SFO, rent and RV and spend 5 nights in Yosemite. Fast forward to today, and the main campgrounds are fully booked for the week we chose in May. Wawona and Hogdon Meadow are still available. I used the NPS chat feature to inquire about these, but they weren't too helpful. The most that I got was that Wawona was a 45min drive from the Valley.

So my question then is....What's my best option for an RV, closest to the main "attraction" hikes? I started some research but with only 1 or two spaces left I feel like I need to decide ASAP and I have no sense of the area!! Would we have to move the RV daily and drive into the park? Is there shuttle/bus service from these campgrounds? Are there any better privately run options?? Help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 17, 2016
5 days in Yosemite  (4 Answers)

We'll have 5 days in Yosemite at the end of an RV trip starting in Las Vegas - active family of 5 with 3 old (!) teenagers - does anyone have recommendations on which walks/hikes we should definitely do/RV parks we should stay in? Very conscious of the 5 month booking window and won't miss that - any recommendations gratefully received! Also looking at white water rafting - emailed Whitewater Voyages a week ago but have yet to hear from them - any other operators anyone would recommend? Many thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 15, 2016
Is there anything we can do to stop or fight this?  (10 Answers)

Shame on Delaware North, the corporation that previously ran the concession contract at Yosemite National Park. They lost their bid to continue the contract and is now showing just how greedy they are. They have trademarked the names of the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village among other things and is trying to prevent the National Park Service and new concessionaire from using these names. Delaware North wants to be paid $50 million for use of the names, including that of Yosemite National Park.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 15, 2016
Need help planning itinerary  (5 Answers)

Hi there- We are from the East coast and visiting Yosemite via SF in mid July with three kids aged 4-11. We have reservations in Yosemite Valley for 3 nights and then were hoping to head up to Tahoe area for 4-5 nights before heading back to SF for our flight home.
1) What parts of the park (must-sees) can we cover on our drive up to Tahoe? What is the best way to drive to see the sights but not too far out of the way. We are okay with making a few small stops along the way to check things out.
2) Any recommendations for what town to stay in Tahoe area (don't need to be near casinos so probably CA side on North side of the lake?? Open to thoughts/what to do. There is so much information out there and its hard to know where to focus in. This is obviously a big trip for us so hope we can see everything we want to see.
3) Any of the gold rush towns that would be convenient either on drive from Yosemite valley- Tahoe or Tahoe to SF? I guess we could go from SF- Yosemite route as well- just don't want to do extra hours of driving with kids if we don't have to.

Any other tips on any of the above on what we should do/see/eat are much appreciated! We can't wait!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 10, 2016
Quick Question - Where to Stay  (3 Answers)

Logically is it more sensible to stay in Wawona, in the Village or somewhere close to a shuttle route if we want to do the typical tours? Is there a shuttle from the Wawona hotel to the Valley? Many thanks, Tony

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 20, 2015
winter in yosemite  (1 Answer)

we are arriveing in el portel dec 28-30th. What are some good tours or things to do in winter in yosemite?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 16, 2015
Bike rental reservations?  (4 Answers)

Do I need, or can I make bike reservations?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 18, 2015
South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Valley in a 32' motorhome  (11 Answers)

What is the safest way to travel to Yosemite Valley in a 32' motor home towing a viehicle? What are the grades and is it a windy road? How safe is 120?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 14, 2015
Traveling from South Lake Tahoe to yYosemite and staying in Groveland  (10 Answers)

My husband and I are traveling from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite and staying in Groveland for 2 nights in August . My plan was to take 395 and stop in Bodie on the way and I also want to stop at Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining to see the view of Mono Lake. I'm figuring about 4 1/2 hours and then another 1/2 hour to the East entrance . My first thought was to drive to Groveland and head to the valley floor early the next morning but I now realize that we are traveling through Yosemite to get to Groveland ! So I'm wondering if we should head straight to the valley floor ( I want to do the glacier point tour) and then maybe have dinner there ...maybe a twilight stroll from Ahwahnee... And then head to Groveland for the night and back to the valley the next morning ( My daughter says we should do the Vernal Falls hike) Or are there other areas we should explore if we drive through to Groveland and do the valley floor the next day? We have never been to Yosemite ! I am making these plans solely on what I have read online.. I appreciate any advice :)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 15, 2015
North pines - things to do each day with kids  (3 Answers)

Hi threr, we are 2 x families with 27 ftRVs...4 days in non elec campsites, any tips on what to do with kids each day and travel distance to activities? Do we leave RVs and get shuttle bus? Bike hire

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 14, 2015
Hikes with rain  (4 Answers)

Just wondering what hikes were doable since it seems that it will be raining right before and possibly during my stay at Yosemite next weekend?? I have a large group and half of us have a half dome permit but I read it's not recommended to do half dome after it rains.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 13, 2015
Drive from Las Vegas  (11 Answers)

In July we are driving from Las Vegas to Death Valley - Yosemite - SFO
Can you please suggest me a route? We plan to enter DV on Thursday Morning leave from DV on Friday around 11 AM and drive to Yosemite, stay there overnight and spend the entire next day in Yosemite and leave from there on Sun morning and reach SFO. We have 2 kids 15 & 11. we can enter DV from Furnace Creek visitor center, but that night where could we stay in DV that way we can get out easily in the morning to Yosemite? Also in Yosemite where should we enter from? Where could we stay at night so that its easier to get out to SFO? Also do u think we could go to Lake Tahoe instead of spending 2 days in Yosemite?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 31, 2015
Yosemite - Lake Tahoe - Napa Valley must see's  (6 Answers)

Hi folks

Now I have made all the plans for the first part of our USA trip (San Francisco and Sequoia / Kings Canyon) - So I just need to plan our visit to Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Napa Valley.

May 1st
Driving from Sequoia to Yosemite (staying in a heated canvas in Curry Village)

May 3rd
Driving from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe. (Staying at 3 Peaks Resort & Beach club, South Lake Tahoe)

May 5ft
Driving from Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley (staying at the Wine Valley Lodge)

May 7th
Driving from Napa Valley to SFO and flying back home to Denmark.

Are there some interesting places that we just have to stop along the way, driving from one place to another?

What are the must see's here for a couple 35/45 yrs ? (Bearing in mind that we have just spend two days in Sequoia prior to our stay in Yosemite)

Lake Tahoe
What are the must see's / must do's here? Which weather can we expect in Lake Tahoe in beginning of May ?

Napa Valley
What are the must see's here? We both like wine, so of course we want to visit some wineries. Which ones are definitely worth a visit?

Have a great day ;o)

- Maria

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 23, 2015
Yosemite Lakes RV or Yosemite Pines RV?  (2 Answers)

Hi, has anyone stayed at either of these RV campgrounds outside the park? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 06, 2014
First time driving from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe  (13 Answers)

I will be travelling to US from Thailand mid Dec 2014. I plan to drive from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe but understand that some of roads could be closed during winter for maintenance. I would appreciate your suggestion on the best and safe route to take to avoid this repair works. This is my first time in US so driving in winter is new to me. Thank you for your all suggestion.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 02, 2014
Entrance to the park  (14 Answers)

We are going to visit the Park next August and are trying to decide if it works out better value to stay within the park or drive in daily and pay a daily entrance fee?Also, we think we need about 4 days there - is this about right?

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