Subject: Re: Yosemite
Hi Bill If you re going to Yosemite, stay inside the park. Even though the places you mentioned are right outside the park, it takes 30-45 min to get to the valley floor.

Call (559) 252-4848 to make reservations inside the park or you can go to their official website

Here are the places I am familiar with (inside the park):

Ahwahnee Hotel - very expensive. You probably don't want to stay here. We usually splurge and have dinner there. If not, we have breakfast. Sunday's they have an expensive brunch. Even if you don't eat there, you should go take a look at this place. It is a beautiful historic/rustic/elegant hotel. There is a lounge area w/ fireplaces that I love. Also, peak in the dining room. It is beautiful.

Yosemite Lodge - mid price. We stay here. This lodge is right across the Yosemite Falls. There is a cafeteria where we have breakfast/lunch and sometimes even dinner. There is a swimming pool (free to guest & a few dollars to others). We were there in June and swimming there was a treat. I was floating on my back & just looking up at the cliffs.

Curry Village - lower priced. They have everything from tent step up from a tent. They have cabins with/without baths with/without heat. I saw on the website that they are some specials now for tent cabins for about $30. They also have a cafeteria. It is a little cooler on this side of the park because it is in the shadows in the morning. We have stayed at the tent cabins also. It's ok as long as it is not COLD.

Wawona hotel - this is righ at the entrance so it would take you about 45 min to the valley floor everyday. It is a beautiful old hote. I love their BBQ on saturday nights during the summer.

Now, to get reservations. They tell you that you have to reserve one year in advance. But I found a trick that works for me. About 10 days before my vacation, I start calling the number I gave you and grab reservations even if for only one night. Three days before your arrival you are supposed to cancel, so 99% of the time I can get a room if I call three days before the date I want to go. Keep calling until you get a room. They open up all the time. Also, even if you get only one night, I would take the chance & go because other nights also open up. I stayed outside the park once and I hated it.

Maybe you are familar with this but I am going to tell me more stuff about Yosemite. Park Entrances: If you come from Fresno, then you can stop at the Mariposa redwoods right after you enter the park. If you come from the Merced side, bring a picnic and stop at one of the picnic tables by the river. What to do once you are there: Hiking: (1) go to Vernal Falls/the Mist Trail. I don't know how wet it is at this time of the year, but you might need a cheap raincoat to up the Mist Trail. Don't miss this. If you are good shape & want to hike more, you can continue on to Nevada Falls. Bring picnic. (2) Of course, see Yosemite Falls, Bridal Veil Falls (3) Drive up to Glacier Point. Beautiful vistas. This is the only time you need a car in Yosemite. Get around by using the suttle. For some beautiful hiking, you can stop for a hike to Sentinel Dome on the way to Glacier Point. We ususlly hike in the afternoon & keep going to Glacier Point in late aftrnoon (towards sunset) (4) REnt a bike at Curry Village & bike towards Mirror Lake & all over the valley floor (5) You can also go horseback riding (6) Don't miss the Ansel Adams GAllery (7) YOu may not have time for this. Driving towards Tioga Pass is really nice. We actually went back to LA through Tioga Pass and then we stopped at Mono Lake. This is a little long. I don't know where you live. Again, we had some picnics somewhere on that road. Can't you tell that I love picnics?

I hope this helps.

Maria Los Angeles, CA