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Itinerary suggestions please

los angeles
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Itinerary suggestions please
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We are a group of four adults 50 somethings. We have confirmed reservations for two rooms at the ahwanee for late September monday through Friday. We are fairly hardy and could to hikes up to 8 miles or so. Two of us have been there several times with our kids years ago and have explored e valley sights.

We will have a car with us as we will be driving from Los Angeles.

Questions: please confirm we don’t need to get anything else in terms of park passes since we have our ahwanee res.

Please suggest an itinerary. I was thinking we could see some of the other areas too? Tuoleme?

Thanks!

22 replies to this topic
Washington State
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Hi

What a great week you'll have!

You will need to pay for a one week entry when you get to the South Entrance. The fee is per car. If anyone has an America the Beautiful federal lands pass, that would work. But you do not need a Day Use Permit. You'll need to show photo ID for the person who made the reservations.

There are many many suggestions in the Top Questions on the right side of this page, full TripAdvisor website. Also use the NPS website and YosemiteHikes dot com.

Definitely include Tuolumne (too ALL um ee / too AHL um nee) Meadows and other places along Tioga Road. See that topic in the Top Questions.

I really like the Taft Point - Pohono Trail - Sentinel Dome loop. Details in the Glacier Point road topic.

If you include Mariposa Grove, it's 2 miles to walk to the beginning of the Lower Grove (no shuttles) and 7 miles round trip to the Upper Grove. So that would be 2 + 7 + 2 or 11 miles. It would be a long day but could be great! If it's still warm AND if you're swimmers, maybe stop in Wawona after that long hike and swim in the South Fork of the Merced River just down from the Wawona School.

Yosemite Creek will be dry, so Yosemite Fall will be "Yosemite Wall." Meadow walks in the Valley might be good. The Valley Loop Trail is flat & long. Rental bikes are a good way to get around. Up the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Fall, over to Clark Point, and down the John Muir Trail is a nice challenging 5 mile hike.

As a Californian, you're probably aware that fire danger is high this year. Be prepared for the possibility of canceling your plans entirely.

San Francisco...
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Weekday in September is pretty quiet and you don’t need to get advanced permits to enter as you have Ahwahnee reservations. You just need to show your reservation printout and your ID (name matching) at the entrance and pay the entrance fee for your 5 days.

Plan to spend one afternoon lounging around the Meadow and enjoying happy hour. But you will have plenty of opportunities to hike and explore. PNWF already provided many ideas and I think you are right that September is great time to explore Tioga Road. Do also go a little further to Mono Lake to explore where LA gets its Water.

California
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You're lucky! Staying in the Valley for so long will give you more spare time.

Definitely Tuolumne, drive 120/Tioga pass, Mono Lake, maybe Bodi if you have time. (you could actually come in or go out that way and take 395 to/from LA). Spectacular drive. You can do some easier hikes up there if you like, or just drive and gawk at the views. The best view of the Eastern Sierras is somewhere near Lone Pine (just google it) if you end up driving 395 to LA.

I think Mariposa grove, with side stop at Glacier pt if you have time. You don't have to hike the upper grove it's completely optional IMHO. If anyone is really into trains you could go on the steam train in Fish Camp.

It sounds like you know the valley.

Beware of traffic, traffic, traffic in and around LA day/night. It's back.....

Elk Grove...
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RE: "We are fairly hardy and could to hikes up to 8 miles or so."

If you go to Tuolumne Meadows area, a good hike - relatively easy just takes a while, 9 mile round-trip with minimal elevation up/down: North Dome Trail. The payoff is great - close-up view of Half Dome dominating your view, across the valley. This is the best view point to see Half Dome close-up in the whole park.

