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Thread: Yosemite in early April

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Yosemite in early April

    It looks like I will make it to Yosemite with a few friends in early April for a week of shooting.

    How are the crowds at that time of year, and should I book anything ahead of time. We plan to camp.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Yosemite in early April

    It will be gorgeous in the valley. Crowds won't get really nasty until school lets out so you should be OK on that point. Tioga pass is likely to still be closed while the road to Glacier point may or may not be open. The road to Mariposa Grove road should be clear. Note that the spring run-off is very dangerous so exercise caution around the rivers and streams. Bears in Yosemite are well educated and can read and spell words like 'Coleman' and 'Igloo' so campgrounds all have bear boxes. Have Fun!
    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.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Santa Barbara

    Yosemite in early April

    While that is a slower and beautiful time of year there, I would book in advance. The campgrounds do fill up and it is nice to know you have a place to stay before you get there. Campgrounds are pretty nice. Much less hectic than one might expect.

    Here is a link to the online booking service. I will be there last weekend of April. I try to get there one or two weekends every spring.

  4. #4
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Yosemite in early April

    Yosemite in spring can be very busy if the dogwoods are in bloom. Was a time that Mother's Day weekend was one of the busiest. I was there one year for this, about 15 yrs ago, and it was full up. We did get a campsite up at the Wawona area. I liked it. If you know, why not book ahead and make life easy?
    my picture blog

  5. #5

    Yosemite in early April

    Crowds won't be a problem but the road to Glacier Point is frequently closed that early. You can hike up the switchbacks to get there if you want to invest half a day or so.

  6. #6
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Los Angeles, CA

    Yosemite in early April

    Don't worry about the crowds. It will be great.

    Even when there are a lot of people there, it is easy to avoid the crowds. Just go for a walk that is just sort of off the beaten track, and you will be pretty much alone.

  7. #7

    Yosemite in early April

    When I went to yosemitie, about the same time, or a little later than your planned trip. There was still snow on the ground. They wouldn't let me in with my trailer without chains. I went back to the thousand trails and got a spot for a non member. I went up to the gas station and payed $ 130.oo for a set of chains. They were good heavy duty truck chains that would have cost $80-100 anyway. At least I wasn't spending $ 50.00 for a set of cables for a rental car. When I got back to the gate, you didn't need chains anymore.( figures ) The weather was not so good for shooting, but I blasted off a few anyway. Inspiration point was a zoo. As I was coming back over the pass back out of the valley there was a few cars on the side of the road and a ranger. He ask me if I had 4-wheel drive and I said yes and he let me pass. I assume the other cars had to go back and hope for a room at the lodge. That night at the campground it was disturbing to hear the security jeep continually driving around. ( I'm a PTSD vet. One of those guys that sleeps with one eye open) The next day I went over to scout for a spot for the trailer, I pulled into the campground parking lot and saw the ranger out there taking reports for two people there with busted out windows. ( that memory of the security jeep wasn't so disturbing after that ) The weather was still crappy so I said to heck with it and went on to the next destination,Zion. Four memorable days shooting. That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

  8. #8

    Yosemite in early April

    Sounds like a classic trip, John. The security jeep was likely the NPS Wildlife Management folks out on bear patrol. The unlucky couple with the busted windows could have been victims of their own negligence, or like so many, victims of the dummies that preceded them. With millions of visitors each year, the odds are in favor of a few folks screwing up and leaving that partially eaten candy bar in the console. The harried mother. The incredulous youth. Unfortunately, from that point on, it is a downward spiral for the bear.

    While what John Kasaian says about bears reading is not exactly the truth, it sure seems that way. Bears have a keen sense of smell and recognize shapes, including car models. Once they have been rewarded by finding food in a vehicle, they zero in on similar models. Dodge Caravans were popular one year.

    The last big winter snowfall in the valley is often in early April, but even I got snowed on in May a few years back. It makes for some interesting contrasts with green leaves and grass sprouting from the snow and roaring waterfalls dropping out of the clouds. So, as with most high elevation spots, it is best to be prepared for any eventuality.

    And like Dave says, it is easy to get away from people. Just leave the parking lot and head out on a trail. His namesake David Brower used to say that the number of people one encounters in Yosemite decreases by the square of the distance from the parking lot and the cube of the elevation gained. Even so, there are wonderful trails that run the length of the valley that get a dozen hikers at most per day. Any day in Yosemite is special.

  9. #9

    Yosemite in early April

    You can camp at the KOA in MidPines for very cheap. It's about forty miles to the west. Nice folks, hot showers and no worries about bears tearing up your car and all your gear. There's a nice assortment of services nearby. Call ahead to see when they open for the season. The campground there was less than half-full when the Yosemite valley was overflowing.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    California - Silicon Valley

    Yosemite in early April

    Take a look at this site. It lists the current availability of camp sites in Yosemite (and other parks) for the next six months. it is updated every day.

    If you want to camp in the Valley, book now. Some of the weekends in april are close to being full. The offical reservation website is not very user friendly in letting you know what is available.

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