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Old 11-24-2020, 09:35 PM   #15
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You can do what you want, but it will be a long day. You have not really seen Yosemite until you see Yosemite Valley. Unfortunately, that is the furthest for you to drive. They do have a trolley that has a guided tour of the valley which I highly recommend. Then drive out of the valley on the way home. October is an iffy month. Can be wet or dry. This year it was full of smoke. I have been going there since the 60ís in everything from a tent, tent trailer, trailer and MH and canít wait to go back. There is nothing like looking at half dome (you wonít have time to climb), El Capitan, all of the falls (at that time of year it may be light) and Glacier Point. All of this is without Covid restrictions.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:16 PM   #16
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Thank NorCal27. I guess I'm a bit confused. If I'm staying in Lee Vining (Mono Lake area), I only have one choice which is to drive 120 over to the western entrance into the valley. Google maps indicates it's about 2 hrs. one way. So if we get to the valley by 10:30, we can spend several hours inside the valley and then back track to Lee Vining. Am I missing something or are there other routes / sights to see. I'm planning on about 3 days so we can explore.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:26 PM   #17
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Shouldn't have any trouble getting into the valley and the drive is scenic. Bodie ghost town is more than a worthy day trip.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:11 PM   #18
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Glass Creek

I live just south of Yosemite and the Sierra's are in my back yard. If you are interested in dry camping I have been to Glass Creek several times. It is just off of HWY395 between Lee Vining and Mammoth, about 30 miles. Yes there is creek there and many drivable trails in the area. Easy to get your rig in. Check it out.

Also there is a RV park in Mammoth Lakes.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:45 PM   #19
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RoadEye, you are not wrong -- you could leave Lee Vining in your truck early in the morning and then spend the day in Yosemite Valley. That means about four hours of your day will be driving. If that's ok, you are good to go! And it is a very pretty drive.

My point is that there is a lot more to Yosemite than the Valley -- the high country all along 120 is world-class -- great hiking, beautiful scenery. The area around Tioga Pass is at ten thousand feet. The Valley is at around five thousand feet. Much warmer. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the weather!
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by RoadEyePie View Post
Thank NorCal27. I guess I'm a bit confused. If I'm staying in Lee Vining (Mono Lake area), I only have one choice which is to drive 120 over to the western entrance into the valley. Google maps indicates it's about 2 hrs. one way. So if we get to the valley by 10:30, we can spend several hours inside the valley and then back track to Lee Vining. Am I missing something or are there other routes / sights to see. I'm planning on about 3 days so we can explore.


You are right. From reading some of the other comments I feared you might just stop at tuolumne meadows and miss the rest of the park. Do see if you can get a valley tour though. If you have 3 days, why not camp in the park? You will need to get a reservation as soon as available. The trip up 120 isnít a lot of fun, but worth it. Agree with other responder that Bodie is worth the trip.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:50 AM   #21
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RoadEye, you are not wrong -- you could leave Lee Vining in your truck early in the morning and then spend the day in Yosemite Valley. That means about four hours of your day will be driving. If that's ok, you are good to go! And it is a very pretty drive.

My point is that there is a lot more to Yosemite than the Valley -- the high country all along 120 is world-class -- great hiking, beautiful scenery. The area around Tioga Pass is at ten thousand feet. The Valley is at around five thousand feet. Much warmer. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the weather!
So it sounds like if I'm spending 4 hrs. on Rt. 120 and the rest of the day in the valley, that should about cover it. So if I don't want to repeat that day, and I'm staying at Lee Vining 3 days, is there anything I should do with the rest of my time, or should I cut the stay to 2 days.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:20 AM   #22
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We spent 3 days on 120 exploring the park...120 is not a boring drive. Lots to see and it's one of those roads that make RVing worthwhile. We saw views we missed on the different trips into the park, especially when driving in the opposite directions.

If you stay at Mono Lake RV, the office has lots of info on 'things to do' in the area. Wish we could have stayed longer but our site was booked. 120 is less than a mile from the RV park and the drive to the East gate of YNP is a great drive in the truck...time well spent.
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Old 11-26-2020, 01:14 PM   #23
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As posted above Bodie is worth seeing if you like ghost towns.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:46 PM   #24
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RoadEye, I guess the answer depends on if you like to hike or not. If you do, there is a month's worth of hiking in the Tioga Pass/Tuolumne Meadows area. If you like driving around and looking at the scenery, a couple of days will do. The June Lake Loop is right nearby, as are the Virginia Lakes. Great drives.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:04 PM   #25
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I don't recall the OP saying when he was going to be visiting. SR120 (Tioga Pass) is closed for the season. There is no really feasible way of getting to the Yosemite Valley from Lee Vining without a super super long drive.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:17 PM   #26
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I don't recall the OP saying when he was going to be visiting. SR120 (Tioga Pass) is closed for the season. There is no really feasible way of getting to the Yosemite Valley from Lee Vining without a super super long drive.
He stated next Oct. in post #3.
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