Weekend Stay in Yosemite: Hiking Good. Camping Bad. Advice?
April 2, 2014 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Weekend Stay in Yosemite: Hiking Good. Camping Bad. Advice?

My friend wants to celebrate her birthday on a weekend at the end of April in beautiful Yosemite with friends. We don't want to camp (like in a tent). We do want to see the beautiful views without tons of people. And we are beginning-intermediate hikers (I could carry a rucksack all day, but some would prefer to walk a max of 3 hours with a fannypack).

Where should we stay?
What parts of the park should we target? Avoid?
Is there anything outside the park we should try to see? We'll want to do the obligatory nice birthday dinner.

We'll be coming from the Bay Area.
posted by jander03 to Travel & Transportation around Yosemite Village, CA (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What do you mean by "not camping"? There's Housekeeping Camp and Curry Village which are not tents, but not really hotels either. There's the Wawona hotel outside of the valley. Most of the Valley hotels are already booked solid for the remainder of the year. It looks like Curry Village still has availability around then.
posted by GuyZero at 5:48 PM on April 2, 2014

Response by poster: By not camping we mean not tenting. Cabins are fine. Hotels are cool, too.
posted by jander03 at 6:12 PM on April 2, 2014

Yosemite Bug Hostel... I think has private rooms. And hot tubs...
posted by jrobin276 at 7:05 PM on April 2, 2014

I suggested Scenic Wonders in another question -- it's some houses and condos in Yosemite West that is just beyond the turn to Glacier Point. It's a short drive to the valley.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 8:30 PM on April 2, 2014

If you can afford it, and if you can get a reservation The Ahwahnee Hotel is exactly where you want to be!

It's in the park, and it's a landmark all on its own.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:30 AM on April 3, 2014

Regarding your interest in "without tons of people", just be aware that the valley will be mobbed in late April. (It's mobbed pretty much anytime except the winter). Not that you shouldn't go there, just set your expectations accordingly.
posted by bluesky78987 at 8:52 AM on April 3, 2014

The only way to get away from the crowds outside winter in Yosemite is to go into the backcountry or some of the longer valley trails like the Yosemite Falls trail, Four Mile Trail and Panorama Trail. These are all somewhat long and/or difficult trails, which is why they're less crowded.

If you go up to Tioga Road, there won't be tons of people - just a lot of people. Otherwise, all the short hikes and viewpoints in and around the valley, from nearly every famous photo of Yosemite, is going to be packed. It's unavoidable. Sorry.

It is very possible to have a great time in Yosemite in spite of the crowds. You're better off in late April than you would be in the summer.
posted by cnc at 12:50 PM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Given the low snowpack this year, Tioga road may be open by the end of April. There are great hikes up there.

Also, check out the Sequoias down by Wawona. Amazing trees.
posted by elmay at 2:04 PM on April 3, 2014

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