View Full Version : Is this a wise plan? LAX-Yosemite-DL

06-16-2007, 01:45 PM
My DW, DS13, DD9, DS6, and myself are heading back out for more fun at DL again this year. We land at LAX on 8/1(Wed) and are planning on heading up to Yosemite for 2 nights. Then head back down to DL on 8/3(Fri) before heading back home on 8/10(Fri). I know it's quite a drive but living in Texas, I'm used to driving the long distances. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Lodging has not yet been finalized at either location but will need to get that done within the week. Thanks for any input!

06-16-2007, 01:55 PM
I would recommend staying at least 1 or 2 more days in Yosemite area. I don't think you can do Yosemite highlights in just one day.

5 hours driving time up and back, but any time in LA area freeways will increase this amount.

That still would leave you with plenty of Disneyland time. Your kids will enjoy the mountains. Have them do the Junior Ranger program, great fun and they get a badge or patch! Visit nps.gov for more info on Yosemite.

Have a great time.

06-16-2007, 02:31 PM
Thanks casaazul! We'll be landing at 7:45am so I was thinking we would be at Yosemite by 3pm or so. We'll have that evening, all of the next day and part of the next if we head back on Friday so I was thinking 2 nights might be enough. However, I'll definitely re-think it. I'm afraid there may be more to Yosemite than I bargained for!

06-16-2007, 03:03 PM
I would still go... Yosemite is wonderful. Even if you spend another night, you could have the experience of one of the classic and most beautiful National Parks.

I am a total Disneyland nut and I would gladly give up a day at DL for extra time in the mountains!

Have a great time.

06-17-2007, 03:32 PM
Something to keep in mind is that if you can't find lodging in the valley (Yosemite) then you will have to take that into cosideration regarding drive times and possible waits (possible park closure due to exceeding maximum allowance) due to the park being jam packed. But I agree that another day in Yosemite would be well worth it.

06-18-2007, 10:09 PM
We found accomodations at the Sierra Sky Ranch near Oakhurst and just south of the entrance to Yosemite. Has anyone stayed here? I've read reviews both good and bad.

06-19-2007, 06:21 PM
Hmm...if you're landing at LAX at 7:45 a.m. then getting to Yosemite by 3:00 p.m. is a bit optimistic - you gotta figure that by the time you collect your bags and rent a car it'll be at least 9:00 before you hit the road. You might be at Oakhurst by 3:00, but I think it would be difficult to be in the Valley itself (another 1:15 at least from Oakhurst) by 3:00. If you want to do something that day, then rather than going into the Valley I would recommend visiting the Mariposa Sequoia grove - that's just inside the park entrance, so only another 30 minutes beyond Oakhurst. Since it will be late in the day it might not be so busy, so you'll be able to drive all the way to the grove rather than having to park and take the (free) shuttle bus.

In August there's not going to be much water in the waterfalls - I was there two weeks ago and the water already looked more like it usually does in mid-July - they were predicting Yosemite Falls would be dry by mid-July. :-( But the rocks will still look incredible. I'd recommend driving to Glacier Point on the day after you arrive - maybe doing the hike to Sentinel Dome or McGurk Meadow. Sentinel Dome is about 2.5 miles round trip and McGurk Meadow is about 1.2 miles round trip. The flowers might be very pretty at that time of year.

06-19-2007, 09:38 PM
Thanks ScooterL. Oh, I definitely don't plan on making it to the valley by 3pm. After flying/driving all day, I'm sure we'll be ready to relax for a bit as well. I like your idea of seeing Mariposa Grove that evening though. Sierra Sky Ranch is supposedly about 10 miles from the south entrance so that should be something doable.

I'm also "hoping" to see some waterfall action but, like you say, they could very well be dried up by then. That's too bad but I expect to still be amazed at all the incredible beauty.

We also have decided to stay 3 nights/4 days before heading back to DL. I know we could spend 2 weeks there to see everything but I'm sure we'll get a good amount of sights/activities in nonetheless. Anyone with any info on Sierra Sky Ranch let me know your thoughts.

Dis Ohana
07-06-2007, 04:57 AM
We love Disneyland and we love Yosemite! We do this trip every year, it's become our Christmas tradition to spend the week in Yosemite.

