We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints

Iron Mountain...
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Save

Hello! My family of 5 (40 year old mom and dad and our three boys {12, 10, 7}) will be visiting Yosemite on Aug 3/4 2021 (Tues/Wed). We are flying into San Jose and have 4 days planned in the coastal Redwoods before arriving in Mariposa on Aug 2nd. My current plan (until hopefully this forum improves it!) is to leave Mariposa early the morning of the 3rd and enter Yosemite (as we have lodging in Curry Village that night). After exploring this forum, my top interests are the Mist Trail, Sentinel Dome, and some time in the El Cap Meadows (my kids have watched several El Cap documentaries and are excited to see it). Would also love to see Bridalveil Falls if the view point opens. We then have lodging in Oakhurst the night of the 4th. My original thought was to do Mist Trail on the 3rd and Sentinel Dome on the 4th (as we make our way to Oakhurst) and sprinkle the other sights in. I know it's not a ton of time so trying to focus on a couple of unique adventures/views. Does this seem like a good plan? From Oakhurst we plan to hit the highlights in Sequoia National and then have another couple nights to work our way back to San Jose.

(**For reference: I recognize there is a lot of driving in this plan. We live in rural michigan and my kids are very used to long car rides. We have to travel 1.5 hrs to the nearest costco :)

5 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,378 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
1. Re: Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Save

The Yosemite portion is fine. An early start will make all the difference.

Either park in the Curry Village visitor lot or the Hiker's Lot, a bit further along. Hike up the Mist Trail and then either cut over to Clark Point & down the John Muir Trail (5 miles) or continue all the way to the top of Nevada Fall and down the JMT. You will not be able to go down the Mist Trail from the top of Vernal Fall.

Swim in the river in the afternoon?

For the second day, slowly drive out, stopping at Valley View. This is one of the best views of Bridalveil Fall. Maybe stop to walk up after the viewing, then go on to Tunnel View. Continue up Glacier Point Road. The shortcut is my preferred start for Sentinel Dome.

Oakhurst is too far from Sequoia National Park to enjoy highlights in one day, but folks on the SeKi / Sequoia-Kings Canyon forum can help, especially if you're overnighting in SeKi.

Iron Mountain...
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
2. Re: Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Save

Thank you so much for your insight! The kids would love to swim in the river; I didn't even realize you could do this! Is there a specific spot to go?

One other question - how "walkable" is Yosemite Valley? Meaning, with out the shuttles, do you think people will walk from Curry Village to the Lodge? Or more likely to drive it?

For Sequoia National Park, we were planning the "1 day drive" to start in Oakhurst and ending the day in Three Rivers.... maybe this is too much of a push? I'll check that forum! Thanks!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,378 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
3. Re: Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Save

When the shuttles are running, driving is really really slow. It can easily take 1/2 hour to drive 1.5 miles to Yosemite Village from Curry Village. Now that there are not shuttles, I think it may be worse.

Swimming idea in the Valley: Merced River from Stoneman Bridge in the Valley https://goo.gl/maps/miapJXdpmHB2

Swimming (& other activities) in Wawona: www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c196037

Remember that snowmelt is cold. Granite is slippery underfoot. No lifeguards. Many folks will be lounging & playing on big float tubes like the "River Rat" https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/intex-river-rat-swim-tube

August can be incredibly hot. So the cold water feels pretty good.

Iron Mountain...
Level Contributor
45 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
4. Re: Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Save

I really appreciate your detailed responses! It's a gift to those of us trying to plan from so far away! I love the idea of tubing and hopefully the Great Lakes water are here has prepared my boys!

On our second day, would you shoot to be at Glacier Point by a certain time. I'm guessing earlier is always better?? Or would we be better off waiting until later in the day?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,378 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
5. Re: Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Save

Earlier is ALWAYS better (unless you're going up for sunset.) I think that Glacier Point parking will be close to impossibly by 10:30 or 11:00 am .... just my guess.

Reply to: Opinions on order of hikes/viewpoints
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Yosemite National Park
© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Philippines. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.