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Yosemite: Lodging in October?

Yosemite: Lodging in October?

Old Jun 21, 15, 3:27 pm
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Yosemite: Lodging in October?

Should I bite the bullet and pay $270 for Yosemite Lodge at the Falls on Oct 6th or wait it out for perhaps a better price? Really need lodging in the Valley that night for our visit to work right. I could not find a booking site besides NatPks with this lodging. Suggestions?

2 Seniors, limited to short hikes on easy paths.

We are leaving for Yosemite the latter part of Sept...LasV, Cedar City, Pangitch, Bryce, Escalante, Torrey, Salt Lake City, Elko, Reno, Lee Vining, then into Yosemite. 39 mile scenic, up to Hetch Heche and then to the Village for the night. Next day to do the village and Glacier Point. Back to Wawona and stay. The last day do History Center and a final look around and then head for the wineries south on 41. Much more trip before heading home to Escondido (San Diego area).

Everything worked fine until I tried getting a night in the Village. The $270 is doable, but is near the top price they charge. Seems like this would come down eventually? Also was going to stay at the Wanona Hotel on the 7th, but now it looks like we will go down to Best Western Plus, near Oakhurst and then drive back up for the last night. Getting a room with a private bath at this 2 star Wawona is $255 with private bath and up.

Last edited by ranles; Jun 22, 15 at 3:16 pm Reason: error n city
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Old Jun 21, 15, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post

We are leaving for Yosemite the latter part of Sept...LasV, Cedar City, Pangitch, Bryce, Escalante, Torrey, Salt Lake City, Elko, Reno, Lee Vining, then into Yosemite. 39 mile scenic, up to Hetch Heche and then to the Village for the night.
Do Lee Vining/Tioga Pass/Hetch Hetchy then stay in Groveland that night.

Originally Posted by ranles View Post
Next day to do the village and Glacier Point.
Try to stay in Yosemite West that night. Several b and b places. Puts you smack between Glacier Point and Wawona.

Originally Posted by ranles View Post

Back to Wanona and stay. The last day do History Center and a final look around and then head for the wineries south on 41. Much more trip before heading home to Escondido (San Diego area).
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Old Jun 21, 15, 4:18 pm
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Be sure that you book on the Yosemite website itself.

http://www.yosemitepark.com/yosemite-lodge.aspx

There is a site that looks like a National Park website but is not. You are hit with a 10% fee if you book there.
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Old Jun 21, 15, 4:30 pm
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Just being a bit pedantic here but - Wawona, Oakhurst.
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Old Jun 21, 15, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post
Should I bite the bullet and pay $270 for Yosemite Lodge at the Falls on Oct 6th or wait it out for perhaps a better price? Really need lodging in the Valley that night for our visit to work right. I could not find a booking site besides NatPks with this lodging. Suggestions?
Checking the site linked by SanDiego1K, it would appear that Yosemite Lodge is sold out for the night of October 6.
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Old Jun 21, 15, 5:44 pm
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That is what I found also. Might need to look outside the Park for that night. Tenaya Lodge is just outside the south entrance and the aforementioned Yosemite West B&Bs might have something.

There are tent-cabin options available but I doubt the OP is interested in that. Ahwahnee is also available but $500.00/night - yeesh!
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Old Jun 21, 15, 9:05 pm
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Thank you all. By the number of post each of you have, I certainly got the A team!

Yes the Lodge was indeed booked up while I was fiddling around and posting to FT. They are available for the 7th, but the logistics do not work for us that way.

By changing OUR PACE ON THE 7TH, WE CAN DO AS vickisocal suggests. I had already looked at alternatives in Groveland, El Portal and Oakley (three exits/entrances) for alternatives. Staying in the Yosemite Village on the night of the 6th was key to our maximum time flexibility. the Lodge was key to that. With the Lodge booked, Camp Curry was next. A tent with a bathroom is $235.10, or more with breakfast. Wowona Hotel is available, but at $252.86 with c break. WE booked Westgate lodge, on the way to Groveland for $126.54. Basically they offer a place to sleep, a neighboring Restaurant, and proximity to the park. Must book direct and use promo code tripadvisor to get this rate.

PS: I have already looked at Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp They want $280/nt plus taxes and fees.

FYI: all the lodging that I review(50?) had mixed review and were iffy stays. A few places 1 1/2 hours out, rooms in houses had some very good
ratings.

