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Tahoe to Yosemite and food options

Belfast, United...
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Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Hi everyone

So we are driving from south lake tahoe to curry village mid may and staying for 3 nights.

Can I ask what's best to do for lunch and breakfast during the day? Do people picnic and where can you get supplies- do you have to get stuff before entering the park?

Food options seem limited especially for lunch, do people normally return to camp/ hotel for lunch?

What time of the day is best to leave tahoe at and arrive at curry village?

Apart from hiking what else is there to do that you would recommend?

Thanks guys

8 replies to this topic
San Jose, California
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for California
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1. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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We usually pack picnic lunches when we are in Yosemite so that we don't have to make our way back to the areas of the park with food outlets.

There are some small stores in Yosemite where you can buy supplies- I've always found them well-stocked, but selection can be limited abs prices are high. So we usually buy our food at a grocery store outside the park.

For your drive, Tioga Pass may or may not be open - mid-May is pretty early to open the pass, so you'll likely have to go down Hwy 50 to Hwy 49 and enter the park on Hwy 120. This is a nice drive though through some historic gold rush towns in the foothills. The drive itself will probably take 5 hours and you may want to stop and sightsee along the way, so I'd leave SLT early-ish, maybe 8am or so to allow plenty of time, including a stop for groceries.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Hi

As always, "best" is a personal choice. I prefer picnics. Even in non-pandemic times, queuing up with other people & waiting to get food is not a good use of my time. You can purchase picnic foods (for any or all meals) at a big grocery store in South Lake Tahoe so you'll be well stocked when you arrive.

If you want to queue up for food, read more about dining options on the TravelYosemite (concessionaire) website and the current Yosemite Guide newspaper. Check when it gets closer to your trip.

https://www.travelyosemite.com/dining/yosemite-dining-experience/

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

.

I would leave Tahoe as early as possible. The Hwy 49 route is Historic Highway 49 with tourism options around the 1849 Gold Rush. There may be stops you want to make on the way. Calaveras Big Trees State Park? Columbia State Historic Park? Or you may prefer to drive directly to Yosemite. At the very least, you may want to stop for gasoline before entering Yosemite. I'd guess the drive will take around 5 hours.

After you get close to the Valley and drive across the Merced River, detour to the right up Wawona Road (toward Fresno) just two miles to Tunnel View. This viewpoint may be 'worth' visiting more than once. Then head back down to the Valley.

Maybe stop at Bridalveil Fall for your next stop. Be sure that your smellables are completely out of sight. (Note: I hope Bridalveil Fall is reopened by then; there has been an extensive renovation to the parking lot, restrooms, and trail.) Continue to Curry Village.

While you're in Yosemite Valley, you might want to hike, walk, wander, stroll, cycle (rental bikes in Curry Village), stargaze, dip your toes in the freezing water of a CALM part of a stream (maybe Tenaya Creek), climb, dream, paint, take photos, sketch, listen, meditate, .... There are folks who enjoy Yosemite and who can't or don't choose to hike. It's up to you.

The Top Questions on the right side of this page has additional ideas. Or maybe check past Yosemite Guide newspapers for a similar time of year.

Aptos, California
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3. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Here’s the Curry Village dining page. https://www.travelyosemite.com/dining/curry-village-dining/ We usually eat dinner at the Pizza Deck or the Meadow Grill, their hours can be weird though . The cafeteria received a makeover I believe so it might not be so cafeteria like now, but idk. The food is actually pretty good and it doesn’t cost much more than food at home.

We usually eat something like yogurt, fruit and an energy bar from the market before a hike. We might pick up a sandwich there to have later. A cold drink can help keep it cool.

A small cooler is nice to keep in your bear locker for drinks and snacks. No food or drinks in the tent. Water in the tent? I’m not sure of the rules with that. I may have broken that one.

If the shuttle is running it’s nice to head over to the Awanhee at sunset and watch Half Dome change colors. We’ve usually just had appetizers from the bar on the outside patio but you can always plan a nice dinner there. At least plan on visiting the lobby of the Awanhee.

Elk Grove...
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4. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Your driving time from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite Village is about 5 hours. In mid May, most likely you won't be able to use Tioga Pass (CA-120 highway), but to use US-50 or CA-88.

For lunch that day, if you can use Tioga Pass, have lunch at Lee Vining. Whoa Nellie Deli:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/tioga-gas-mart-and-whoa-nellie-deli-lee-vining

If taking US-50/CA-88 then CA-49 then CA-120, you will be passing by:

Placerville (if use US-50)

Jackson (if use US-50 or CA-88)

Both are big size towns. You have plenty of choices. Just pick whichever you like.

Or Groveland. Then I would suggest:

Priest Station Café

Has a bit of a view.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/priest-station-cafe-big-oak-flat

Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Hey guys thanks so much for the info!

Sorry if this is a stupid question but in yosemite you can buy groceries so do you store them in the bear locker and can you take some on hikes etc if you're going to be out all day? Like is it safe to eat out on hikes with bears or better to return to camp?

Also I saw a lovely video blog where the girl spent a whole day just cycling the valley- we were thinking off doing this one day 1 and then day 2 picking some hiking routes- only easy to medium?

Could you spend a whole day cycling the valley?

Thanks

Sarah

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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6. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Hi again

I recommend reading the relevant topics in the Top Questions. There is one about bears.

Your food needs to be within arm's reach or in your locker. Do not leave the doors of the locker open without being right there. A critter can get in fast if you're not watching. Latch the locker every time you step away from it.

You can carry food with you on your hike, just don't leave your pack on the ground while you scout out a good photo op or 'use the bushes' or whatever. Bears really do not want anything to do with you. Squirrels will quickly chew a hole in your pack to get that delicious trail mix.

If you're lucky enough to see any wild animal in Yosemite, a good rule of thumb is don't do anything that changes their behavior. For a bear, stand quietly and watch. (But if the bear is in a civilized area of Yosemite Valley, yell "Go Away Bear" so the bear gets a negative reinforcement for being in people-land and will return to the 'wild.) If it's a squirrel or chipmunk or deer, don't feed it. Don't try to touch it. Don't let it sneak into your food.

Yes you can rent bikes and stay on the bike path for the day. It's not many miles, but the bike will make it easy to get around. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/biking.htm

Grover Beach...
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7. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Don't leave ANY food in your car. A bear will use their claws like a can opener and rip into the metal to get to even crumbs in your vehicle.

Redlands, California
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8. Re: Tahoe to Yosemite and food options
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Carrying food with you on a hike is fine. My only warning would be to be sure that your bottle of wine has a screw-cap. :-)

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