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Thread: Yosemite Valley report

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Yosemite Valley report

    We took my son and his girlfriend for a day in Yosemite Valley yesterday, a "get in the National Parks free" day as well as during the Easter Break so it was, predictably, crowded. The falls were beautiful and the weather perfect. Spring pollen and mosquitoes weren't causing any problems yet---it was darned near ideal. The Pacific Dogwood were just coming into leaf---no blossoms yet. The biggest issues I saw is traffic and the free trams. The segregated lane for buses puts twice as many cars in one lane than a single lane can handle, add to that the propensity of frequent stops due to all sorts of reasons---wildlife, full parking lots, awe struck tourists, etc... and it's a genuine nightmare. The signage is cryptic so at one point, the one way auto only lane becomes a lane for opposite traffic and the trams and cars share the same lane although the signs say different.
    Grid lock in the big city has nothing over Yosemite Valley when it comes to creating stress...errr...Adventure!

    Knowing this, our game plan was to grab the first available parking spot, no matter where, and rely on the free shuttle trams.

    Bad idea!

    With the North side road closed due to construction, the "loop" is more like an "e", so it's quite a bit longer. There is nothing resembling a schedule (this from the Yosemite transportation personnel) so you may have to wait up to 30 minutes (likely) or maybe two trams will show up at the same time and even if they do, it is quite possible there won't be enough vacant seats for everybody in line to board.
    The system is overtaxed and terribly run, IMHO. I shudder to think what it will be like during the high summer season!
    Also the Degnan's building is closed while undergoing an extensive renovation ---not sure when it will reopen but we sure missed the pizza! I'm sure the park employees miss the fortifying beer at Carabiners

    Oh yes, that culvert that washed out during a recent storm closing HWY 41 above Fish Camp has been repaired in both directions.

    That's my report.
    Last edited by John Kasaian; 16-Apr-2017 at 09:43.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    I was in the Valley on April 10 & 11 and experienced modest numbers of people and no undue traffic hassles beyond the ongoing construction and signage issues described just above. The redbuds were coming into flower along the Merced River below the West Entrance, and the waterfalls were gushing pretty good, though I was told that it hasn't been warm enough in the higher country to generate strong snow melt. The condition of the roads in the Valley floor on the north side drive, especially near El Capitan and Bridal Veil Falls area, is atrocious as the NPS has let those stretches deteriorate badly. So I suppose that there will be more reconstruction in those areas in the near future. Overall, the park really needs whatever improvements to its roads AND SIGNAGE that are underway, as painful as the interim might be or visitors.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Humboldt County, CA
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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    Yosemite Valley, as often pointed out by Drew, is a small city. It has an equivilent of a limited tax base, and has tremendous growth restrictions, both natural and legislatively. Winter limits the window of time when construction and repair work can be done -- and is at the height of the visitation rate.

    Yosemite Valley is pushed to the limit -- and has been for decades. It will be a drag, but at some point a car-less (or greatly reduced) policy will have to be implemented.

    I was thinking of hitting the Valley around May 1st. But may just give it a miss and enjoy the beauty around here.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    There is still so much snow still in the mountains I wouldn't be surprised if Tioga opens much later than usual this summer.
    A good thing.

    There is a lot of logging going on to clear out the dead trees threatening roads and camp grounds in the valley.
    Also a good thing.

    More important now than ever, when you make camp in the Sierra this summer, take your hat off first and look up!
    There's an awful lot of widow makers in the forest.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #5

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    San Francisco, CA
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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    Expected date of opening for the Tuolumne Meadows campground is August 1st. No kidding.

  6. #6

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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    Quote Originally Posted by karl french View Post
    Expected date of opening for the Tuolumne Meadows campground is August 1st. No kidding.
    Hmmm.....that means taking the long way around to Virginia Lakes!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    The Merced River crested at 11 ft yesterday
    http://abc30.com/news/high-heat-rapi...alley/1956970/

    Flood warning in Mariposa County
    https://www.google.org/publicalerts/...=US&source=web

    Stay safe out there!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    So Cal
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    18

    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    The Los Angeles Times posted an update on a couple of key Yosemite roads today. Glacier Point Road was set to open today, albeit under snowy conditions. Tioga Pass clearing is moving slowly, about a half mile per day through 6 to 8 feet of wet snowpack.

    http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/...htmlstory.html

  9. #9

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    Re: Yosemite Valley report

    Quote Originally Posted by EarlJam View Post
    The Los Angeles Times posted an update on a couple of key Yosemite roads today. Glacier Point Road was set to open today, albeit under snowy conditions. Tioga Pass clearing is moving slowly, about a half mile per day through 6 to 8 feet of wet snowpack.

    http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/...htmlstory.html
    The road from Merced is said to have reopened as well.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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