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Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
36 posts
Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

My husband and I will be spending this weekend at Yosemite NP. We are flying into SFO tomorrow, arriving at noon and hoping to be at the park around 5 p.m. We have 2 nights lodging booked at the Half Dome cabins. On Friday, I was hoping to check out Tunnel View and drive up to Glacier Point for the sunset. Is this realistic on a Friday evening or will there be no parking at Glacier Point such that I'd be better off staying in the Valley and doing a short walk? Thanks in advance for any input!

18 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,222 posts
123 reviews
1. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Hi

I think this is fine. It's still early in the season. (I might stop to buy a picnic dinner and take that up with me.)

Please let us know about the parking at Glacier Point so that we can share that info with other visitors. Have a wonderful time!

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
36 posts
2. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Thank you, PacificNWFamily! I will report back on the parking situation.

Lodi, California
Destination Expert
for Lodi
Level Contributor
2,321 posts
27 reviews
3. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Tomorrow eve head over to the bar at The Awahanee Hotel. If the weathers nice you can have a drink on the back patio. The grocery store in the park also has a decent selection of California wines bring a corkscrew and a couple of plastic cups and enjoy a nice bottle as the sun sets. (Sorry but I alway enjoy a Yosemite sunset with an adult beverage lol)

Edited: 11 May 2018, 11:54
Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
36 posts
4. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

We had a great trip despite some hiccups and I wanted to follow up on here. We got stuck in A LOT of traffic leaving the Bay area and had an issue with our rental car (had to find another Avis and switch cars) and did not make it into the Valley until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11. So there was no drive up to Glacier Point Friday evening. However, we did get to Glacier Point on Sunday by hiking the Mist Trail to Panorama Trail to Glacier Point and then down the 4-Mile Trail. It was a long day but well worth it! We got to Glacier Point around 4:30 p.m. and there was plenty of open parking available.

If anyone is interested in the loop hike we did, I want to point out that the signs seem to assume everyone does this hike by starting UP 4-Mile Trail and going down the Mist Trail. We missed the turn onto the Panorama Trail because the sign was behind us and up a hill, adding a couple of miles to our hike because we had to backtrack from Clark Point! Glad we did it though and thanks to all the experts here for helping us plan!

Medford...
1 post
5. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Hi thanks for your post I was thinking the same as you were going to Bridalveil falls then tunnel view then drive up to glacier point for our first afternoon. I am flying into sfo on Saturday the 19th at 11am think it’s possible to do all three.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,222 posts
123 reviews
6. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

robertparilla ~ all three of those destinations have limited parking. Saturdays are always busy. Consider starting your own new thread so that we can help you with your plans.

Mplsmom27 ~ thanks for the tip about signage. I've encountered that issue elsewhere, and I will remember to share your tip with future hikers who are planning that route.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
36 posts
7. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

robertparilla - We were on the trail on Saturday (started at 6 am!) but we could see down into the Valley and the roads were gridlocked starting at around 8 am. I think you need to get into the Valley very early or much later in the day to have hope of parking. I'm guessing parking Saturday afternoon at Glacier Point is much more packed than Sunday afternoon when some folks have already left the park.

Chapel Hill, North...
Level Contributor
9,822 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Thanks for the report Mplsmom. Sounds like we need to plan to get into the Valley EARLY!

Fleming Island...
Level Contributor
181 posts
134 reviews
9. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

Mplsmom27, thank you for your report, it is helping me plan for our 3 night stay at Half Dome Village this upcoming weekend.

I will be doing the same hike you did, in the reverse direction- 4-mile and down the Panorama on Sunday. What where the crowds like on this hike? What time did you start and what time did you finish?

Did you have trouble finding parking at 8:30pm on Friday at Half Dome Village? Thank you very much

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
36 posts
10. Re: Plan for the first afternoon/evening in Yosemite NP

kloos5- We decided to do the loop backwards because we didn't want to be on the Mist Trail with crowds in the afternoon. This trail has very large, very wet, granite steps (I'm 5'2" and each step almost came up to my knee). Note that coming down the Mist Trail means you will be walking on the outside of the path.

We got to the trail head around 7:15 am. Took lots of photo breaks and were at the top of Nevada Falls at 11 am. Took a lunch break, went to Clarke Point by accident, backtracked to where Panorama Trail splits off of John Muir Trail and made it to Glacier Point around 4:30. Hung out an hour and made it to the bottom of 4-Mile Trail at 7:15. So 12 hours!!! But we are quite slow so you will likely do better.

The biggest challenge arriving at 8:30 pm was the lack of lighting. We had a hard time finding the registration building and yes, parking seemed full at the Half Dome lot. My husband stayed in the car while I checked-in and the registration folks gave us a parking permit for the lots by the cabins where we stayed. We got the last available spot!

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