Trail info:

https://www.yosemitehikes.com/tioga-road/north-dome/north-dome.htm

Cathedral Lakes also fit your parameters, but with ~1000 feet to climb.

https://www.yosemitehikes.com/tioga-road/cathedral-lakes/cathedral-lakes.htm

Lembert Dome, short, though the last couple hundred feet or so is a bit of a climb on rock face. Not terribly difficult but some may not find it easy.

https://www.yosemitehikes.com/tioga-road/lembert-dome/lembert-dome.htm

Gaylor Lakes, short trail, but 600 feet of relatively steep climb. The lakes are pristine and absolutely beautiful:

https://www.yosemitehikes.com/tioga-road/gaylor-lakes/gaylor-lakes.htm

If want a challenge, Mount Dana - 3 miles in 3 miles back, but climbing 3000 feet on barren landscape, from 10000 feet to 13000 feet. Great view of Mono Lake.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mount-dana-summit-trail

los angeles
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ok thanks for the info. we do plan on going to tuolumne meadows for a day. i see on google maps it is an 1.5 hour drive from the ahwahnee hotel. if we get on the road at about 9 am what would be a perfect day of hiking and exploring and still be able to return before dark? now i's not sure we could do an 8 mile hike...we are more like 5 miles max.

Washington State
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Google Maps is assuming that absolutely no one else is on the road. At 9 am, there will be many other folks on the road.

www.SunriseSunset.com

San Francisco...
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We have done the Tioga Road drive many times from Yosemite Valley as a day trip and this is what my typical day looks like:

1) Set of in the morning. Stop at Valley View for 5 minutes to enjoy the view in the morning sun

2) Take turnoff up the winding road to Tioga Road. Keep a lookout at the meadow by Crane Flag for bears (or wait in bear-jam traffic)

3) Stop at Olmsted Point. In addition to the view at the parking area, we often take the short 10-15 minute trail to a bigger lookout with more views of Half Dome so we end up spending 30+ minutes on the stop (unless the trail is still snowed in).

4). Down to Lake Tenaya. There are 2 parking areas but we usually take the 2nd turnoff as there’s more parking and pit toilets. This is a good place for lunch if we packed one.

5) We often roll into Tuolumne Meadows after noon. If we didn’t pack lunch, this is a good place for us to grab lunch at the grill. We then take a couple of hours to do a short hike here. Our favorite is Twin Bridges where we can hang out by the river.

6) After our hike, we continue on Tioga Road and stop by the entrance station for photos and also a great view of Tioga Lake (which may be partly covered by snow in early summer).

7) Then down to Mono Lake. There are 3 visitor areas. The main Mono Basin Scenic Area visitor center has great exhibits and a very good view of the lake from above. If we have someone with mobility issues, we then head north on SR395 to the County park which has wheelchair accessible path right down to the lake where we can see the tufa. If we don’t have mobility issues, we head south to the South Tufa trail where we can walk among the tufas.

8) On the way back, we stop at the Whoa Nelli Dolly / Mobile station for a snack or dinner before heading back.

9) Not available this year, but we often make a reservation at the White Wolf Lodge for dinner. It’s great food with table service and is more intimate and less chaotic than other dinner options in Yosemite Valley. Then after dinner, we enjoy the stars that come out then head back to Yosemite Valley.

los angeles
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Wow thanks. This is exactly the detail I was hoping for. None have mobility issues and we would love to do one main long hike takimg perhaps several hours. Any suggestions for the “main hike”?

Washington State
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Which of the hikes on the Tuolumne Meadows hike page from the NPS and the Tioga Road hikes page from YosemiteHikes are most appealing to you?

Under 5 miles should be well under three hours. Ones to consider might include Pothole Dome, middle Gaylor Lake (trailhead just west of Tioga Pass Entrance), or Twin Bridges.

San Diego...
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>>> Any suggestions for the “main hike”?<<<

I suggest Clouds Rest. It’s 12-14 miles which is longer than what you want but it’s worth it. I saw several people over the age of 50 hoofing it on that trail and they were moving faster than me! I saw at least 4 people in their 70s. If they can do you can. This hike has the best views in the park in my opinion.

If this hike doesn’t work for you. I’d try going up to Envada Falls and down the JMT or hike to Yosemite Point which is past Upper Yosemite Falls.

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