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Yosemite itinerary help - 2 days in late May

California
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7 posts
123 reviews
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Yosemite itinerary help - 2 days in late May
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I'd love some advice on a Yosemite itinerary. We're going next week and many things are closed right now. Trying to make the best of two days. I'm traveling with my spouse and two kids (14 and 9) and we're good on moderate trails but not anything difficult. Glacier Point Rd. is closed for the rest of the year, so no Glacier Point, Taft Point, or Sentinel Dome. Also, it looks like Tioga Road is still be closed. I was hoping it would open but it hasn't happened yet. In addition, the Mariposa Grove access road is closed/shuttle hasn't resumed, so a lot of Yosemite's highlights aren't accessible at the moment. In that situation, what would you do? My ideas are below, but feedback would be super helpful. The second day, in particular, is a big question mark for me.

We're staying in a condo inside the park for two full days. We've heard all about the crowds, and we're planning to be up & out early each day. I haven't been to Yosemite as an adult, and my husband and kids have never been. We spent time in Grand Teton and Yellowstone last summer, so familiar with National Park stuff in general.

DAY ONE - Yosemite Valley

El Capitan Meadow

Lower Yosemite Falls Hike

Cook's Meadow Loop Trail --> walk to...

Yosemite Village (lunch here)

Walk back to car

Mirror Lake hike?

DAY TWO

(This is the day we'd planned to do Tioga Rd things-- Olmstead Point, Tenaya Lake, Toulumne Meadows, but it looks like they won't be accessible & I'm not sure what to do instead)

Tuolomne Grove?

Mist Trail to Vernal Falls Footbridge?

Thanks so much for any itinerary advice, park tips in general, etc.

4 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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216 reviews
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1. Re: Yosemite itinerary help - 2 days in late May
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Hi

El Capitan Meadow is on the way out on Northside Drive. Where are you accessing this area? And where are you parking?

You can combine Cook's Meadow & Sentinel Meadow fairly easily.

From Lower Yosemite Fall, you can walk the Valley Loop Trail past Yosemite Village to the Ahwahnee, then on past Royal Arch Cascades to Mirror Lake. Walk down the Mirror lake/Meadow Trail (old road) to the shuttle or take the bike path back, if you're full of energy.

Tuolumne (two u's) might be good and it's certainly shorter than Mariposa Grove.

Mist Trail to the footbridge is paved and busy; I suggest early morning to avoid crowds. Park at Curry Village Visitor Parking or take the shuttle from Yosemite Falls parking. Happy Isles might be worth exploring after the Mist Trail

Rental bikes either day might be good.

I'm a big fan of picnics. No line. No crowd. Excellent food. But some folks prefer to have something hot or prepared by others.

I think it's likely that Tioga Road will open by Memorial Day holiday weekend. But that does not mean that trails are accessible. Just be prepared for wet.

And everyone is hoping that the Mariposa Grove shuttle resumes before the holiday weekend as well.

End of May will be busy, busy, busy.

Using the Top Questions on the right, the NPS website, and YosemiteHikes.com will help with planning. Download the NPS app.

California
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7 posts
123 reviews
212 helpful votes
2. Re: Yosemite itinerary help - 2 days in late May
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Thank you very much! This is really helpful.

We're staying in the Yosemite West area, off Wawona Rd, so I think we'll pass El Capitan Meadow on the way to Lower Yosemite Fall. We just planned to pull over and see if we could see any climbers with binoculars, but not necessarily stay/hike, at least on day one. Should we?

Thanks for suggesting Valley Loop Trail -- that sounds perfect. I really appreciate all your other tips as well. This all makes a ton of sense.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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94,757 posts
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3. Re: Yosemite itinerary help - 2 days in late May
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I remember when Yosemite West was being developed. I know where it is.

You'll come in on one way eastbound Southside Drive. El Capitan Meadow is on one way westbound Northside Drive. You will only pass it on your way out.

But you can see El Capitan across the Valley when you're driving in. Yosemite Valley is about a mile wide.

California
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7 posts
123 reviews
212 helpful votes
4. Re: Yosemite itinerary help - 2 days in late May
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Tioga Pass Rd. will be opening May 27, for anyone who might be following this. Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend crowds.

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