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Old 12-20-2015, 12:25 PM   #1
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Getting to Yosemite in June

Just heard from our grandsons yesterday, that they would like to go to Yosemite for our trip next year. We are thinking that June, before most schools are out, would be the best timing. That said, we are not sure about typical weather/road conditions at that time. We would be coming up from Southern California, driving a 30 foot motorhome towing. Does anyone have any experience and suggestions? Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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I went to Yosemite mid-May 2014 thinking it wouldn't be crowded. I was wrong, ended up staying at a National Forest campground just outside the park. However, the NF campground was beautiful and not crowded at all. A lot of foreigners were visiting the park, in fact being an American I was probably part of the minority visitors. It's still a beautiful place but I liked it a lot better in the early 1970's.


Make reservations early.


Steve
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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If you plan to camp in Yosemite, you'd better make reservations. I already made reservations for April.

Go here: Campground Reservations - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 12-20-2015, 05:56 PM   #4
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If you plan to camp in Yosemite, you'd better make reservations. I already made reservations for April.

Go here: Campground Reservations - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Reservations are not open for the first half of June until January 15, so we'll have to wait. Right now, I'm much more concerned about road conditions, so we can choose the right dates.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:12 PM   #5
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Typical road conditions would likely not be an issue most years. In the past, we would routinely take our 26' Class C there over Easter break. Being from So Cal you are likely aware that it's predicted to be a wet year. Consider making your plans/reservations for when you want to be there. If weather won't allow it, cancel. I remember 41 out of Fresno as having at least one pass where we drove thru snow flurries. We usually access the park via 140. And, with our 37' Class A, we now find a full hookup facility outside of the park & dinghy it in. With kids in tow, the KOA in the area might be a great choice for you. Check the Mountain Directory for the grades you will be dealing with.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:26 PM   #6
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My son worked at the Ahwahnee Hotel for 1.5 years as a chef so we went to Yosemite a few times at various times of the year.

We did all three routes coming in/out of the Yosemite Valley. Rt. 41 from Fresno is an easy ride but does go over one pass. Rt. 140 via El Portel is the 'lowest' in elevation and we used that route to get out of Yosemite after an April snowstorm. As always, you have to be flexible and watch the weather.

Staying in the Yosemite Valley IS, in my opinion, the ONLY choice. You don't want to spend half your day in the car with your grandsons getting to the Valley. Yosemite is bigger and driving is slower than you think. But reservations fill up in MINUTES. When we tried to get June reservations, they were gone 11 minutes after they opened online. One trick we found is that you have to try for late in the month window they are opening. So if they open May 16 through June 15, try immediately for a reservation that starts on June 15 as they website will let you book into the next closed monthly window as long as you stay starts in the open window. So, for example, you set your reservation on June 15 and book for 6 nights.

Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:54 PM   #7
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Reservations are not open for the first half of June until January 15, so we'll have to wait. Right now, I'm much more concerned about road conditions, so we can choose the right dates.
What I did was to set the calendar of my cell phone for the 7:00 in the morning for when reservations were first accepted for April. I immediately got online and selected the spot, etc.

I recommend selecting the dates you want, sent your phone's calendar for the date the reservations open up for those dates and go online right that moment. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how fast people scoop campsites up!
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:14 PM   #8
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Heading up 140 from Merced is the safest bet. As stated before it is the lowest of all the roads into the valley. It doesn't gain any real elevation until you actually head into the valley. That being said, we have camped in the valley twice in the past five years and each time in the middle of May. Both times there was a late season snow storm that hit. While it snowed enough to stick to the plants and shaded spots on the ground. Chains were not required until you were 1000' higher up from the valley floor.

The great thing is that it is absolutely gorgeous with snow covering everything! I think in June you should be safe though. The waterfalls this year will be spectacular. The meteorologist are second guessing how much rain we will actually get, but it will certainly be far more than we've had in the last 4 years. Enjoy the trip, the kids will love it.

P.s. - If you can make it without hookups, definitely stay in the valley. BTW you got me thinking about making reservations now!
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:46 AM   #9
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Are there any spots in the park suitable for a 45' rig? We're planning a west coast trip for 2017 and Yosemite is on our must do list.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:52 AM   #10
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Are there any spots in the park suitable for a 45' rig? We're planning a west coast trip for 2017 and Yosemite is on our must do list.
Your best bet is to check the Yosemite National Park's website for that.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:06 AM   #11
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Percival6, thank you so much for your info. It is was very helpful.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:29 AM   #12
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No problem! It should be a great experience. The kids will love it. Glacier point and Tuolomne Meadows/Tioga Pass will most likely be closed still, but there is still plenty to do around the valley.

When researching a site, checkout the photos on both the recreation. gov and campsitephotos.com . With any size RV there are a limited number of sites we can fit in. It not so much the size of the site, but the roads in each loop and the trees that limit the vehicle. Just so you know, if you're a really good driver, the most of the listed site sizes are on the conservative side to account for the idiot factor.

If you and your grandkids are in good shape and you want an awesome close-up view of Upper Yosemite Falls or a hair raising view of Lower Yosemite Falls, take the trail from Camp 4. It's about 1 hour and 1000' elevation gain (mostly switchbacks) but the views along the way and of the falls are breath taking! Plus you can leave most of the crowds behind, even better. I took my my four boys (11, 11, 11, 7 (yep, triplets and a bonus)) last year. Other than the requisite complaining on the way up, they thought it was amazing.

Follow the others recommendations on getting up early the day reservations open. Have your campsite or two chosen and open on separate browser tabs and click "Book" on both as soon as you can. If you get both booked, pick your favorite and let the other time out.

Sorry for rambling on. Hope it helps some more though. Have a great trip!
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:41 AM   #13
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Are there any spots in the park suitable for a 45' rig? We're planning a west coast trip for 2017 and Yosemite is on our must do list.
There may be a couple, it depends on how long your rear over - hang is and the chosen site. If it has any obstacles that prevent your over - hang from extending past the parking pad, you will probably be out of luck. Check out the two websites I wrote about in my previous post.

As much of a problem as site size is, the roads and loops to the campsite can be even more challenging. There are many trees strategically placed right at the edge of the roads, just to test the driving skills big rig drivers.

Do your campsite research thoroughly and get on the recreation.gov website early the day your booking window opens. If you can get a site, it will be a wonderful trip!

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:31 PM   #14
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Personally, I wouldn't take a 45' rig into the park and rely on getting a campsite....best to stay outside the park. There might be a handful you could fit into but as stated, the loops will give you problems.
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