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Old 05-13-2013, 04:31 PM
 
864 posts, read 1,283,330 times
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Here's the scenario: We (my family...my parents, myself, and my 18 year old brother, who has moderate Autism) are visiting Yosemite for 2 full days during our California vacation. We will drive up from the LA area the day before, spend the night in Salida, and then head to Yosemite first thing on Sunday, May 26. We will spend two nights (the 26th and the 27th) near Yosemite (in El Portal), and head back to the LA area on the 28th.

We can do "easy" hikes with my brother (about an hour, nothing too strenuous though), and want to see the waterfalls, look for wildlife (while driving, for the most part), perhaps have a picnic, and just take in the awesome scenery. I've heard driving around the park can be problematic, but we do have a handicapped placard because of my brother, and it's my understanding they do have some special driving privileges for those with handicapped placards (maybe I misunderstood that). Any suggestions for a 2-day itinerary would be appreciated. I've got a few guide books, but it's always nice to get advice from people who've been there. Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 20,350,535 times
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Day 1 do Glacier Point, Wawona Hotel. Maybe try to get up to Tuolumne Meadows on the same day. Day 2, the Valley. Use the busses to get around.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
492 posts, read 934,661 times
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It's hard to imagine that Yosemite doesn't have the typical handicap spots at all the major parking areas, but hopefully you can confirm that, and that there's plenty of spots. If you can't count on plentiful handicap parking I think you'd need to leave Salida super early (like 4 AM) to get to the day-use parking lot before it fills up. You might want to ask a park employee. I've been to Yosemite often on the weekends adjacent to Memorial Day weekend, and driving around the valley wasn't a viable option after say 9 AM. By then you needed to be parked in the day-use lot or else leave the valley for lack of parking. If your brother can manage the shuttle that may still be the best option, especially on Sunday.

What to see will probably be obvious once you're there. Just make the loop around the valley with the brochure you're given at the entrance. There's plenty to see without hiking. The best easy hike (but maybe more than an hour) is from the valley floor to the first viewpoint of Vernal Falls. I too recommend Glacier Point. Bring binoculars to see some waterfalls from there that would otherwise require a hike. There are some sequoia groves you'll see on the map that are worth visiting too.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,305 posts, read 10,419,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMenscha View Post
Day 1 do Glacier Point, Wawona Hotel. Maybe try to get up to Tuolumne Meadows on the same day. Day 2, the Valley. Use the busses to get around.
Day three, drive to and over Tioga pass. Make many stops along the way. Spend the night in Lone Pine on 395 and then head back to LA.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Sierraville
211 posts, read 288,529 times
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this is a minor human tragedy, somewhat akin to seeing the Louvre in 2 hours. It is so hard to see what there is to see in Yosemite even in weeks. In the valley take one of the open top tour buses, sit on the top so you can crane your neck to look up. The water falls will be at their peak, although it isn't a wet year, they won't be shaking the ground.

You can take the park bus to Glacier Point, from there you can see Vernal and Nevada Falls and much of the Valley, Half Dome, North Dome, Quarter Domes and into the backcountry as far as the Lyell Crest.

I'd skip Wawona, it is a nice hotel, but, it is just a hotel, and is way out of your way.

Then head out to Tuolumne, Tioga Road is now open, one of the earliest openings on record. The drive over 120 to Lee Vining is one of the grandest drives in the world. You will see Mono Lake, looking like it was imported from Mars. If you have time visit the Visitors Center just north of Lee Vining. The drive south is best done in a week, lots to do and see on one of America's most scenic highways through the deepest valley in the world, the Owens Valley on 395

Right now one of my adult children is at Geology Field Camp in the Owens Valley mapping a little understood fault sequence responsible for the rise of the White and Inyo Mountains, which rise up to over 14,000 feet, yet compared to the Sierra, unknown.

It is all a grand landscape, some of the finest terrain on the planet.

(incidentally, my brother too has moderate autism, he drives, and all of his vacations are in Yosemite, all, as in autistic, all, he won't consider any other place. He hikes, nothing strenuous, carries his very fancy camera and shoots thousands of photos, which no one ever sees....)
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:04 PM
 
864 posts, read 1,283,330 times
Reputation: 1138
Thank you all for the suggestions.
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