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Yosemite: what to do and how to get there

  1. Aug 8, 2014 #1
    I'm going to Yosemite two weeks from now and I wanted to know if anyone here has been. I was going to be staying in Stockton and driving there in the morning. I can only stay for one day, so I want to do as much as possible in that day. There's a few sites that I wanted to visit and was thinking about doing it on my own instead of with a tour. Is it feasible to drive to each site on my own, or are there certain places cars can't go and I'd have to get out and hike? I'm kinda worried about getting killed by a bear.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2014 #2
    I used to go to Yosemite almost every summer as a kid, although now it's been about 20 years since I've been. Back in those days, the 70's, we didn't go on organized "tours" per se. I think I remember that the organized tour back then was the Rangers station and a 4 color map they handed you ( or maybe it was even black and white). My dad was what you might call today a survivalist stoner hippie, and was always wanted to go somewhere "off trail".

    In your case, though, I would definitely recommend hooking up with an organized tour. There are several reasons for this...First of all, you're on vacation, you want to relax and enjoy yourself, not stress out about having to figure out what you are going to do or whether it's going to be safe or not. In short, figuring out what to do takes time, time out from your vacation. And if it's your first time there, it's going to take a lot of time, and you're going to make mistakes, which are going to drain even more time. And if you're only there for one day, foggettaboutit. This is one thing that an organized tour will alleviate.

    Second, being on a tour is a great way to meet people, and co-share in fun adventure.

    So, with any trip to a novel locale, I typically recommend a guided tour. You can go Maverick the next time you visit. Plus, you can always just ditch the group if you're feeling brave halfway through, etc.
  4. Aug 10, 2014 #3


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    cant believe I have been to California twice and still not been to Yosemite
    Maybe on the next USA trip :wink:

    On a side note ... not being from the USA, you may be surprised how many years went by before I realised the true pronunciation of Yosemite haha ( at least 25 - 30 yrs)
    ohhh and the other one I didn't realise for pretty much the same length of time ... Arkansas
    for years, couldn't figure out where this Ar-kan-saw place was that I kept hearing about haha

  5. Aug 11, 2014 #4
    Thanks for the responses. I'm flying in to San Francisco and planned on driving to Yosemite and then to see General Sherman further south. I only have 5 days, so I decided not to go to Yosemite. It would have required too much driving, and I wouldn't have had as much time as I wanted in San Francisco. Instead, I'm going to Muir Woods north of San Francisco. Anyone been there?
    Let me guess, you were pronouncing Arkansas just like Kansas, but with Ar in front? That makes sense. I have no idea why it's not pronounced like that.

    And were you pronouncing Yosemite like Yose (rhymes with hose), and mite (like a tiny creature that bites you)?
    I think the only reason I know how to pronounce it is because of the Looney Toons character Yosemite Sam.
  6. Aug 11, 2014 #5


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    Yes, it's beautiful but it gets extremely crowded. The parking lot at the park fills up completely, and you have to park in an overflow lot some miles away and take a shuttle. See here for more details:


    To avoid this problem, plan to visit on a weekday, as early in the morning as possible. If you are staying in the city then getting to Muir Woods even in morning rush hour will be no problem as you will be traveling against traffic.

    Other beautiful parks to consider in Marin County:

    Marin Headlands: http://www.nps.gov/goga/marin-headlands.htm
    Point Reyes: http://www.nps.gov/pore/index.htm
    Mount Tamalpais: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471
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