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Yosemite Two Day Itinerary

 


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Yosemite Guide

The Yosemite Guide contains information about camping, trip planning, activities, scheduled events, and hours of operations for different facilities and services.

2014

April 9 - May 20

Feb 12 - April 8

Dec 11 - Feb 11

2013

Oct 9 - Dec 10

Sept 4 - Oct 8

July 31 - Sept 3

June 26 - July 30

May 22 - June 25

April 10 - May 21

Feb 13 - Apr 9

Dec 12 - Feb 12

2012

Oct 10 - Dec 11

Sept 5 - Oct 9

Aug 1 - Sept 4

June 27 - July 31

May 23rd - June 26

Apr. 11 - May 22

Feb. 15 - Apr. 10

Dec.14 - Feb. 14

 

Two Day Itinerary

Things you will see up close on this two day itinerary

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Wawona Pioneer History Center
Glacier Point
Tunnel View
Bridalveil Falls
El Capitan
Curry Village
The Mist Trail and Vernal Falls
Happy Isles Nature Center (Optional)
Rafting the Merced River


Get ready for abusy day so pack a picnic lunch that you can eat when you get to Glacier Point. The only places to stop for food are a couple gas stations and the Glacier Point Eatery is much like the hot fast type food that most convenience stores carry.

Most of Yosemite's famous features can be seen on a two day trip. The best thing about a two day trip is that you might be able to find a random open date at one of the campgrounds a day or so after they have been gobbled up on recreation.gov. Another possibility is checking in with the camping offices at the back end of the Curry Village parking lot to see if there are any cancellations and try to get one of those sites.

Ok, here we go.

Day 1

  • Stop Number 1
    10:00 a.m. - Arrive at the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
    Head over to the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias and beat the heaviest crowds by getting there before 10 am. Hike up to the Grizzly Giant and along the way you will pass several famous trees including the Bachelor and the Three Graces, The Fallen Monarch, and a bit farther up is the California Tunnel Tree. Plan for approximately 1 1/2 hours of hiking. Here is a National Park Service self guided hiking brochure and map for the Mariposa Grove.
  • Stop Number 3
    12:00 Noon - Arrive at Wawona
    Next drive about 10 minutes over to Wawona and fill up the gas tank. Take a trip to the past at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center. If you are doing well on time, take the 10 minute horse drawn stage ride. Tickets can be purchased at the Stage Office in the Pioneer Yosemite History Center. Rides cost $4 per adult and $3 per child (ages 3-12)
  • Stop Number 3
    1:30 p.m. - Arrive at Glacier Point
    Head to Glacier point and take in the stunning views. the drive takes about one hour. Plan about an hour at Glacier Point as there are several views to absorb. Eat your picnic lunch and enjoy the view.
  • Stop Number 4
    3:30 p.m. - Arrive at Tunnel View Parking Area
    Next, drive about 1 hour over to Tunnel View by heading back out from glacier point and when you get to Highway 41, turn right and drive to one of the most famous places to take pictures that Yosemite has to offer. Plan on stopping the second you get out of the Tunnel. See this video for an idea of where to get out and what you will see at the end of the tunnel. This is the west end of Yosemite Valley. You should be here around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. if you started at 10 am at Mariposa
  • Stop Number 5
    4:00 p.m. - Arrive at Bridalveil Falls
    Next, leave the parking area and head over to Bridalveil Falls, which is a quick trip and try to grab a parking spot. Hike up to the falls and snap a few pictures. Bring some rain gear as you will get wet here. Total time here less than an hour.
  • Stop Number 6
    4:45 - Pictures of El Capitan
    Stop along Southside Drive and snap a few pictures of El Capitan. After a quick stop, head over to your Campsite or Hotel and check in.
  • Stop Number 7
    5:00 p.m. - Check-in at campsite or hotel
    Head over to your campsite and check in and set up camp or check in to your hotel. If you
  • Stop Number 8
    7:00 p.m. - Head out for Dinner
    Next grab the free Yosemite Shuttle and head over to Curry Village (Stop 13b, 14 or 20) and grab a pizza and a beer at the Pizza Patio. There are several places to eat in Curry Village. Check out the Food and Beverage page for details.