Thank you again for your input.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 9:02 am
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We stayed in Groveland last week. If you are looking to get to the valley early, Wawona really isn't much better. Leave your Groveland lodging early, get to the entrance before any lineups, park car in day parking and ride the shuttle the full loop stopping whereever you like. It's very doable to do all the main valley sites by early afternoon, then do Glacier point and head to wherever you are staying that night. (Highly recommend Yosemite West as it is very short drive form GP)

When it comes to lodging in and around Yosemite. Quality/reviews are lacking. You are paying for location. You have to suck it up and soldier on.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 10:50 am
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VickiSoCal

Thank you. Looked at Yosemite West. Too many choices without any reviews, sorting, too much work to get prices, sizes, etc. THEY need a sort
feature. After a bit of work, finding stuff that are homes, stuff with lots of group ($$$) potential.

I found "Studio and Loft Condos" (choice 32)...name or category?? Unit A108 (at first I thought is was Australian dollars) 2 queens, full bath with Oct 7 available, but you must book 2 nights, but the period before the 7th and after is all booked up. How is that a way to do business?

You mentioned getting to the gate early in the AM before the cars line up. Isn't the park open all the time, or is there a time they open?

You also suggested using the bus. We do not normally do this, as it seems to take to long "waiting and rewaiting" at each stop? Wife is a picture taking machine. We stop at each pull out, she photographs, I look, we move on. We also stop for the museum, VC, etc and spend time. If there is a minor loop trail (l mile or less and flat) we might do that. My research indicates that the Valley has a VC with a film. We will do the film and get her NP book stamped. There is a wilderness Center (maybe just a store?) we would check out. There is a museum (indian culture) that we will do. We will not do Ranger tours. We are likely to take the road to Mirror Lake (we have placard). Eat lunch (something from the car?). Does this type schedule suggest the bus or driving? We hope we can also do Glacier pt.

The next day (staying toward Oakhurst at Best Western, or at Wowona Hotel or Yosemite West...if we can figure it out) we would return to the park to do the Pioneer Yosemite History Center near Wowona and anything we missed at this end, including Glacier Point, if undone. We then plan to exit the park down 41 visiting a few wineries in Madera before settling for the night in Herndon(n. Fresno).
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Old Jun 22, 15, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post
... You mentioned getting to the gate early in the AM before the cars line up. Isn't the park open all the time, or is there a time they open? ...
Gates are open all the time. From past posts, I have the impression that you are seniors. If you have not already done so, I'd suggest purchasing the Lifetime Senior Pass for $10.00, good at any national park. If that is not the case, a single entry pass will be good for 7 days.

Before 8:00 am there will not be a ranger in the entrance station booth so just drive on through, you can show the Pass when you exit the park. Since I live quite close, I am up in the Park frequently. I often go through the gates before 6:00 am, for early morning light photography.

For your style of visit, involving many stops for photography, you may find that staying with your car instead of using the shuttle will work better, especially since you can park in handicapped areas. That is how I do it (except the placard part) since I am usually carrying a heavy tripod and lots of photo gear. You will just have to look harder for open places to park. In October it will not be as crowded but can still get busy in the middle of the day. Get there early and your wife will have much better light for her photos and you will find places to stop more easily. I prefer to be done with my day by 9:00 am, which is when the tourists really start arriving and the light gets difficult. That may not work for you but early is better whenever possible. The tour buses start arriving after 9.

Another suggestion, since your wife is into photography, is to plan at least one day where you don't leave the Park until after sunset. Yosemite Valley is really a better evening photo than morning because of the orientation. Both are nice but sunset and after can be really special if you get a few clouds to reflect the colored light from the setting sun.

If you plan on staying in the Park after sunset, remember that in October, evenings will be quite chilly. Day times may be in the 70s or warmer but when the sun goes down, so will the temps. Bring jackets.

Last edited by abmj-jr; Jun 22, 15 at 1:07 pm
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Old Jun 22, 15, 3:15 pm
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abmj-jr

Thank you

Definitely, this year 40th anniversary, married at 30...you do the math.

We have each had the senior pass for years (I know purchase of more than one is not necessary). Some day this pass will be $1,000, so the parks are always serviced and maintained.

Our stay til sunset went away with the lack of vacancy at the Lodge (10/7). (I will monitor this to see if an opening comes up). The night we have in Groveland can be cancelled. I don't do that lightly. We try not to drive at night as a kindness to other (ha ha).

Jackets, no problem. The Highlander will be loaded up for more that 3 weeks of travel without doing laundry.
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Old Jun 23, 15, 11:53 am
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Keep in mind that a number of people with confirmed reservations at park lodging facilities cancel about one week prior to arrival, which is the deadline for cancellations. As a result, even during busy periods, it is sometimes possible to get a last-minute room.
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