Yosemite National Park – Sept. 2018
Travel Itinerary for Yosemite National Park by Car
Day 1 – Fly to Fresno Airport (FAT), pick up car, check in hotel nearby
Day 2 – Drive to Mariposa Grove to see incredible Sequoia trees (Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau 1 – 866 – 425 – 336). Recommend stopping for groceries at a Walmart or Grocery Outlet Bargain Market farther along at 40301 Junction Dr. Oakhurst, CA 93644.
2 hour hike at Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Wawona. The hike to Chilnualna falls takes longer and is very difficult but view is incredible. Enter South Entrance of Yosemite National Park ($20 weekly entrance fee for seniors – must be U.S citizen). Check-in at Yosemite Valley Lodge at 4 pm (Don’t expect the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, it’s just a simple lodge).
Go to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for general tips. You can also watch a 20 min film “Spirit of Yosemite” at the Yosemite Theatre. Other places to visit include the Yosemite museum, Indian village of Ahwahnee, Ansel Adams Gallery, Nature Centre at Happy Isles, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (view perimeter to see the granite, pine, and cedar built hotel, inside it’s sculpted with glass, tile, Native American rugs, and Turkish kilims, solarium, huge fireplace).
Free shuttles – 7am – 10pm every 20 minutes
Bike Rental $33/day – 209 372 1208 / 209 372 8323
Yosemite Mountain Room (Food court available during the day) – 209 372 1403
General Store (has a microwave) – 209 372 8338
Day 3 – Drive on Tioga Rd for scenic drive heading to Tenaya Lake on the way to Tuolumne Meadows (1.5 hr drive)
Day 4 – Drive to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. On the way back you can hike to Carlon Falls (hidden gem)
Day 5 – Explore Yosemite’s hiking trails e.g., Cook’s Meadow Loop 1 mile/1.6 km; 30 minutes (easy hike). You can drive west to Valley View, Bridalveil Falls (20 min), El Capitan, Three Brothers, Lower Yosemite Falls, Upper Yosemite Falls (difficult hike), Half Dome, Royal Arches.
Day 6 – Check-out. Drive to Glacier Point and Badger Pass to view Yosemite Valley, Vernal and Nevada Falls (most beautiful view of all Yosemite’s beauty).Drive to Fresno and check into a hotel. Things to do in Fresno – Zoo, Shinzen Japanese Garden, Forestiere Underground Gardens or relax and go for swim in the hotel pool.
Day 7 – Return car rental and fly home.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GO:
– Waterfalls tend to dry up in warmer months
– Forest fires common occurrence in warmer months and can result in smokey conditions or road closures
– Roads to Tuolumne Meadows and Hetch Hetchy close down in winter months
– Check out https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hiking.htm to plan hikes (can select easy, moderate, difficult), plan activities (kayaking, camping), get necessary permits for camping or specific climbs (e.g., half dome)