Need advice on visiting Yosemite

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,262
Location
Idaho
Greg and I have never been to Yosemite National Park. We are thinking of going the middle of May. I would love advice on how many days we should plan to spend in the park and how bad the crowds will be then? Where is the best place to stay? We would also like to visit Sequoia and King's Canyon. You have all been so helpful in the past when we have gone to new places.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
9,656
Location
Clearwater, Florida
Exciting!! I'm tagging along on this thread since I've never been to Yosemite. The fear of the large crowds has kept me away these past few years. I am considering a trip to Redwood National Park some time over the next 6 months.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,262
Location
Idaho
Exciting!! I'm tagging along on this thread since I've never been to Yosemite. The fear of the large crowds has kept me away these past few years. I am considering a trip to Redwood National Park some time over the next 6 months.
The crowds have been deterring us as well. I’m going to call a ranger there and get some info, too!!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,262
Location
Idaho
Exciting!! I'm tagging along on this thread since I've never been to Yosemite. The fear of the large crowds has kept me away these past few years. I am considering a trip to Redwood National Park some time over the next 6 months.
PS. If we chicken out on Yosemite, we will go to Coos Bay, Oregon, and travel to Redwood National Park. So, that option is still open to us as well.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
9,656
Location
Clearwater, Florida
PS. If we chicken out on Yosemite, we will go to Coos Bay, Oregon, and travel to Redwood National Park. So, that option is still open to us as well.
Yes, you can travel right down and pass through the Redwood parks. I'm jealous. I simply cannot figure out how to best travel to that area. The closest airports are 3-5 hours away. I suspect that does help keep the crowds down.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
6,595
Location
N Idaho
Expect it to crowded, if you have or can get medication to treat anxiety take a lot of it. Here is a link to visitor numbers. Visitation Statistics - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service) Lots to see, it’s a beautiful park, great vistas. May won’t be too bad, I’d go as early as possible in the month. It’s definitely worth seeing. If the valley is too crowded for you and the road is open take route 120 up toward Tioga Pass, there should be a lot less people up there. I lived in the valley one summer, working for the Curry Company, they ran the concessions in the park. If you call the park, ask when they expect 120 to open. They’ve had a lot of snow this year, so it might not open til sometime in June.
Redwood Park in May should be fantastic. The rhododendrons should be flowering and it would be beautiful.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,262
Location
Idaho
Yes, you can travel right down and pass through the Redwood parks. I'm jealous. I simply cannot figure out how to best travel to that area. The closest airports are 3-5 hours away. I suspect that does help keep the crowds down.
Expect it to crowded, if you have or can get medication to treat anxiety take a lot of it. Here is a link to visitor numbers. Visitation Statistics - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service) Lots to see, it’s a beautiful park, great vistas. May won’t be too bad, I’d go as early as possible in the month. It’s definitely worth seeing. If the valley is too crowded for you and the road is open take route 120 up toward Tioga Pass, there should be a lot less people up there. I lived in the valley one summer, working for the Curry Company, they ran the concessions in the park. If you call the park, ask when they expect 120 to open. They’ve had a lot of snow this year, so it might not open til sometime in June.
Redwood Park in May should be fantastic. The rhododendrons should be flowering and it would be beautiful.
Maybe we should opt for Coos Bay to Redwood NP, then. I do want to see Yosemite, but hate crowds. We only live two hours from Yellowstone but try to avoid summer, although we are going to go in June with our grandkids this year. I hope it isn’t too bad. July and August are totally crazy there.

We always drive, Mitchell, so I’m no help on airports. Could you fly to Oregon, rent a car, and drive down the coast to Redwood NP?
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
2,228
Location
Jupiter, FL
Real Name
Andy
Greg and I have never been to Yosemite National Park. We are thinking of going the middle of May. I would love advice on how many days we should plan to spend in the park and how bad the crowds will be then? Where is the best place to stay? We would also like to visit Sequoia and King's Canyon. You have all been so helpful in the past when we have gone to new places.
Do remember that in May, winter road closures will constrain the places you can access. The valley will be crowded either way. But once you set off onto the trails, and the farther you go, you will leave behind the masses in favor of a truly inspiring experience. A few years ago after my first time ascending the Half Dome cables, I learned that the 12-mile hike from the valley to the summit represents only 1% of the marked trails in the park.
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
7,406
Location
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
The first time we went to Yosemite, we stayed outside the park in Oakhurst and I regretted it. The drive in and out each day was maddening - it's just like the awful Yellowstone traffic in the summer. The next time we stayed in Yosemite Valley and it was so much more productive, both from an enjoyment and photography perspective - if you're up early and starting your day in the valley, you're not dealing with as many crowds at that hour. Same with KC/Sequoia - we stayed at the Wuksachi Lodge and while more costly, we were up hiking and shooting while a lot of people were still driving into the park.