Always ask the driver if the shuttle you are getting on is the correct shuttle to get where you are going. Getting on the shuttle going the wrong way can eat valuable time from your day. Take a peek at the Yosemite guide for a map of the shuttle system.

  • Stop Number 9
    8:00 p.m. Sentinel Bridge
    After dinner but before sunset, head over to Sentinel Bridge and get some really nice pictures of the sunset on Half Dome.

 

  • You've earned some rest time, go back to camp and grab a beer.

 

Day 2

  • Stop Number 10
    9:00 a.m. - Grab a Parking spot at Curry Village/Breakfast
    If you are camping, pack up camp and drive over to Curry Village of the main visitor parking and grab a parking spot for the day.
    Grab a buffet style breakfast at the Curry Village Dining Pavilion. You can do the same at Yosemite Lodge. Not in the mood for breakfast or just looking for a coffee? Hit the Coffee Corner at Curry Village for lattes, cappuccinos and other caffeine infused beverages. Not interested in breakfast or did you get an early start? Head over to the Ahwahnee Hotel and take some pictures.
  • Stop Number 11
    10:00 a.m. - Rafting Trip Down the Merced River
    Head over to the Curry Village Recreation Rentals (shuttle stop 13a) and book a rafting trip down the Merced River. This may be one of the most memorable ways to visit Yosemite. Your Rafting Trip will begin after a 10 minute introduction and then you will be given a raft to carry over to the river and begin your rafting trip. When you reach Sentinel Beach, there will be a return vehicle waiting to take you back to Curry Village along with your raft.
  • Stop Number 12
    1:00 p.m. - Curry Village For Lunch
    Grab a bite to eat for lunch at Curry Village. Try the Taqueria for a quick bite before the hike up to Vernal Falls. Not that hungry, pick up a snack at the Country Store. Don't forget a water bottle for the following hike.
  • Stop Number 13
    1:45 p.m. - Arrive at Happy Isles - Begin Hike to Vernal Falls
    After you finish lunch, jump on a shuttle over to Happy Isles (stop 16) and take the 1 mile hike up to Vernal Falls via the Mist Trail. Definitely do not stop at the footbridge. If you want some really great views including the famous rainbows at the base of Vernal falls, take a few extra minutes and go past the bridge and up the trail. You don't need to climb to the top of the falls as this will eat up extra time. Head back to Happy Isles and Grab a shuttle over to Yosemite Village.
  • Stop Number 14
    4:30 p.m. - Yosemite Village
    Get off at Stop 2. Don't get off at stop 4 or you will have to go over to the Ahwahnee Hotel unless that is something you want to hit along the way. Go over to the Village Store and do a little souvenir shopping at the well stocked store. The store has almost every knick-knack you can imagine.
  • Stop Number 15
    5:30 p.m. - Yosemite Falls
    After you finish shopping, jump on the Yosemite shuttle and get off at shuttle stop 6 (Lower Yosemite Falls). Take a leisurly stroll up to the tallest waterfall in the U.S. Make sure to bring rain gear as you will get wet if you plan on walking up to the bridge crossing the river below Lower Yosemite Falls. After your walk up to the falls, head back the way you came and head back to the Curry Village Parking area. If you have extra time, try doing one of the activities below.

Suggestions if you have extra time:

  • Do a ranger program (see the Yosemite Guide for times and places)
  • If you have kids, take them over to the Curry Village Pavilion and watch Ranger Ned's Big Adventure.
  • Hang out around Cook's Meadow. There are some really good photo opportunities of Half Dome here.
  • Head over to the Ahwanee Hotel (Shuttle Stop 3)
  • Rent a bike at the Curry Village Bike Rentals and take a ride around the Valley Floor
  • Hike up to Mirror Lake (Shuttle Stop 17)

 

   
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