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Old 05-02-2016, 07:45 PM   #1
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Yosemite for the First Time

Next year, May of 2017 we are planning on visiting Yosemite on a trip that will take us from Lubbock, TX to the west coast, up to Seattle and then over through Montana, Idaho and North Dakota coming home via Omaha NE to see family. I am in the process of searching for any information that is available on Yosemite and the area.

We travel with a 34' fifth wheel behind a Freightliner M2. I had planned on staying outside of Yosemite and then using public transportation into and around the park. Questions that I have are:

1) Is mid May too early to visit the park?
2) Would it even be feasible to drive the truck in the park?
3) What route from Texas into the Yosemite area would be best? (We are planning on heading to Sacramento after visiting Yosemite )
4) Any recommendations on RV parks close to Yosemite?

Thank you for any information you are willing to share.
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:27 PM   #2
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ratler01,

we have stayed in the escapees park sierra in coarsegold, about 35 miles s. of Yosemite. very nice park. IMHO your hauler truck would get you back and fourth and around Yosemite OK.
there are numerous campgrounds in the coarsegold-Oakhurst area both state and private. lots of lakes too.

there is an Indian casino, chukchansi gold, near coarsegold that has free overnight rv parking and good food reasonable priced. great crab buffet. 24 hr security too.
the road north to coarsegold/Yosemite from fresno is a good 2 lane road. there is another Indian casino, table mountain, about 5 miles off this road that has free RV parking and good food too.
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:14 AM   #3
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Questions that I have are:

1) Is mid May too early to visit the park?
2) Would it even be feasible to drive the truck in the park?
3) What route from Texas into the Yosemite area would be best? (We are planning on heading to Sacramento after visiting Yosemite )
4) Any recommendations on RV parks close to Yosemite?

and the answers are:
1. May is ok, but the back country doesn't usually open until mid-June. (depending on the snow). You can still visit the valley and see the waterfalls.
2. Yes you can drive your truck (no commercial trucking allowed in the park)
3. If it were me, I would take I- 40 to Barstow, CA, then state rt 58 to Bakersfield, then state rt 99 to Fresno, state rt 41 to the park.
4. If you aren't interested in camping in the park, I'll defer to others on this.
5. When you leave the park, it is only about a 4 hour trip to Sacramento, via 99.

For example, if you came up to the park this weekend, it would still be a little soggy, and some of the campgrounds in the park aren't open yet. The road to Glacier point just opened yesterday, but that varies from year to year based on the snowfall in the park. Tioga Pass road is not open yet because they still have 12 feet of snow at the 10,000 foot mark, which is the gate entrance, if you come in on 120 from the east. That road usually doesn't open til mid-June, and a few years ago, didn't open until mid July. By coming up in May, the waterfalls will be running very fast. The DW did the mist trail today, and got drenched.
The park is open all year. There is just more to see in the summer. On holiday weekends, the park is very crowded. (Memorial, Labor, and Independence Days)and finally, the Mariposa Grove is closed until next year.
I hope this gives you some food for thought.
Jim
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:32 AM   #4
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We stayed outside the park at Yosemite Pines near Groveland last year with our granddaughters. The RV park was nice, but the drive in and out of the Yosemite each day was WAY too long. Park entrances are very far from the sights inside the park. Parking in the park is hard to come by if it's crowded. So, even though we don't really camp, this year we decided to take the grandsons camping and made reservations inside the park so we could spend our time hiking and biking, rather than driving. I know you said you wanted to use public transportation, but other than tour buses, we never saw any.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
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We have stayed at Yosemite pines and Yosemite Lakes RV parks and took the Yarts bus into Yosemite.http://yarts.com/

The bus would pick us up at the RV park in the morning and bring us back in the evening. Check the schedule to see what times and what camping parks they have stops . When we went kids where free with an adult and adults cost $10.

We even took our bikes with us on one of the trips.
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdrv831 View Post
We have stayed at Yosemite pines and Yosemite Lakes RV parks and took the Yarts bus into Yosemite.http://yarts.com/

The bus would pick us up at the RV park in the morning and bring us back in the evening. Check the schedule to see what times and what camping parks they have stops . When we went kids where free with an adult and adults cost $10.

We even took our bikes with us on one of the trips.

Cool, wish we had known that, love this forum!
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:42 PM   #7
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We don't tow a vehicle so I tend to try and find RV parks that have shuttle services if we want to go outside the camping area. So far we haven't had any issues.
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