Sean
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
2,228
Location
Jupiter, FL
Real Name
Andy
The drive in and out each day was maddening - it's just like the awful Yellowstone traffic in the summer. The next time we stayed in Yosemite Valley and it was so much more productive, both from an enjoyment and photography perspective - if you're up early and starting your day in the valley, you're not dealing with as many crowds at that hour
Completely agree!
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
23,261
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
We have flown into Fresno when visiting Yosemite. It may already be too late to get a place to stay inside the park. Check soon if you are considering that option. Otherwise you will have a longish drive into the park (as there is little just outside the park boundaries) without much traffic in the very early morning....or lots of traffic later in the morning.

Here are my images from a recent visit.

MANY years ago hubby and I took a shuttle to Glacier Point, then took the Panorama Trail down into Yosemite Valley. Superb hike (long and strenuous) that covered beautiful country and went past several waterfalls.

"
Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley (strenuous)
Four Mile Trail: 4.8 miles (7.7 km) one-way; 3 to 4 hours
Panorama Trail: 8.5 miles (13.6 km) one-way; 6 to 8 hours
Begin at Glacier Point

It is strongly recommended that you take the hikers' bus to Glacier Point and hike down, rather than parking at Glacier Point and planning to catch the hikers' bus back up.

The Four Mile Trail switchbacks down to Yosemite Valley, providing wonderful views of the Valley.

The Panorama Trail provides a close-up view of Illilouette Fall and panoramic views of eastern Yosemite Valley before joining the Mist or John Muir Trails down past Vernal and Nevada Falls."
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
19,093
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
It is strongly recommended that you take the hikers' bus to Glacier Point and hike down,
When I was there in mid June 1983, the road to Glacier Point was still closed due to snow, so check out that detail. My wife and I hiked up to it from the valley floor. When we returned, the valley had been flooded even though it had not rained that day. Rather than walking across the narrow valley to get to our car, we had to walk around the end of the valley.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
Lompoc, CA
There was a ton of snow this winter so I'd be surprised if the roads to the high country will be open in May. My advice is to stay in the valley if possible and if not at El Portal. May is an excellent time to visit, it will be crowded but not crazy crowded like the summer and water falls should be at their peak. Midweek is much better than the weekends. The weather should be very pleasant as well. Yosemite is my favorite place on Earth and while my favorite time to visit is in the winter you should be seeing it at or near its best.

The Yosemite Webcams are a great way to keep track of what it is like in the park:

Webcams - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
 
Last edited:

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
23,261
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
There was a ton of snow this winter so I'd be surprised if the roads to the high country will be open in May. My advice is to stay in the valley if possible and if not at El Portal. May is an excellent time to visit, it will be crowded but not crazy crowded like the summer and water falls should be at their peak. Midweek is much better than the weekends. The weather should be very pleasant as well. Yosemite is my favorite place on Earth and while my favorite time to visit is in the winter you should be seeing it at or near its best.

The Yosemite Webcams are a great way to keep track of what it is like in the park:

Webcams - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
James is a wealth of information on Yosemite! LOL! He has hiked and shot there a LOT, and knows the place very well. And his images are gorgeous!
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
6,595
Location
N Idaho
We have flown into Fresno when visiting Yosemite. It may already be too late to get a place to stay inside the park. Check soon if you are considering that option. Otherwise you will have a longish drive into the park (as there is little just outside the park boundaries) without much traffic in the very early morning....or lots of traffic later in the morning.

Here are my images from a recent visit.

MANY years ago hubby and I took a shuttle to Glacier Point, then took the Panorama Trail down into Yosemite Valley. Superb hike (long and strenuous) that covered beautiful country and went past several waterfalls.

"
Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley (strenuous)
Four Mile Trail: 4.8 miles (7.7 km) one-way; 3 to 4 hours
Panorama Trail: 8.5 miles (13.6 km) one-way; 6 to 8 hours
Begin at Glacier Point

It is strongly recommended that you take the hikers' bus to Glacier Point and hike down, rather than parking at Glacier Point and planning to catch the hikers' bus back up.

The Four Mile Trail switchbacks down to Yosemite Valley, providing wonderful views of the Valley.

The Panorama Trail provides a close-up view of Illilouette Fall and panoramic views of eastern Yosemite Valley before joining the Mist or John Muir Trails down past Vernal and Nevada Falls."
Beautiful photos Karen.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
24,739
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
Do remember that in May, winter road closures will constrain the places you can access. The valley will be crowded either way. But once you set off onto the trails, and the farther you go, you will leave behind the masses in favor of a truly inspiring experience. A few years ago after my first time ascending the Half Dome cables, I learned that the 12-mile hike from the valley to the summit represents only 1% of the marked trails in the park.
I ascended the Half Dome cables as well...quite the experience!

Glenn
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom