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We're planning a Bay Area trip in May-June and our route takes us near Yosemite, which is some place I've always wanted to visit, and so we want to stay about three to four nights in the area, ideally in the park. However, it's relatively late in the year to be booking, and so options are limited. I've found a few options in or very near the park but it involves shortening our stay, or living without electricity, or other compromises (with which we may decide to be okay, but I want to consider my options).

As far as places in the general Yosemite National Park area, what are viable places to stay as far as the ease of getting to the park, that are likely to still have accommodations 90 days in advance? Merced seems to have plenty of lodging at good prices, but it's almost a two-hour drive away. Fresno has some of the same problems but at least is closer to King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, which opens up other options.

As I don't wish this to be too subjective or specific to my situation, please give more general answers (examples of lodging are fine). In my specific case we are just a married couple, but others will surely have the same question and may have different circumstances.

As a good parallel example, Canmore, Alberta would be a good base for someone exploring Banff National Park - an easy drive to the park, but with a plethora of lodging options. What are the Yosemite equivalents, if any?

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    Try hotels.com or travelocity.com, with ‘yosemite’ as target. It will give you hotels up to 100 mile radius, depending on your settings. – Aganju Feb 12 '18 at 22:56
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    @Aganju No problem finding places, just trying to figure out what communities are near enough to Yosemite not to require a long, difficult drive (it is the mountains after all) and yet be far enough that one can actually get a room 60 or 90 days out. The ease of driving is a bit difficult to judge on the maps sometimes. – Jim MacKenzie Feb 13 '18 at 0:25
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    Mariposa and Groveland (both around 1hr drive) are the closest cities from the south-west, and have accommodations, although not plenty. – George Y. Feb 13 '18 at 4:33
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    I see. Well, everything is annoyingly far away and takes 30-45 mins minimum (and there are long lines going in in the morning, and out in the evening), unless you stay inside the park. But it is a great place. i recommend to drive in before 7 am. Oakhurst is a good point to stay. – Aganju Feb 13 '18 at 5:25
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We stayed in Oakhurst, just near the Southgate. It was very easy access, had facilities around the area, and is close the the giant redwood grove, as well as easy access to the main Yosemite valley.

Saw a coyote (alive, finally), and spectacular views in October. Loved our trip, and several of my favourite photos are from that weekend. Highly recommend that area for accommodation. It's also only a few hours from San Fran - we flew into SFO and drove from downtown San Francisco.

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    Please for the love of all that is good, do not call San Francisco “San Fran.” I do appreciate you not calling it SFO (which is just the airport) but if you must call it anything other than San Francisco (or “the City” if you’re in the east or South Bay), then call it SF. Mkay, thx. – RoboKaren Jul 14 '18 at 3:03
  • @RoboKaren sorry, but maybe it's an international thing - I regularly hear it called that. It's also on Wiki as a common nick name (along with SF, Fog City and Frisco). I can't call it 'Frisco' after living in Frisco, Colorado :P – Mark Mayo Jul 14 '18 at 3:27
  • @MarkMayo: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/61570/… Frisco is forbidden, San Fran is deprecated unless you work for an airline, SF is acceptable in headlines and telegrams, Fog City is too fanciful for daily use. – Nate Eldredge Jul 14 '18 at 6:02
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    I am pleased to see the San Francisco Name Defense Committee has logged on. – Zach Lipton Jul 14 '18 at 6:46

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