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.