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help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning

New Haven...
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help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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Hi smart people - I absolutely have poured through all of the top right questions and other helpful posts. I am just a bit scattered in my brain trying to plan my first Yosemite trip during covid. I have a list of spots/hikes but can't seem to wrap my brain around the best order and flow. We are coming from Sonoma Valley and staying in Yosemite valley for 3 nights (10/4-10-7), so will be using 120 OR 140 to enter, leaving to head to Big Sur via Wawona/41. Originally I was so excited for Mariposa Grove on our way out but don't think we want to take the time/effort to do all that it takes these days.

I am wondering if we can use the first half day to do tuolumne grove (we might find time during our trip to go to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park - any input is welcome!) or maybe just drive in and see tunnel view and get acquainted, or maybe do some of glacier point views or nearby hikes. I definitely want to go to glacier point, do the sentimel dome secret shortcut hike (maybe add Taft), possibly the mist trail (but I know this will be closed during the week but maybe we can get bikes and get there before 6:30???).

With our 2.5 days, basically I was hoping for lots of casual drive/stop sight seeing (valley loop - maybe via biking, sentinel bridge, el capitan meadow, lower yosemite 'falls' - might be dry), love the idea of biking places but hoping they aren't all grabbed up now bc of no shuttles, and at least one maybe two half day hikes.

If anyone has suggestions for us re: order as we drive in, what flow/order might be best for half day hikes and other sight seeing given covid/shuttle changes, and anything else, I will be grateful!!!

20 replies to this topic
Washington State
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1. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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Hi

I'd enter via Hwy 120 and exit via Hwy 140.

Tuolumne Grove on your entry day would be good. (Giant Sequoias are different than Coastal Redwoods.) And detour up to Tunnel View on your entry. I think it's 'worth it' to stop at Tunnel View a few times as the view changes with weather conditions.

Rent bikes for one day and loop around. Great access to Tenaya Creek (don't go in the water) & the lovely view of Half Dome (Mirror 'lake' is not a lake), to the trailhead for Lower Yosemite "Wall" (still a nice walk), and to meadow walks. Also a nice way to see the Valley from various viewpoints.

Spend one full day enjoying Tioga Road / Tuolumne Meadows. Hikes might be May Lake, Twin Bridges, Pothole Dome, or other.

Spend a morning along Glacier Point Road. If Taft Point is on your wish list, try to get a spot in the tiny trailhead parking lot (stop there first.) Then go on to Washburn Point & Glacier Point. Backtrack to the secret shortcut parking for Sentinel Dome.

Or make a dark walk up the Mist Trail in the early morning and visit Glacier Point Road attractions in the late afternoon. Maybe take a picnic dinner up with you to enjoy while viewing the sunset.

www.SunriseSunset.com

San Francisco...
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2. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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Where are you staying? With 3 nights, you can explore different parts of the park on different days:

Day 1: Tuolumne Grove and check in. Cooks Meadow

Day2: Glacier Point, Taft Point, Sentinel Dome.

Day 3: Tioga Road sights (Olmsted Pt, Lake Tenaya, Tuolumne Meadows and Mono Lake)

Day 4: Yosemite Valley biking/hiking and leave

New Haven...
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3. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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Thanks so much! I'll look into all of these suggestions. Love the idea of bringing food to enjoy the sunset!

New Haven...
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Thanks!!! We are staying at the Yosemite lodge in the valley. The last morning we might have a little bit of time but are heading to some other fantastic spots in big Sur so won't want to linger too too long.

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5. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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Where are you staying the night after leaving Yosemite?

Hopefully, you’re not planning on driving from Yosemite to the coast AND driving Big Sur in one day!

Washington State
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Hi again

It is 4 hours to Monterey, and then however long you need to access your chosen "fantastic spots" along Big Sur.

Note that some of the dining options have already closed for the season. I suggest planning on picnic lunches every day.

Also pay attention to the accurate weather forecasts for each region of Yosemite.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weathermap.htm

Atlanta area
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7. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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>> " possibly the mist trail (but I know this will be closed during the week but maybe we can get bikes and get there before 6:30???)"

The Mist Trail will be closed weekdays 6:30am-4:00pm. I don't know if that means the entrance to the trail closes at 6:30 or the trail (all of the affected section) is closed starting at that time. In other words, not sure that getting there before 6:30 changes anything, it might be that you have to be off the trail completely starting at 6:30.

New Haven...
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Hi! We are staying 2 nights at Ventana big Sur (scored using points, definitely a huge treat). Seems like it will be about 5 hours.. We have another 2 nights in Carmel by the sea after that so we don't mind heading straight to Ventana big Sur.

New Haven...
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9. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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Exactly - I wasn't sure if we can't access the mist trail at all or what. I read somewhere that someone got in before 6:30 and left after 4:30, but who knows if that was allowed or not. I guess there's plenty to see anyway and so little time!

Washington State
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10. Re: help me please I am a bit overwhelmed planning
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It is just a short section of the Mist Trail that is closed. My guess is that if you get to the gate by 6:25 am, you'll be able to pass by and then get to the top of Vernal Fall fairly quickly. It's the most strenuous portion, but it's short. I have not measured it, but I'd guess it's about 1/2 mile (maybe a bit more)

www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k13646358

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