Tim asks: What can I expect Memorial Day weekend?

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Tim writes in to ask:

I was wondering if you could give me an idea of what to expect at Yosemite over Memorial Day Weekend. I’m afraid I made a major snafu when I scheduled my trip and didn’t consider what weekend it was. The only lodging I could find was the Bestwestern in Mariposa. Will parking be at a premium in the valley over the weekend? What is the possibility of Tioga Pass being open by June 1(We are heading to Carson City, NV to visit relatives and it would be much closer to continue our journey through the park)?

Have you ever been shopping the day after Thanksgiving? Well that’s what it’s like. Memorial Day weekend is arguable THE busiest weekend in Yosemite but there are ways to have a great time and avoid the crowds by simply starting early. Early in the day there’s usually good parking, somewhat empty trails, and the opportunity for some great photos that most people miss.

Since you’re staying in Mariposa I should tell you that Highway 140 is still closed into the park meaning you’ll have to take a longer route around through Oakhurst (highway 49 to 41 from Mariposa) if they don’t get it open in time. As for Tioga Pass it’s not expected to be open until mid to late June.

Have a great trip.

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4 commentsOn Tim asks: What can I expect Memorial Day weekend?

  • Tim,
    I typically go to Yosemite during Memorial Day weekend. Last year I hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls on the Friday of the holiday weekend and couldn’t tell it was a holiday weekend. We arrived early, approx. 7:30am at the Southern Hwy 41 entrance. There was maybe 1 car in front of us. You will notice people if you need to grab a bite to eat in Yosemite Village. I would recommend you bring your own food and arrive by 8am at the gates and try and visit on Friday. I have video footage of 1 car at the Tunnel View last year at 8:30am on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It turned out to be a great day.

  • You mentioned that Highway 140 is still closed in to the Park.

    We have reservations at the Cedar Lodge, which is on that highway about 9 miles from the park. We’ll be driving up from Fresno via the South Entrance. Are we going to be able to get to Cedar Lodge exiting the Western Entrance on Highway 140? Man I sure hope so…

  • I was thinking of going up Tuolumne Meadows the week (maybe Wed) after Memorial day. Would that be a good time to go? Any recommendations on a trail. Thanks.

  • If only my pal who drove to Yosemite last weekend had read about the road closures! She wouldn’t have been Shanghai-ed by the crazy-long drive due to road closures.

    I’ll send her to your blog so she can be more aware next time she plans a trip up there… and I’ll keep checking it out too!

    -Alyson, thisnext.com/blog

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