Yosemite 2014

Old Jun 12, 14, 2:11 pm
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Yosemite 2014

Just a reminder to folks to consider a visit to Yosemite, my backyard park. No forest fires, no smoke, no problems except road work on the Tioga Pass Road, which most visitors don't experience anyway.

Come visit!





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Old Jun 13, 14, 10:37 pm
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That's pretty nice flow over Yosemite Falls. I was afraid it'd be lower after the dry winter.
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Old Jun 13, 14, 11:41 pm
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Not pictured - throngs of tourists..
School just finished so its gonna get even worse..
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Old Jun 15, 14, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Not pictured - throngs of tourists..
School just finished so its gonna get even worse..
They're there for a reason. And 30 minutes of walking on many of the park's trails will get you away from most all of those people.

This is one of the most spectacular national parks in the country.
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Old Jun 15, 14, 11:56 am
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Please do visit, but stay far back from streams above waterfalls. Even the ones that look tame and shallow are very dangerous.

Yosemite Falls Inner Gorge Short Haul Rescue
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts4Gm_z7uK0

That guy was among the lucky ones.

The full Half Dome hike is amazing. It's 8-9 hours at a normal pace, and the cables part is not for those with vertigo. You need to make a reservation for a cable pass.
Half Dome Cables - Yosemite National Park - Ascending
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhZQlaqzddg

Last edited by dhuey; Jun 15, 14 at 12:01 pm
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Old Jul 17, 14, 11:34 pm
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FYI, the waterfall show is over.

Yosemite is still worth a visit but the waterfalls are done for the year. Due to continuing drought conditions in Central California, including almost no snow pack in the Sierra this year, even some of the larger falls have dwindled or stopped. Bridalveil Fall is just an unimpressive trickle and damp smear on the rock and the famous upper and lower Yosemite Falls are nearly gone as well, as shown in this picture, which I took yesterday, July 16. Compare to the one in the first post in this thread which was taken in April.





If possible, the best time for a visit is mid-week, before 9:30 am. By 10 am the tour buses start arriving and the crowds build exponentially.
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Old Jul 28, 14, 11:09 am
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July 28, 2014. Sadly, I have to change my recommendation.

Due to very recent wildfires in the area, the Highway 120 (from Merced) entrance into Yosemite Valley is closed. The local communities of El Portal and Foresta are threatened by uncontrolled fires and some structures have been lost.

Yosemite National Park is still open. You can reach the Valley via Highway 41 (from Fresno) and other parts of the Park outside the Valley are still available. However, the smoke impact on air quality is pretty bad and I can't in good conscience suggest visiting at this time. A good alternative would be Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks a few hours to the south.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 12:08 pm
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"The park, including its popular valley, remained open, but officials advised visitors to be prepared for hazy skies." http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Y...ed-5651702.php

Bummer. The whole point of going Yosemite is to relax and take in the stunning natural beauty of the place. With the smoke and the Hwy. 120 closure, I agree with abmj-jr -- now is not the time to visit.
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Old Aug 2, 14, 11:00 pm
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The other issue... If you haven't booked your rooms or campsites months in advance, you are likely out of luck staying anywhere close to the Valley or desirable in the park.
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Old Aug 3, 14, 10:51 pm
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Good news!

Current Air Quality and Smoke Monitoring

Update: 8/2/2014: The El Portal Fire has burned over 4689 acres in the El Portal and Foresta area and is over 70% contained. Smoke impacts from this fire have now ended, but smoke from the French fire to our south may still occasionally (as it did today) raise smoke concentrations into the moderate to unhealthy AQI range on days when the fire is very active or when high clouds prevent afternoon winds from dispersing any smoke that lands in our area from other fires. Right now, we expect rain and cooler temps Saturday night and Sunday to moderate fire activity for the French fire and improve air quality Sunday and into next week in the Yosemite area.
http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
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Old Aug 7, 14, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by mlshanks View Post
The other issue... If you haven't booked your rooms or campsites months in advance, you are likely out of luck staying anywhere close to the Valley or desirable in the park.
This is not always true.

Yosemite accommodations typically come with a 7-day cancellation policy, with the result that a number of cancellations start showing up beginning about 10 days out when some potential visitors have a change of plans. So, it is true enough that most rooms are snapped up early, but it is also true that there may be availability much closer to an arrival date.

In addition, with the fire (that is now concluded for all intents and purposes), there was a sudden increase in availability, even for dates (including some weekends in August) several weeks away, as people abhorring uncertainty apparently just threw in the towel and canceled.
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Old Aug 7, 14, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by Reindeerflame View Post
This is not always true.
Yes, and if you're the gambling sort, you can show up in the afternoon in the Valley and see if there are any last-minute cancellations or no-shows. My wife's family used to do that often, and almost always successfully.
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Old Aug 17, 14, 3:34 pm
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I will be visiting Yosemite (2 days/1 night) in first week of September. I have checked NPS website for details and live webcam's. It looks ok for some parts.

Would you recommend dropping Yosemite and instead going to Sequoia National Park?
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Old Aug 17, 14, 7:11 pm
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If there's not a wildfire making things nasty, there is no comparison: Yosemite over Sequoia/Kings Canyon in a heartbeat. Don't change.
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Old Aug 17, 14, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by genesys9 View Post
I will be visiting Yosemite (2 days/1 night) in first week of September. I have checked NPS website for details and live webcam's. It looks ok for some parts.

Would you recommend dropping Yosemite and instead going to Sequoia National Park?
There are pluses and minuses to visiting Yosemite in September. In the minus column is the fact that waterfall flows are reduced. The Yosemite Falls are completely dry. Bridalveil is dry or reduced to a trickle. Vernal and Nevada Falls still have decent flow but only a fraction of their springtime gush.

But there are several things in the plus column for September. The weather holds out nice, both in the valley and in the high country. Crowds thin out significantly compared to the summertime. And the many gorgeous things about Yosemite that aren't waterfalls-- the sheer granite cliffs and high mountain lakes, for example-- are just as attractive as earlier in the season.
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