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Yosemite in the summer

(17 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 21-Mar-16 14:29:13

We are planning a trip to California this summer, dh and I and 3 dds aged 15, 13 and 9. We have a rough idea that we want to fly to SF, spend about 4 days there and then drive south to LA. We'll have about 2 weeks in total.

Dh is keen to go to Yosemite but I'm not so keen because firstly it's a detour off the coastal route and so much more driving, and secondly I've heard that it's not so great in the summer as it's all dried out so not much to see.

Thoughts please?

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Mar-16 14:31:34

It's amazing!
But we preferred Sequoia!

almostthirty Mon 21-Mar-16 14:34:24

We did this ! It was fantastic! We went in August. We landed in San Francisco and stayed there for 3 days. Can't remember the route we took but we went through Yosemite, mammoth mountain, death valley, Vegas, palm springs and then finished with a week in LA , staying in Santa Monica.
I would definitely recommend it.
Yosemite was fantastic and an amazing place to explore.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Mar-16 14:34:50

Sequoia

Dancergirl Mon 21-Mar-16 14:37:30

I don't know much about Yosemite, is there anything to DO there or is it just amazing for the scenery? Is it much hotter because it's inland? How far is it to drive from LA to Yosemite?

Where is Sequoia??

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Mar-16 14:46:34

We stayed a lovely lodge and yes it's mainly sightseeing - we also had a "flashlight" evening tour/ talk which was amazing: saw the milky way. Sequoia is South of Yosemite. Sequoia is around 200 miles from LA. Yosemite is about 280 miles.
Don't recall is being hotter - it was August we went.

Dancergirl Mon 21-Mar-16 14:48:14

That's a long way!

almostthirty Mon 21-Mar-16 14:49:54

Amazing scenery, lovely walks. We drove through and stopped for lots of walks. Personally we chose to do this route as we weren't that interested in the coast and wanted to explore, making lots of little stops. We also wanted to see death valley and the hoover dam. It took us 11 days to travel from SF to LA but we stopped off in Vegas for 3 nights and palm springs for 2.

Dancergirl Mon 21-Mar-16 14:51:44

We want to go to Carmel or Monteray too, heard they are both very nice.

worstofbothworlds Mon 21-Mar-16 14:58:03

Carmel and Monterey are basically the same place. Both lovely as is Big Sur nearby.

There's lots of sightseeing, walking etc and also some bus tours for the lazy in Yosemite. It's a lot cooler than sea level and a long drive from the coast, some passes are snow bound up to June. Driving there can be hot though, but I may be recalling a childhood journey pre-AC!

Park accommodation books up quite early because it's limited.

slicedfinger Mon 21-Mar-16 15:00:27

It was amazing when we went. Mid summer, hot, but not too hot. A black (I think!) bear strolled across the road in front of us as we were heading out!

Dancergirl Mon 21-Mar-16 15:01:05

Sounds lovely but I think I would prefer to stick to the coast. It's a lot of driving. Not sure!

AcrossthePond55 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:56:23

I live about 5 hours from Yosemite. The Valley is as crowded as heck in the summer, we NEVER go then. I mean Disneyland crowded. Lots of tour buses and rude parkers. If you think the parking threads are bad on MN, you should be thankful that there are no 'Yosemite Valley Parking Threads'. It's definitely one of the most beautiful spots I've been to, definitely worth seeing, just be aware that you aren't going to be driving through a quiet, majestic valley. In mid-summer you're just as likely to be in bumper to bumper traffic fighting for parking spots. I haven't been to Sequoia in ages, I'd say it's probably less crowded but I don't think it's as scenic.

As far as the falls go all I can say is we've been in a drought for the last few years but have had two good systems come through (and we're expecting more due to El Nino) and the snowpack (which feeds the falls) is above average. That usually means the falls will be good this summer, at least until mid- to late August, possibly later.

Both parks are mainly sightseeing, hiking, and nature-related activities.

Lodging IN Yosemite Valley is at a premium and must be booked well in advance. But there are plenty of places outside the Valley to stay.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:57:51

www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm

www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

AcrossthePond55 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:58:27

Oops. Above are National Parks links for both parks.

Bambambini Mon 21-Mar-16 16:02:34

Yosemite is lovely, we went August and it was very busy. We did what was supposed to be an easier trail up a waterfall and it was wall to wall people like Oxford Street - but it was still wirth it. The accommodation in the park gets boojed out quick - though rooms can become avail right ip to the date.

We also did Carmel and Monterey. Quite differrent. Carmel is more affacted up market yuppie enclave but beautiful whilst Monterey is more down to earth but had a nice relaxed vibe.

SquirrelledAway Sat 26-Mar-16 17:59:45

Kings Canyon will is almost as dramatic as Yosemite - and sooo much quieter in August. You can combine it with Sequoia.

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