One bit of advice, not even sure if this will make any difference to you. The first time we planned this vacation we did Yosemite first, then Disneyland. What a shock! We all had bad sensory overload! I think a week of not seeing another person and being so close to the outdoors, to going to the BUSIEST place on earth was just too much for us. In the years to follow we did Disneyland first then drove to Yosemite. It works great for us. We're all so ready to hit the parks and just go commando in DL in the beginning, then by the time we leave we're ready to just chill!

We enjoy the long drive, to us it's so pretty and different from where we are now. We load up the ipod and have some really nice family time on those drives.

Have a wonderful trip. I hope you love Yosemite as much as we do :goodvibes .

07-06-2007, 07:35 AM
Yeah, that definitely makes sense to me that you would be ready to "chill" after DL. And, what better place to do that than at Yosemite. One thing we were also thinking was that it just seemed logical for us to end our vacation near LA since we would have to catch our flight back home and driving ~6 hours to the airport didn't seem appealing. Unfortunately, the dates are set this time but I think we'll consider this for sure next time around. But, we can't wait to see Yosemite since it'll be our first time there.

07-06-2007, 11:47 AM
Yosemite will be beautiful - but you are right the waterfalls may be a bit disappointing. It has been a very dry year in this part of the state. But the park is always amazing.

For something fun you might try Sugar Pine Railroad. Its an old steam engine that runs a short track and they do special night runs and BBQ. Train robbers the whole bit. I know your trip it tight already but I thought I would throw that out there. Ohana - you can add it to your next trip!

Enjoy your trip !

07-06-2007, 01:15 PM
That train is pretty close to where we'll be staying so it might be doable. Looks pretty cool. Thanks for the info!

Does anyone have any information regarding Sierra Sky Ranch B&B? I'd like to get some first-hand knowledge before we arrive or if we should avoid.

07-15-2007, 03:47 PM
So glad I found this thread. We are going to do this trip next Spring. Last Summer my husband and I drove to Yosemite from Reno in our RV. Oh my!!! I was petrified on that road. I was sure our RV wouldn't make it but we did. I was even more shocked that we could get a room at the Yosemite Lodge for the night. It was so hot that my husband ended up going out to the RV and sleeping in it. I had such wonderful memories of camping with my Dad in the Valley when I was 10 and 11 that I wanted to go back again. That was in 1956. My husband wasn't really excited about the trip but he fell in love with Yosemite even after the horrible drive over the mountain. Now, he wants us to take our 5 year old grandson to Yosemite. I have started making plans and getting reservations. It is so hard to get reservations in the Valley - that are affordable anyway. I tried to get ressies for June, 2008 and backed up to May and finally found 3 nights available April 20 - 23 at Yosemite Lodge. We will fly into LAX on the 20th early (from Florida) then head to Yosemite. Can anyone tell me the best route to take from LAX to the Park. I know there were road closures last Summer when we were there. I would like my grandson to see the Mariposa Grove. Any other ideas about what we should do while we are there? We will leave on the 23rd and drive to DL. I'm hoping to get ressies at Grand Californian Hotel but reservations for next year don't open up till August 1st. Any suggestions on what route I should take to DL? We will spend 3 days in the Parks before flying home. Thanks for any info you can give me. This will be our first big solo trip with our grandson.
He doesn't understand about Yosemite and all he wants to do is go to DL but I know it will mean a lot to my husband if he shows his only grandchild a beautiful National Park.

April in Disney
07-17-2007, 09:35 AM
We did the LAX-Yosemite-DL for a week in end of May. We spent 3 nights at Yosemite and 4 nights in DL. We stayed at Tenaya Lodge in fish camp right outside Yosemite gate and enjoyed our stay. We spent 2 full days in Yosemite. The drive from LAX to Yosemite was really not as bad as I thought it would be. We did 405 merge I-5 to 99 merge 41 and we were in Tenaya in 5.5 hours. The following guide really helped us maximizing our experience at Yosemite.

09-04-2007, 12:43 PM
I'm so glad I found this thread! I'm planning almost the exact same trip for next summer!
Any suggestions are helpful. I actually just started a thread on it.
Thanks :)

10-02-2007, 02:29 AM
If you are flying you might want to consider flying into Fresno, then driving down to Los Angeles for the remainder of your vacation. Yosemite is about 1.5 hours from the Fresno airport.

Last year we flew to Fresno on a Saturday and spent 4 nights at the Ahawanee Hotel; then drove to Valencia and spent 2 nights there enjoying Magic Mountain; then to San Luis Obispo for another 2 nights (that turned into 3 when a flight got canceled:sad2:) It was one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had.