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.

3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips

San Diego...
Level Contributor
29 posts
1 review
3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

I am creating 3 day itinerary for my upcoming trip in July. I could get a reservation only in Groveland for 3 nights. I am planning to spend first two days in Valley, may be a trip to Mariposa grove and/or glacier point road. I am planning to drive on Tiago road (no valley visit) on the last day of the trip to Mammoth lake.

Since shuttle service is not available this season, the parking will be tough. Though, my trip is not in weekend, the traffic will be high in summer months. I bought 3 day pass/reservation.

Would like to get tips on parking and itinerary. If I park in one spot (central parking in valley), can I cover all the places/hikes by walk. TIA..

6 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
90,145 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
1. Re: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

Note that the road is still Tioga (tie OH guh)

There are many folks sharing their draft itineraries here on the forum. You can read those to help you to create your itinerary.

There are tips in the Top Questions on the right (FUll TripAdvisor Website) including the four areas you mentioned:

-What can I do in Yosemite Valley?

-What can I do along Glacier Point Road?

-What can I do along Tioga Road?

-Where can I see Giant Sequoias?

Some of the topics refer to shuttles which of course you won't be able to include, but there is basic information. Also read the relevant Former TripLists and look at the maps.

The NPS website is loaded with information.

>>If I park in one spot (central parking in valley), can I cover all the places/hikes by walk.<<

Maybe, but probably not. You have not shared any information about how far you want to walk nor the trails you plan to enjoy. The "central parking" is probably Yosemite Village Visitor Parking. But the Yosemite Falls parking is great for Yosemite Falls, bike rentals at Yosemite Valley Lodge, and some meadow trails. And the Curry Village parking is great for Happy Isles access (Mist Trail), Mirror Lake, and bike rentals at Curry Village.

On your day that you include more than Yosemite Valley, consider adding Sentinel Dome to your Glacier Point Road day. See the Top Questions.

Lay out a draft itinerary that works for you. Then share it along with info about your travel style. If you prefer to stroll around and want to stand in a queue to buy your lunch, then your itinerary will not be the same as someone who wants to hike 8-12 miles a day and will be bringing a picnic lunch.

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
11,105 posts
2. Re: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

Are you coming from SD? Perhaps the first night you could stay in Oakhurst? Visit Mariposa Grove and Glacier Point on the next day, on the way to Groveland for 2 nights?

San Diego...
Level Contributor
29 posts
1 review
3. Re: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

Thank you.. Sorry for the Typo on Tioga road.

As we are a group of 7 with various age and hiking limitations, car/altitude sick, the followings are our tentative plan,

Day 1:

1. Enter Via Big Oak Flat entrance from Groveland and Park in Yosemite Falls Parking (about 9 am)

2. Lower Yosemite Falls hike/walk

3. Cooks meadow loop

4. Spend some time in village area /Sentinel Bridge and have lunch

5. Mirror lake hike

6. El Caption Meadow and Valley view

7. Return to Grove land by 7 pm

Can I do all activities (2 to 6) in Valley with out car?

Day 2:

1. Drive directly to Glacier Point Road from Groveland

2. Sentinel Dome hike

3. Glacier Point View

4. Tunnel View Stop

5. Drive back to Valley have lunch

6. Mist Trail/Top of Vernal Fall hike

7. Return to Grove Land

Day 3:

1. Drive to Tuolumne Grove from Groveland

2. May lake (Is it a best hike?)

3. Olmsted Point

4. Tenaya Lake

5. Have lunch in Tenaya lake picnic area

6 Tuolumne Meadows Stop and Soda spring hike

7. Stop at Lambert Dome

8 Stop at Dana Meadows stop

9. Stop at Tioga lake

10. Stop at Mono Lake

11. Reach Mammoth Lake by 6 pm

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
90,145 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
4. Re: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

Hi again

I think this is pretty good. I did not imagine that you were a group of seven!

Day 1: Mirror Lake is a good distance from the Yosemite Falls parking... maybe 3 or 4 miles? And in July, it will definitely be Mirror Meadow (it's never really a lake ... just a wide spot on Tenaya Creek.) How far do you want to hike/walk?

Day 2: Mist Trail will be one-way up from 9 am to 4 pm. So if you go to the top of Vernal Fall, you'll be required to continue up to Clark Point (another 500' elevation gain) and then down the John Muir Trail. Be prepared. If some in your group only want to do to the Vernal Fall (view) footbridge, then they can spend some time exploring Happy Isles while the energetic group is going up up up.

Day 3:

I don't think there is a Best Hike. May Lake is fine and has some nice views.

Some folks prefer Pothole Dome over Lembert Dome. I have not hiked each of them enough to have a preference.

I prefer south of Tioga Road walking like Twin Bridges over Soda Springs.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4,259 posts
187 reviews
259 helpful votes
5. Re: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

Many like to do the Mist trail in the morning when you are in the shade and not as hot in the afternoon with the sun beating down. So if you do the Mistctrail in the afternoon after hiking in the opening, don’t be too disappointed if people get too tired and only make it to the bridge. That will still be a lovely full day

Edited: May 17, 2021, 12:39 pm
Atlanta area
Level Contributor
1,256 posts
20 reviews
80 helpful votes
6. Re: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Save

Keep in mind that your group will only be able to hike as far, high and fast as the slowest/weakest person in the group.

A few comments on your itinerary:

The hike from the May Lake parking lot up to May Lake is, if I recall, rather unspectacular. Once there, the walk around the lake is flat and pretty. There is a low ridge just to the east of the lake (as you are coming up from the parking lot this ridge will be on your right as you approach the lake), I highly suggest you climb up there to get spectacular views to the east as well as the north and south to see mountains for miles.

Lembert Dome isn't really a "stop" -- if you don't plan to climb it you can get good views of it right at the bridge where Tioga Rd crosses over the Tuolumne River, at the east end of Tuolumne Meadows (just east of the grill). There is space on the side of the road to pull your car over.

There isn't one specific place to stop to see Dana Meadows, just pull your car over anywhere along the way that is safe to do so and explore. There is a pond on the south side of the road (on the right as you head towards Tioga Pass) that is beautiful, if you're looking for it you'll see it.

Mono Lake is most striking at sunrise and sunset, when the light is coming at a low angle and emphasizes shadows and depth in the tufa formations. So you may end up in Lee Vining later than 6pm.

For dinner in Lee Vining I suggest the Whoa Nellie Deli, and don't be turned off by the fact that it's in a gas station. Really.

Reply to: 3 day itinerary - No Shuttle bus - Parking tips
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
© 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.