Yosemite National Park

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    Oct 16, 2009 8:09 AM GMT
    I'm headed to CA toward the end of October and will be spending some time in Yosemite National Park.

    I've never been there before and would appreciate any suggestions on what to see/do.
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    Oct 16, 2009 10:20 AM GMT
    If you're in great shape, hike up to the top of Half Dome and back! It's grueling and awesome. icon_smile.gif
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    Oct 16, 2009 11:39 AM GMT
    The high country is amazing, but it is heading towards winter, and snow is possible. Yosemite Valley is great any time of the year. I'd plan on a day in the valley and camp there at night. The Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoias is great to visit. A drive on the Tioga Road (Route 120) to Tuolumne Meadows has amazing scenery. Day hikes, or overnight hikes, from here bring you to the high backcountry, but you need to be prepared for bad weather and should be experienced.

    The National Park Service website has a lot of information for first time visitors.

    http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/things2do.htm

    October 2009 - N.P.S.

    Notices

    Half Dome Cables
    The Half Come Cables will be taken down on October 13. When the cables are being taken down, all access along the route will be closed.

    Tioga and Glacier Point Roads
    From October 15 until the roads open in the spring, it is illegal to leave vehicles parked overnight along the Tioga Road between Crane Flat and Tioga Pass, or along the Glacier Point road east of Badger Pass, or at trail heads or any other area accessible from these roads.

    If you are planning a hike from these roads after October 15, please arrange for drop-off or pick-up transportation. In addition be prepared for the possibility that the Tioga or Glacier Point Roads may be closed due to snow and that you will have to hike to another road or developed area that is open.

    Public Transportation
    All bus services to Tuolumne Meadows and in the Tuolumne Meadows area are closed for the season. Furthermore, all facilities except the gas station and wilderness center are closed in Tuolumne Meadows. The Glacier Point Tour Bus will remain operating until the Glacier Point Road closes.

    Bears are active in Yosemite’s wilderness. There is high bear activity in the Glen Aulin and the Little Yosemite Valley/Sunrise Creek area. Please remember to store all your food and scented items in bear canisters or food storage lockers to protect the wildlife. Whenever food or scented items are out, please keep them within arms reach, even while day hiking.

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    Oct 16, 2009 12:32 PM GMT
    Highly recommend watching the recent Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks. Not sure if you can see all or just portions of it here (http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/watch-video/#642). If only portions, then Netflix it. Absolutely worth it. A large portion of the first couple of episodes is devoted to Yosemite.

    I went at the end of Sept/early October (years ago), which was just about perfect in terms of crowds/weather. You're likely to get snow in late October, which may suit you fine. Just prepare for it.

    I didn't do the full Half Dome hike, but hope to go back for it. It's one of those "lifetime hikes" that is pretty special. I went as far as Nevada Falls on that hike.

    Also, highjly recommend you drive up to Glacier Point for a famous view, and over to the Mariposa Grove.

    Yosemite, like most of the national parks, is best experienced away from the crowds. Figuring out how to do that can be a bit of a challenge, but it makes all the difference in the experience.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 16, 2009 12:43 PM GMT
    You have some great recommendations here already. I was lucky enough to have parents who absolutely encouraged education and active exploration of our country. By the age of 7 I was in every state west of the Mississippi except for Oregon.

    The Ken Burns documentary is really awesome. I personally loved Yellowstone and the obvious like the Grand Canyon. Yosemite was
    so amazing. I still remember the Giant Sequoias and hiking.... I think
    thats really the focus and with the fall weather going downhill, I'd make sure you always do your homework on whats expected and whether you should
    hike or visit areas that we might take for granted during the summer.

    You didn't mention this, but I assume your overnight stays (at hotels or motels) has also been planned. It seems costs have gone up so much for these places, but they might consider this more the "off season" so your rates might be much better.
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:25 PM GMT
    I buy a Yosemite annual pass every year, usually go there several times each summer. Outdoormutt already mentioned the pertinent info for now, which is off season. Lodging rates should be a lot lower than summer and easier to book. Areas you have access to are limited to Yosemite Valley, Hetch Hetchy reservoir, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove. All are must sees. In the valley make sure to visit the Ahwahnee Hotel for the beautiful lobby and dining room. The Wawona Hotel in Wawona is also a grand old place worthy of visit. Hetch Hetchy valley has the lowest elevation so its temperatures are still reasonable for hiking in the granite wilderness. Send me email if you need more info.
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:29 PM GMT
    You have good suggestions here - and I can't add anything new - except to suggest you see (and stay if possible or at least eat at) my favorite place there - the Ahwahnee. You can go to "The Ahwahnee" site and they'll give you all the other possible places to stay as well. I have loved Yosemite since I was a kid and Vernal Falls was one of my favorite hikes - of all the rest. Of course, Half Dome would be the ultimate. Have fun!
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Oct 16, 2009 2:08 PM GMT
    all the above cautions and recommendations!

    At other times of the year (I hope you return) and if they've reinstated the stables (it's been a while since I've been back in California and Yosemite), take a mule ride from the valley/village up behind Half Dome - about a half-day ride - and spectacular and fun!

    Much is closed in winter, and Tioga and Tuolumne roads used to be closed altogether -- but it sounds like now they're open for through traffic perhaps.

    Enjoy! It's a treasure -- went there and to all the places mentioned many times and in all seasons while I lived in San Francisco, about 4 hours away by car.
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    Oct 17, 2009 6:39 AM GMT
    Would anyone be interested in starting a Gay group to do hikes/camping in Yosemite? I love it and have been there many times, hiked all the above mentioned routes such as Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Glacier Point, some of the back country. The group I used to hike with has moved on. Would love to plan/ coordinate some fun gay guys trips. Serious backcountry or just camp in the valley and do day excursions. If you have never been there, it is amazing. If anyone is interested in starting a group, let me know.
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    Nov 02, 2009 9:32 PM GMT
    Hey guys, thanks for all the great suggestions. Fall was the perfect time of the year to visit Yosemite, the weather was just right and the fall colors produced some phenomenal pictures. I got to see most of what I wanted, but wish I had a few more days in the park.