I'm planning a trip to Yosemite for the Nov 10th Veterans Day weekend. This will be my first solo trip ever to a big national park. November seems to be a good time to beat the crowd and enjoy the views with solitude. I know I have to do a lot of homework to see what I can explore in the park, how to commute and where to stay but thought this will be a good start to get a decent idea. I want to spend 2 full days in the park. So far this is my plan.
Fly to SFO from Dallas on Thursday the 9th and reach there by 4 PM. Rent a car (preferably a midsize SUV with bendable back seats) and head to Yosemite by 8/9 PM. Park the car near the park somewhere safe, sleep in the car inside a sleeping bag for the night and probably head to Wawona early morning the next day where campgrounds on first come first serve basis are offered. Spend the next 2 days in the park and return to SF early morning on Sunday the 12th.
I'm thinking I can sleep in my car for the next 3 nights as well in one of the campgrounds. I want to do some moderate hikes during my stay. I have done a 10 miler in Big Bend, Narrows and Angels Landing in Zion in the past, so would like to do something in that league again. Have to research what will be open in November without any snow; don't have any plans to hike in the snow but if there are any exceptional viewpoints, might consider that.
I'm looking for advice on the following things:
1. How practical is it to sleep in the car in a warm sleeping bag for 4 nights in November?
2. If relying on a campground search on the morning of Friday the 10th is a wise option? If so, what alternatives apart from Wawona can I look for?
3. I know snow chains will be required during that time of the year. I've seen few posts where people have expressed concerns about using snow chains on rented cars, is this a problem? If yes, what alternatives do I have?
4. And finally, how can I better plan my 2 days to get the best experience hiking?
This is my first post here so kindly excuse me if I missed any community rules here. Looking forward to hearing some tips.