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Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend

Indianapolis...
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Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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I am in the planning stages now of a visit next year. My sister and myself are planning on training out from Chicago to Sacramento. From there we will get a rental car. The train if on time gets into Sacramento around 2:30pm so we plan on getting a hotel somewhere between Sacramento and Yosemite on that day. We plan on spending 2 days seeing the park. We are both limited on walking and such so much of the sightseeing will occur via our car with some stops and limited walking around. My q2uestions are..

1. We are looking at either late May or early June. Is there any difference or better time of those two times.

2. I am assuming but want to double check, that the park is less crowded say Monday-Friday over say the weekend. Is this correct? If you had to pick 2 days to see the area that were the least crowded which 2 day combo would you pick.

Our plan is to stay at the Yosemite Westgate Lodge/Hotel the two nights we are in the area and then we are heading north after those two days to drive up the Oregon coast.

16 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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Hi

Avoid weekends. Definitely avoid the busy Memorial day holiday weekend. I'd aim for midweek.

It is possible that Yosemite will agaiñ require a Day Use Permit. As you want to stay outside the Park and to commute to vacation, keep an eye on that.

June is slightly better as Tioga Road might open by then.

The Top Questions on the right side of the page, full TripAdvisor website, has information to help you plan your visit. Also use the NPS website. Lay out a draft itinerary based on your travel style and interests. We'll help to revise it.

San Jose, California
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2. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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Definitely avoid weekends. I would choose Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Yosemite, especially the Valley, will still be very busy those days , but not jam packed like it would be on a weekend.

If you can, try to get a reservation in Yosemite Valley itself - Yosemite Lodge is a good option. With lodging in Groveland, you are looking at an hour drive each way to Yosemite Valley, which is where most visitors spend most of their time.

Indianapolis...
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3. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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It appears that all in park lodging that would meet our needs is already booked. The Yosemite Westgate from my search is one of the closest properties that has room that meets our needs and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Is there a site that lists if the Tioga road is open. Right now if the train is on time I am hoping to get the rental car and drive to the town of Jackson and spend out first night there then drive up to Lin Ving and drive down that road to our hotel at the Yosemite Westgate, then the following day spend driving around other parts of the park.

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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The Yosemite park site will give up-to-date information about road closures and openings, so you can check there:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm

I'm not surprised that everything is booked in Yosemite Valley - it's a very popular place and reservations open up a year in advance - but, you may luck into a cancellation at Yosemite Lodge, so just keep checking. Make sure your lodging reservation in Groveland is cancelable so that you can switch if something opens up in Yosemite Valley.

For your drive from Jackson to Lee Vining and back to Groveland - are what route are you thinking of taking? It's going to be a long drive either way over some high mountain passes, so be ready for that. You'll start at about 1200 ft elevation and top out at close to 10,000 ft elevation.

Indianapolis...
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5. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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Oh long drives are our thing. Two years ago we drove from Portland airport to Mt Hood then down to Crater Lake then over and down to Crescent City Calf all in about 12 hours. We enjoy the driving and sights.

The plan is to take route 88 out of Jackson up to 395 then take it to 120 and looks to be about 250 miles or so and a enjoyable drive.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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Yes, that is a beautiful drive and if long drives are your thing, then it's a fine idea. I just wanted to make sure you know what you are in for. I have seen too many people take on a drive that is more than they bargained for - not realizing the distances and the type of roads they'll be on.

Now, let's just hope that Amtrak train is on time! In May and June, the daylight hours are long, so you have that in your favor. Your train can be a few hours late and you'd still be able to get to Jackson before dark. Jackson is only about an hour from Sacramento, and even if you end up leaving Sacramento during the evening commute, it won't be too bad - you'd only be in traffic for a short distance.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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7. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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The unofficial goal for opening Tioga Road is Memorial day weekend, but there are many factors that affect the actual opening date. Maybe it will open earlier since Glacier Point Road won't open to the public at all. Or maybe all workers will focus on getting Glacier Point Road open just enough for the road crews to get started.

Yosemite View Lodge is the closest lodging to the Valley that is not in the Park. But Groveland can work, if needed. Did you see the lodging topic in the Top Questions?

Seattle
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8. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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Count yourselves fortunate if the train is on time. Amtrak passenger trains use the same tracks as freight trains, and have to defer to those. So the delays accumulate all across the country on the westbound trains. You can see the onetime percentage for the California Zephyr here:

https://www.amtrak.com/historical-on-time-performance

I don’t know if that 42% is for on time trains or number of passengers who arrive on time. Either way, you have a less than 50-50 chance of arriving in Sacramento on time.

9. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend

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Hunter Valley...
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10. Re: Late May vs Early June...Week day vs weekend
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Staying in Lee Vining is risky at that time of year because it’s entirely possible Hwy 120 will still be closed so it means a lot of backtracking back to Yosemite if it is.

After Jackson, I’d head to Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal if it’s available. Then you’re closer to Yosemite Valley and if Hwy 120 is open, you can explore that as well from there.

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