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Best moderately priced options just outside the park

Niceville, Florida
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Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Celebrating vaccine 'jailbreak' day yesterday, I checked the Travel Yosemite web site on a whim and came away with a two night Yosemite Valley reservation for late July. I know it's not enough time there and will keep rechecking for more cancellations inside the park once the aramark search function seems functional again. (I got my confirmation e-mail just before it went down for maitenance)

In the mean time, I'm setting phone reminders to get additional park access reservations on either side of that in case nothing else comes up and looking for hotels in nearby areas- thinking less than $300 a night, clean and with my own personal flush toilet. Any reports on how close the Hampton Inn in Oakhurst is to completion? (It would be nice to burn some points and it sounds like they're aiming for a June opening)

24 replies to this topic
Elk Grove...
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1. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Oakhurst is not "just" outside the park.

See if you can find anything in the small town of El Portal. There are a few motels. That's the closest you can get outside the park's entrance gate (Arch Rock Entrance). The other one is Rush Creek outside Big Oak Flat Entrance but that one is more luxury.

Seattle
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2. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Also consider self-catering options ( cabins and condos) at Yosemite West, Foresta, and Wawona. These communities are accessed from inside the park, so you do not need day pass reservations to enter the park.

Fresno, California
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3. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Oakhurst is the closest town with hotels from the major frequent guest programs, the closest place to use/earn points. But the trade-off to using points to save money means a 1.5 to 2 hour one-way drive to Yosemite Valley.

There are many other areas to explore/hike outside Yosemite near Oakhurst. Depending upon how many days you have you can also enjoy those areas as opposed to the drive into Yosemite Valley from Oakhurst every day.

The Hampton Inn externally is complete and has been hiring staff. I don't know if there is still construction work inside or infrastructure work needed. The opening was previously delayed due to the town needing a sewer line expansion, but that work is finished. It took time to get approvals for an unincorporated town in a rural county plus working with Caltrans to trench about 1 mile of a state highway.

My guess is the June opening for the Hampton should happen but it is always difficult to be sure until a hotel actually opens.

Santa Clara...
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4. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Check El Portal - Yosemite View Lodge and Cedar Lodge. Both 5-10 mins from the Arch Rock gate and 25 mins to the valley.

https://www.yosemiteresorts.com/yosemite-view-lodge/

Cancellation fees is $15 but worthwhile to have something. But you would need a day pass if you stay here.

Dublin, California
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5. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Yes, on days you don't have a lodging reservation inside the park, you'll need a pre-booked day pass.

Long Beach...
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6. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Also consider a night or two on the Eastern side of Yosemite- Lee Vining, June Lakes, even Mammoth Lakes. You could spend a day exploring Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Rd. Maybe explore a bit of the Eastern Sierra- Mono Lake, Bodie Ghost town, other alpine Lakes.

Niceville, Florida
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7. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Thanks for the suggestions! Lee Vining/Mamouth Lakes is a good idea since we would like to see that side of the park. The times I've looked at Yosemite West, it tended to be units for larger parties with larger prices.

The idea on Oakhurst was that at least I could bookend it on either side of the stay O-YV-YV-O and not be doing the drive to the Valley and back on the same day.

I had a perfectly nice Yosemite stay last year lined up and we bailed because of the risk of going across the country and discovering our hotel reservation was cancelled. Originally I was going to give a pass on Yosemite in 2021 because of the road repaving schedule but now that it's been pushed back, I'm trying to improvise something.

Washington State
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8. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Hi

The lodging topic in the Top questions on the right has information about the drive time from various locations to Yosemite Valley. Or use Google Maps (change the date to mid-summer so all roads will be open.) Note that any suggested drive time is without any traffic. In summer, there will be traffic that slows you down ..... maybe 7 am - 9 pm. Maybe more hours.

Yosemite West condo rental options are part of the Yosemite West article in the lodging topic.

Top Questions are visible on the full TripAdvisor website, not the app.

Seattle
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9. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Lee Vining (or Mammoth if you want self-catering options) is a great idea! The High Country around Tuolumne Meadows is the best part of the park in summer, in my view. We stay there (camping) and not in the Valley at all.

You may well find 2 nights in the Valley enough, especiallybif you add a night at the El Portal gateway on the front end. For your arrival day. Younwould only need a day use reservation if you intend to go into the park that same day. Maybe use that day to go up to Glacier Point late in the day, when it is less crowded. The following day, your Yosemite Lodge reservation with get you in.

Then book 2-3 nights on the east side, and younwill have the makings of a nice summer visit to Yosemite. You will need day use reservations for the days you enter from Lee Vining as well.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Best moderately priced options just outside the park
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Your bookend idea might work. Many people like going to Wawona for the Mariposa Grove so will make that 1.5 hour drive anyway. So starting or ending the trip in Oakhurat means you only make that drive between Wawona and Yosemite Calley one way. Then if you want to explore the eastern Sierra, Mammoth Lakes is also a good option that others have suggested. I’ve done something like this:

A) First night in Oakhurst

B) Mariposa Grove in morning to beat crowds and explore Wawona in on (meadow hike or swim at Swinging Bridge). Back to Oakhurst

C) Drive to Glacier Point, Taft Point and Sentinel Dome then drive into Valley, stopping at sights along the way

D) Yosemite Valley

E) Explore Tioga Road and check into Mammoth Lakes

F) Mono Lake, Devils Postpile

G) Drive to airport

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