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Old 04-05-2011, 08:37 PM   #14
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saratoga County
Posts: 1,413

Originally Posted by ArchOwl View Post
I live about 2 hours from Yosemite Village. I have been to the park in all seasons and find the summer to be the worst. Imagine a traffic jam in Yosemite! Yes, it has happened to me on a weekend in July. Campgrounds are PACKED and the bugs are out in full force.

The Ahwahnee Hotel books up very quickly as well and may be a factor in your planning.

Since you are only planning 3-4 days at Disneyland, I know some might encourage you to skip Yosemite and stay at Disneyland the whole time. I would say, could you extend your trip by a day or two? That way you could do 5 days at Disney, 1 travel day, and at least 3 days in Yosemite. It would be hard to do Yosemite in 2 days I think.

Anyway, I would highly recommend visiting Yosemite if you can, it is definitely the crown jewel of our parks!
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy reply. I have two followup questions.

1. It's been 9 years since I've been to Disneyland. I know they've made a lot of changes. Would you recomend two days for each park?

2. I just checked on the Ahwahnee Hotel. It was over $500 a night. What would some of the early Yosemite "explorers" (I know that's not the right work) think of that?! I remember it from the PBS series, and I'm not saying I've ruled it out, but man that's a lot of moolah. I guess that was just a rhetorical question.

Originally Posted by Butterfly123 View Post
I love Yosemite...there is so much to do, four days would be best if you like to hike. One day for the drive to Tuolumne Meadows, one day for driving up to Glacier Point, and a must do hike to Sentinal Dome (2.5 mile round trip hike starting at Taft point...easy hike, way less busy than Glacier Point, and a 360 degree view of the valley...stunning), one day for a hike up Vernal Falls...maybe up to Nevada Falls. And one day for all the small walks in the valley floor, like Bridalveil Falls, and Yosemite Falls. When we go to Yosemite was stay ay Yosemite View Lodge...it is the closest hotel to the entrance on highway 140. If you get a river view room it is right on the Merced River. It is expensive, but way cheaper than the park, and a very short drive in. We went last June. It was busy, but not crazy. The weather was warm, but not too hot. We have kids in school, so off season doesn't work for us.
I'll definitely check out Yosemite View Lodge. You are certainly whetting my appetite for the trip.

Originally Posted by Happy Birthday Cat View Post
In the spring we went to Yosemite. It is by far the best time to go since the waterfalls are in full glory. Most Yosemite waterfalls are the result of snow melt so catching them in the spring is when they are at their best. The other side of that is that Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows were not accessable because of snow. Glacier Point opened while we were there and in some places where we were there was still eight feet of snow. But it was spectacular and our teenagers loved it.

Have a great trip. You won't regret it. (Note the link in my signature. There is so much more to Yosemite than Yosemite Valley).

September was sounding good, but seeing the falls sounds nice, too.

I live in Saratoga county. What county are you in?

Originally Posted by Butterfly123 View Post
The time it takes depends so much on traffic. It takes us a little under four hours to drive to Yosemite from the San Jose area. We go in the 140 entrance. But I personally would do the drive over flying because I find airports a big pain, and stressful. When you drive you can take the breaks when you need them. But that's me...lots of people don't mind airports at all.

Disneyland and Yosemite...two of my very favorite places! However you get there, you will love it!
I'm still debating. Looks like one way airfare (LAX to San Francisco) was only $89. I have to check out one way car rentals, because I think I'd rather fly out of some place nearer Yosemite than drive back to LA.

Originally Posted by ArchOwl View Post
Well the 6 hours would be with no traffic going out of LA and that really depends on the day you would be leaving LA and the time.

I have driven from Disneyland to my house in Fresno (where you would be driving through) in four hours. And I know it is 2 hours to Yosemite from my house. However, many times it has taken me 5 hours or so to get home from Disneyland because of traffic. And I am talking 2 hours from my house to the Valley floor, which is an important distinction. Because the gates to Yosemite are only an hour away from me. It takes an hour to get from the gates to the Valley floor.

I don't think you would really save that much time by flying into San Francisco or San Jose. As others have said, it is still a 4 hour drive anyway from there and then add on the flying time, time to get to the airport, baggage, and rental counter .

I would leave Disneyland on a Sunday if at all possible (least amount of traffic in my experience). If you can't do Sunday, then avoid any proximity to rush hour. Once you get out of the LA area, the freeway is very fast (70 mph speed limit). I know a lot of people hate the drive, but since I grew up in the Central Valley, I kind of like driving in the ag areas. And Yosemite is totally worth it! Seriously, I have taken people who are not even "nature people" and they can't believe the beauty. If you can make it work, do it!

Feel free to PM if you would like dinner/lunch recos in Fresno. It is also a good place to stop if you need to get food, etc if you are camping. They really do scalp the tourists the further up the hills you go.
Thank you for the advice and offer. I'll keep that in mind as I get closer to making a decision.

Originally Posted by rmom View Post
I would not fly to San Jose or San Francisco and drive from there. I did the drive from Dl to Y a few years ago. It was fine. The route we took was nice. It got a little long but we were meeting my sister & BIL in Yosemite. We were trying to get there as soon as possible so we did not take many breaks. I think getting out of LA was the worse part but isn't that always the worse? We also hit rain, off & on, and it was pouring buckets when we got to Yosemite.

I would just try leaving when the traffic is lower and make a few stops to breaking up the drive. How long it takes really depends on the traffic in LA and where in Yosemits you are going. You might be in Yosemite in 6 hours but if you are giong to the Valley, it could take another hour. If you go thru Walwona (in Yosemite), stop and take a break at the Hotel - and get gas as there isn't any in the valley.

Have a wonderful trip! I am jealous - wish I was going. We have to cancel our trip to Yosemite in 3 weeks.
The last time I was in California (I live in New York) was when my older was looking at colleges. We rented a car, and also managed to do some sightseeing including Disneyland. We got lost every single place we had to go. That was before GPS, but I need to remember driving can be very stressful in unknown areas.
Sleep well tonight, for somewhere in the oceans' depths submariners are protecting our freedom.

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