Archive for October, 2007

Enter Yosemite for Free

  Date Sunday, October 14th, 2007

 It’s possible to get free admission to Yosemite National Park within lodging and recreation packages offered by area accommodations.  At the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal, guest receive a seven-day park admission pass when purchasing the “Yosemite For Free” package in advance.

To qualify, you must stay at least two nights at “The View” and purchase the package in advance.  The View has very nice rooms with king or two queen beds, spa tubs, double showers, fireplaces, kitchenettes and private balconies or decks that overlook the nationally-designated “Wild and Scenic” Merced River.

The “Yosemite For Free” package is only available online in advance of stay at  On check in, you will be given a vehicle pass good for seven days admission to Yosemite National Park.

Since The View is located outside the national park on State Route 140, don’t make the mistake of driving SR 120 or SR41 to the property or you’ll have to pass through the national park to get there and will have to pay for park admission to get to the hotel.  Instead, drive directly to The View on SR 140 through Mariposa.  Once at The View, you can pick up your free pass and enter the national park.

Blue Angels Airshow

  Date Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Spectators watching the Blue Angels air show over San Francisco Bay during Fleet Week will get unlimited shuttle rides to prime viewing locations on Angel Island State Park for $5 per day. The special rate is being offered by the Angel Island Tram Tours to make it easier for spectators to get out to Angel Island’s best air show viewing spots. As an additional bonus, one passenger on each Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry will win an Angel Island Adventure Package including a Sunset Cruise, Tram Tour and lunch voucher (no purchase necessary). The Blue Angels will conduct survey flights on Oct. 4, rehearse on Oct. 5 (from 1 to 4:30 p.m.) and perform on Oct. 6 and 7 (from 1 to 4:30 p.m.). The special shuttle fare applies each day the Blue Angels fly. Roundtrip ferry tickets from Tiburon to Angel Island State Park cost $13.50 per adult/senior and $11.50 per child (ages 6 to 12), including state park admission. CLICK HERE for information about Angel Island or CLICK HERE for information about the ferry.

New Geopositioning Tours at Yosemite

  Date Monday, October 1st, 2007
Geopositioning technology is now helping Yosemite Visitors experience Yosemite National Park more fully. The tour devices, called Explorers, can be rented at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center provide waypoint information along a 1.6-mile loop around lower Yosemite falls. At key points along the loop, users can turn on the device to get information about what they’re seeing.The device works similar to car navigation systems to determine the exact location of the visitor, guiding them and providing narration and images. There are also stories, trivia questions and interactive games to play. For younger visitors, there is a treasure chest search for clues and secret messages.The National Park Service, the nonprofit Yosemite Association and San Jose-based “Big Escapes” collaborated to offer this at Yosemite. The Explorer units rent for $9.95/adults and $7.95/children (3 to 12 years old). Headphones cost an additional dollar or you can use your own. Yosemite Association members save 15%.

Topics stored in the devices include such subjects as Yosemite’s early pioneers, historic milestones, cultural heritage and native wildlife, and ecology, as well as see footage of forest fires, rock slides and the 100-year flood of 1997 and hear the words of John Muir and content from San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Phil Frank.

The loop, which is fully accessible, usually takes about 90 minutes. It begins at the visitor center, winds through oak woodlands and conifer forests to a close-up view of Lower Yosemite Falls. Reservations are not necessary, however, groups of 10 or more can reserve Explorer units in advance by calling (877) GPS-TOUR (477-8687) or online at