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Old 04-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
aboveH20
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What do you think about Yosemite & DL?

The cold and rainly weather at WDW for the last three Februarys has made me think it's time to go back to Disneyland -- not in February. I see by Mapquest that Yosemite is a 6+ hour drive from Annaheim. How long do you think I would need to make it worthwhile? 3-4 days at Disneyland, a travel day and 2-3 at Yosemite?? I know Yosemite gets crowded, what's the best month to go? ( I'm thinking I'd fly into LA and out of San Francisco.)

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I had great luck with my Las Vegas/Grand Canyon trip in Oct. based on tips from this board.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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It depends on when you would go because you have to worry about even being able to get in there in the winter..

Yosemite is GORGEOUS.. BUT if you want to go there.. I would get your reservations for Yosemite FIRST then plan everything else around, because people book a year in advance.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:33 PM   #3
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I would do early September. I have not been to Yosemite in acouple of years but it has to be the beautiful place on this earth. Crowds drop of at both places when school is back in and snow is rare in Yosemite at this time of the year.

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Old 04-03-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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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.

I love May and September when most campgrounds are open, but the crowds are not in full force, providing you avoid major holidays. There is also something to be said for Yosemite in winter, especially if you are enjoying it in front of a fire at the Ahwahnee!

Of course, a lot depends on what you would like to do in Yosemite. Are you a climber? Will you want to tackle Half Dome? If so, the permitting process can be a little crazy. You have to have a permit seven days a week now and competition is fierce. Or maybe you like a little luxury? 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!

ETA: if going in May or September avoid camping in the valley, it can still be a little warm there. The valley floor in yosemite is actually quite low elevation wise. Stick to the upper campgrounds (hubby and I like the White Wolf one) where you will have crisp mornings and temperate afternoons and fewer bugs.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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Yosemite is so worth the trip. I agree, try to get lodging either in the valley or just outside the park as soon as possible. You want at least 2-3 just to skim the surface of the park.

The end of May and June is a good time to go as the waterfalls will be running from the winter runoff. The only downside is, depending on the snow fall that winter, Tioga Pass may still be closed in May and impassable.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:26 PM   #7
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California Adventure

Your plan is about 2/3's of our plan. We are calling it our California adventure.

We live in Utah so we are driving to Yosemite and camping for 3 nights. Then we drive to Sequoia and camp there for 2 nights. Then drive to Anaheim and go to DL for 4 nights. I wanted to make the most of the limited time I have off.

We are going the first week of June. We really want to see the waterfalls in Yosemite and have heard that many are dry by early July. We will be in DL mid-week and by going in early June hopefully most kids will still be in school so it won't be quite as busy.

As for having to book super far in advance we booked everything in late February. I did all my research for the camping and DL in order to see what was available and what dates would work. I booked the camping first (someone else recommended this too). We are actually camping in National Forrest campgrounds just outside the parks.

I have heard that September is great in both Yosemite and DL. The kids are back in school and the weather is still really nice. I would have considered this but I really wanted to see the waterfalls.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:13 PM   #8
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We love Yosemite but have never combined a trip to both places. We have combined a trip to DLR and Monterey and it worked fine along the same lines as you describe. We did that last summer and we had a great time.

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).

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Old 04-04-2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2dutchies View Post
Yosemite is GORGEOUS.. BUT if you want to go there.. I would get your reservations for Yosemite FIRST then plan everything else around, because people book a year in advance.
Good point, thanks for the reminder. One summer I worked for the company that does camping reservations for Yosemite. It was BY FAR the most popular campground we made reservations for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjackdelta View Post
I would do early September. I have not been to Yosemite in acouple of years but it has to be the beautiful place on this earth. Crowds drop of at both places when school is back in and snow is rare in Yosemite at this time of the year.

Jack
September works for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchOwl View Post
I love May and September when most campgrounds are open, but the crowds are not in full force, providing you avoid major holidays. There is also something to be said for Yosemite in winter, especially if you are enjoying it in front of a fire at the Ahwahnee!

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!

ETA: if going in May or September avoid camping in the valley, it can still be a little warm there. The valley floor in yosemite is actually quite low elevation wise. Stick to the upper campgrounds (hubby and I like the White Wolf one) where you will have crisp mornings and temperate afternoons and fewer bugs.
Thanks for the enthusiastic recommendation. I could do three days in the Yosemite area -- that was part of the reason I posted the question, to get feedback like that.

I'm getting excitied.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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I like Yosemite in May (Mothers Day Weekend). It's not very crowded and the weather is usually cool (around 65-70). In the past, my Dad rented a cabin and there are usually 10 of us in it. These cabins are about 30 minutes from the valley floor, have TV, family style board games, towels, dishes, full kitchens. One we stayed at has a pool table. It's usualy a 4 night stay with three trips to the park. Breakfast and Dinner in the cabin and lunch while we are out. Our faves are bridal vail falls, glacier point (if it's open), the indian village, and mirror lake.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:42 AM   #11
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Have any of you actually done the drive from Disneyland to Yosemite? When Mapquest says 6+ hours does that mean it's more like 8? I may be going solo, so that's a lot of driving.

The other thing I was wondering about last night as I was trying to fall alseep was, would I be better off to fly from LA to San Francisco or San Jose or someplace and rent a car from there? As I'm trying to put the pieces together the dollar signs are starting to spin.

Thanks for your insight.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:17 AM   #13
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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!
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aboveH20 View Post
Have any of you actually done the drive from Disneyland to Yosemite? When Mapquest says 6+ hours does that mean it's more like 8? I may be going solo, so that's a lot of driving.

The other thing I was wondering about last night as I was trying to fall alseep was, would I be better off to fly from LA to San Francisco or San Jose or someplace and rent a car from there? As I'm trying to put the pieces together the dollar signs are starting to spin.

Thanks for your insight.
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.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aboveH20 View Post
Have any of you actually done the drive from Disneyland to Yosemite? When Mapquest says 6+ hours does that mean it's more like 8? I may be going solo, so that's a lot of driving.

The other thing I was wondering about last night as I was trying to fall alseep was, would I be better off to fly from LA to San Francisco or San Jose or someplace and rent a car from there? As I'm trying to put the pieces together the dollar signs are starting to spin.
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.
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