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Arriving in June on a Sunday for 1 night

Birmingham, United...
2 posts
Arriving in June on a Sunday for 1 night

Hi everybody!

We are picking up our hire car at 7am in San Francisco on Sunday June 10th and driving to Yosemite for 1 night, staying at Yosemite valley lodge. That means we arrive at the valley about 12 so from reading reviews here I’m a little worried we could spend all afternoon looking for parking?

So my rough plan is arrive via big oak flat entrance, stop off to see the giant sequoias at Tuolumne Grove. Then drive up Tioga Road if open to visit Tuolumne Meadows/ tenaya lake for picnic lunch/ Olmsted point. Then aim to drive to the valley late afternoon about 5ish? Hopefully by then do you think it should be ok to park near our hotel?

Late afternoon go and look at lower Yosemite falls and orientate ourselves in the valley. Next morning up at sunrise (we are coming from the uk so time difference works in our favour!) for mist trail/ down John Muir. We are both relatively fit 20 somethings.

I’m the evening we are driving to Monterey (about 6pm ish after early dinner). I’m also hoping to fit in bridalveil fall and, if time, glacier point? Do you think this is feasible and where is best to put these in so we aren’t stuck in valley traffic more than necessary? Is there anywhere else you advise as a must do? I know one night isn’t enough but there’s so much of California we are trying to squeeze in to our trip of a lifetime 2 week holiday!

Thank you so much in advance. The forum has been so helpful and so so excited about visiting soon!


2 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
72,022 posts
133 reviews
1. Re: Arriving in June on a Sunday for 1 night

Hi Kelly

Pretty good. Here are my suggestions....


Pick up picnic food items in Oakdale, if you don't already have them from your San Francisco visit. Enter via Big Oak Flat and drive past the Tuolumne Grove trailhead, continuing up to the Olmsted Point Viewpoint. Check it out. Then drive on to Tenaya Lake for an alpine lake picnic experience (tables at both ends of the lake or use your picnic blanket.) Assuming you stop on the way, this is probably around 12:30 pm

Drive on to Tuolumne Meadows for some tourism. Probably need bug spray. Consider Pothole Dome. I like middle Gaylor Lake, but this early in the season there will definitely be some slush / snow / mud in the area. There are other Tioga Road / Tuolumne Meadow options; check that topic in the Top Questions on the right.

Drive down from Tuolumne Meadows to Tuolumne Grove, about an hour. Hike the 2.5 miles round trip down into the grove and back up (after most other tourists are gone.)

Drive almost 1/2 hour down toward Yosemite Valley, but detour up to Tunnel View for the late afternoon light. The view from here is a good way to orient yourselves to the Valley features.

Drive back toward the Valley but stop at Bridalveil Fall for that short steep walk.

Drive into the Valley and directly to your lodging.


Leave your car. Take the shuttle to Happy Isles for the hike. If you're going all the way to the top of Nevada Fall, be aware that the section of the John Muir Trail between Nevada Fall and Clark Point is closed. If you want a shorter hike, consider going up the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Fall, over to Clark Point (great views!), then down the JMT till it reconnects with the Mist Trail.

Glacier Point would be nice to add, but that's lots of miles on a day when you already have a 4 hour drive planned. It's about an hour from Yosemite Valley, and parking up there may be tough to find.

Birmingham, United...
2 posts
2. Re: Arriving in June on a Sunday for 1 night

Thank you that’s really helpful advice and sounds like a great plan!

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