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  1. Default Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite April 2016

    We are coming from Australia in April next year (2016). Our travel agent has booked us into The Lodge at Mammoth Lakes and have a hire car booked. We are a little concerned that we are too far from the main attractions of Yosemite and that access from there may be tricky due to that time of year. It would be great if we could get some advice as to our options, thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default You are so right.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    So glad you found your way here, because you are dead right. Mammoth Lake is not a place to stay in April, if you want to see Yosemite. Tioga Pass will most likely be still closed. It's earliest opening is usually around mid May to mid June.

    If this were me, I would go back to the travel agent and cancel that accommodation/ holiday.

    Where will you be flying into? LAX or SFO? Wherever it is, you can book your own rental car, choose your own route to Yosemite and then book your own accommodation - like we all do. Problem with many travel agents is they have not actually been there themselves, and even if they have been, not at the time of year you are travelling. As you rightly suspected, it is a bad plan they sold you.

    If your budget can take it, I would highly recommend you stay within the park. The issue there is that you would have to book that a.s.a.p. There is nothing like staying within the park, but the accommodation is limited and much sought after. In April you should be able to get something if you book a.s.a.p. Check the National Parks Website for Yosemite accommodation.

    It would help if you could let us know what other places you are going, how long you will be in the US, etc. Then we can help you with the best way to spend your time to make sure you see the places you want to see and do it in a memorable way.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Oh dear !

    If your travel agent booked Mammoth Lake as a base for visiting Yosemite then I would reconsider using their services. As mentioned above, the Tioga pass is all but sure to be closed in April putting Yosemite way out of bounds to visit. In all honesty it wouldn't be an ideal choice even if the pass was open, other than Tioga pass all of Yosemite's main attractions are on the other side of the mountains. I would certainly put your itinerary up for us to look at and see how the rest of it looks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I have to agree with the above, not only must you get those reservations cancelled, you are clearly working with a travel agent that has no clue at all about the area you are planning to visit. With the pass closed in April, you're looking at around an 8 hour drive, one way!

    Just for comparison sake, trying to visit Yosemite from Mammoth Lakes in April is essentially the same as booking a hotel in Melbourne for a vacation in Sydney!

    But as Dave mentioned, even if this was a summer trip, Mammoth is still about a 3 hour drive to the main attractions of Yosemite, because you have to drive across a mountain! Any travel agent who thinks that's an appropriate place to stay, at any time of year, clearly isn't even bothering to do a basic amount of research into the region, and I'd be scared to see what else they've come up with in planning a trip for you.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the replies, you have saved us from a possible really disappointing part of our once in a life time trip to the US! We are looking into cancelling Mammoth Lakes now. Unfortunately we looked previously at Yosemite accommodation and it was very limited already for the time we are travelling. If anyone has any suggestions for nearby options that would be great.

    The road trip part of our holiday starts with us collecting our hire car in Las Vegas on the 20th April 2016. We obviously were looking to spend time at Yosemite on the 21st to 24th of April.We have accommodation booked in San Francisco on the 25th & 26th of April and hoping to stay somewhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the 27th April. We then drop the car off in Anaheim on the 28th April.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Don't give up on the NP while you book elsewhere.

    Outside the east entrance of Yosemite the popular places are Oakhurst and Mariposa. You might also like to check out The Pines. If the accommodation at Yosemite was mostly booked out, and you would like to stay within the park, I suggest you keep checking the website, as cancellations do happen. Meanwhile if you are booking outside the park, be sure you book where you can cancel without penalty, so that if any places come up in the park you will be able to change.

    On your way from LV, you may be able to drive through Sequoia NP, if the roads are clear. The giant redwoods are magnificent. You might also like to look at visiting Death Valley, but it would be better to do that as a day trip from LV.

    The drive from SF to LA is a TWO day drive, along the spectacular Pacific Coast Highway CA1. If you have heard of, or driven the Great Ocean Road, you will love the PCH. It is every bit as scenic. Common overnight stops are around San Simeon, Cambria, Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo.

    One other thing which comes to mind is that the Grand Canyon is not on your itinerary. I am wondering if you had been advised to, or if you were planning to do that as a trip from LV. If that is the case, there are some things you need to know. (Ignore if it is not the case.)

    Flights from LV go to the west rim of the canyon, which is on Indian land and no where near as deep, nor as spectacular as the National Park. Taking a road trip to the NP requires an overnight stay, as it is a good half a day's driving, and a minimum of half a day to really see the Canyon.

    Are LV LA and SFO the only places on your itinerary besides Yosemite?

    I would also like to suggest to you that you get hold of some good detailed maps of the area. If these are not available locally, you can get a Rand McNally road atlas (the best!) from the RTA store at the bottom of this page. If you order it now you will have it in a couple of weeks. There is nothing like having good maps to plan your route and places to see. (You might also like to show it to your travel agent. Sounds like she could do with some good maps.)

    Furthermore, and not knowing in which State you live - if you are a member of RACV or the equivalent, be sure to take your membership with you (did the travel agent tell you that too?). It will give you access to tourist information and free maps from the AAA anywhere in North America.

    Lifey

    Edit: Have just checked the Yosemite accommodation, and there are vacancies of varies styles available at Curry Village, Wanona and Tanaya. I don't know where these are in the park, neither do I know anything about them. But there appears to be a selection of accommodation for the dates you plan to be there.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-25-2015 at 04:40 AM. Reason: additional information.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Not sure about Curry Village or Tanaya, but Wawona is on the south end of the park.



    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Outside the east entrance of Yosemite the popular places are Oakhurst and Mariposa.
    You mean the west entrance. Also there's Groveland and El Portal. El Portal is the closest to the park. I've stayed at the Cedar Lodge in El Portal, and it's acceptable. The Yosemite Bug is close to Mariposa.

    Curry Village is in the Yosemite Valley right near the Yosemite Village, and it has tent cabins. Tenaya is at the south entrance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Possibly book 2 locations.

    Now you may or may not want to visit Death valley from Vegas before continuing to Yosemite. That would give you different options as to where to stay. If you want to get to Yosemite as quickly as possible I would consider Oakhurst as a stop for your first night as that would be a 7 hour plus journey. Yosemite is not far from Oakhurst, but for your other nights in the area you could look at somewhere closer as mentioned above. If you want to detour through Death valley [amazing Landscape] then you would be looking at somewhere between Delano and Visalia, leaving you a 2.5 to 3 hour journey to Yosemite's southern entrance.

    Tenaya lodge is located at Fish camp, South entrance Yosemite. Have you checked Yosemite lodge at the Falls? Yosemite bug mentioned above is a popular choice if you don't mind rustic lodgings.

  10. Default

    Thank you for all the above advice and tips. What a great forum with lots of helpful people!

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