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Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June

Howell, New Jersey
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Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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Hello!

We will be driving from SEKI to CV on the last Saturday in June for a 2-night stay in a cabin (no bath). Three questions:

1. How early should we arrive to not have issues with parking? I don't need a front row spot or anything, but this is our first time and I don't know the scale of the parking area.

2. Do they run out of parking for people who have paid for lodging?

3. What traffic issues should we expect coming up 41? Is that the best route?

Thank you!

11 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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Hi

3. Hwy 41 is the best / fastest route. Hwy 140 would take longer, but the drive along the Merced River is especially pretty in June. Can you exit via 140? Anyway, entering via Hwy 41 / South Entrance puts you on Wawona road which will wind its way down and up and down. Just after the Wawona Tunnel, park on the RIGHT and walk across the road for Tunnel View. Then drive down to Yosemite Valley to Curry Village.

Also note that you're likely to be delayed at the entrance gate with all the other folks trying to enter Yosemite. If you had asked, I would have suggested trying to arrange your itinerary so that you enter Yosemite on any day other than Saturday. Oh well.

You might consider stopping in Oakhurst for any snacks, drinks, or picnic items that you need. I like Von's, but Raley's is also good.

1. There is a big Visitor Parking lot by Curry Village. It may get close to full during the morning, but I'd guess some folks will be leaving by 1 or 2. So if you don't get parking near the hard sided cabins, you can park there.

Map: https://www.travelyosemite.com/media/524862/half-dome-village_property-map_web.jpg (Note that the shuttles are not running, but this map has it labeled "Shuttle Parking." And the real name has been restored ... Curry Village!)

.

Are you stopping in Wawona on the way in? If so, consider the Pioneer History Center and/or Lower Chilnualna Fall.

A more popular stop that is sort of 'on the way' from the South Entrance to Yosemite Valley is Glacier Point. However, it will probably be incredibly crowded from about 11 am till 4 pm (just my guess.) I like the Taft Point - Pohono Trail - Sentinel Dome loop from the 'secret' parking, but of course you get to choose what you'd like to do. See the "What can I do along Glacier Point Road?" topic in the Top Questions on the right.

Howell, New Jersey
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2. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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PNWF,

As always you are AMAZINGLY helpful. We will be leaving via 140 to San Francisco, so we'll be able to see that route on the way out. I wish we could have entered on Friday, but haven't been able to secure lodging. I am still hopeful though.

We only have 2 nights in the Valley, so I wasn't planning on stopping in Wawona. Since we are coming from SEKI, I figured we would have seen some pretty big trees already, which is why I took it off the list. What do you think?

Sentinel Dome is on my itinerary. We could stop there on the way and then get in to CV later in the day, but I wasn't sure if that would be worse or better. What do you think?

Thank you for the help!!

Washington State
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3. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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You have some things mixed up.

The grove of Giant Sequoias near the South Entrance is called Mariposa Grove. I did not suggest that you stop at Mariposa Grove

Five miles down the road you'll come to the town of Wawona. There is a decent sized Giant Sequoia in the Golf Course, but no grove of Giant Sequoias. With so little time for Yosemite, you can skip any Wawona stops.

I don't know if you can 'steal' time from SeKi and leave early. If you can, consider staying in Oakhurst or Fish Camp on Friday night. Then first thing Sat morning, drive 1 1/2 hrs or 1 1/4 hrs up the Glacier Point Road. Enjoy tourism in that area. Eat the picnic lunch you brought with you. The three stops I suggest (in this order) are

- Washburn Point (look far to the right to see Illilouette Fall)

- Glacier Point (walk & look from everywhere!)

- Sentinel Dome or the longer loop

Howell, New Jersey
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4. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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Thanks for clarifying. I am still getting to know the landscape. Great suggestions. I will start looking for lodging now.

You mention people clearing out by 1 or 2....What is the best time to drive into and check in to CV that time of year? I assume early morning is best. But if not then, when?

Washington State
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5. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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I don't drive into the Valley on a Saturday in summer. I have no reason to do that. But I usually read the threads (and trip reports!) that other folks have posted to keep up with the stories.

On weekdays, I have seen some visitors start heading out of the Valley by mid-afternoon. But many (smart) people stay all day. And many (very smart) people stay in the Valley so they don't need to drive away.

I don't think you can do anything resembling "checking in" to Curry Village until close to check in time. So if you wanted to hike The Mist Trail for example, you might park in the Hiker's Lot and hike all day. Then drive back 1/2 mile to Curry Village and check in mid to late afternoon. Or maybe you enjoy other regions before check in time. But parking will be 'challenging' almost everywhere and may completely fill in Yosemite Valley by late morning.

In a normal year, the NPS has one lane for personal vehicles and one lane for shuttles & busses. I think that traffic backs up on Southside Drive headed into the Valley beginning around .... maybe 10 am. If you've ever seen any of those horrific traffic-in-Yosemite Valley pictures, that's probably Southside Drive. This is not a normal year as there are no shuttles & no tours. And it seems like EVERYONE is just itchin' to travel, so Yosemite is likely to be overrun with visitors.

Here are some of those pictures of traffic in the Valley & elsewhere: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/traffic.htm

Elk Grove...
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6. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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RE: "1. How early should we arrive to not have issues with parking? .....

2. Do they run out of parking for people who have paid for lodging?"

You asked how early you should arrive, fear of running out of parking spaces... I don't seem to pick up on the general time-frame that you planned to leave SEKI to drive to Yosemite. Are you doing this early in the morning? Or late in the afternoon?

Curry Village does not have "guest only" parking. There are only general parking shared among CV guests, and others who visit Yosemite Valley for the day. The parking area, both paved (very small) and unpaved (bigger) would have people getting in and out through out the day. In the summer time (peak season) during the day time, it may not be easy where you just drive up and park. You may need to circle around or wait a little bit. After dark, many day-trippers would have left and parking would be easier for CV guests. You should be able to find something to park overnight for your stay.

I don't know if the Valley Shuttle will be operating this year. If you rush to CV parking area and check in to get a cabin, then what? You may still need to drive your car to sight-see. Which means you need to move. Circulating around to get a spot, get checked in, then have to leave again to give up your spot?

If you don't need to check in early, it may be better to just sight-see and cover those spots you planned to do on the way in, then time it to arrive Curry Village around 8 pm or so. Not too early not too late. I think you shouldn't have issue finding a parking space not to far away.

Howell, New Jersey
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7. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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Happyfeet - your response is exactly what I was hoping for. We can leave SEKI whenever we want, so I wasn't sure what timing made sense.

What I get from your post is that parking *likely* is a challenge between 11 and 8 or so. That helps me plan when we leave SEKI, what our itinerary is the first day, and what I should expect moving forward. Thanks so much for the feedback!

Washington State
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8. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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Hi again

That's why I suggested that you leave SeKi on Friday late, drive 2 1/2 hours, and stay in Oakhurst. Then you can get to Glacier Point in time to secure parking.

Or stay in SeKi all morning, leave mid-day, and drive 4 hours to Yosemite Valley. I think you'd be fine arriving any time after 6 pm, but that's just my guess.

Howell, New Jersey
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9. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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PNWF - Got it. The fly in the ointment is lodging. But hopefully I'll be able to find something. Your idea is a brilliant one. Fingers crossed!

LA County
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10. Re: Arrival time to CV on last Saturday in June
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Just a couple of notes:

1: There is a dedicated parking area for CV check in. You could use this to check in and then drive & park

elsewhere.

2: You can check in early for your CV cabin and pick up your keys later.

There can be long lines for check in near the "official" check in time. Hope this helps!

Have a great trip!

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