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Thread: Sierras in April

  1. #1

    Sierras in April

    My wife and I are thinking about going to California for our yearly trip. Turns out that since she's going to a conference in San Diego the first two weeks of April, I might go right after it is over, rent a car and drive around CA for a week.

    I am thinking of visiting Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yoshua Tree. This is just a list of things that interest us. We've never been there before , but I assume that in the upper elevations there's still a lot of snow and roads might not open till May. That said, we'd still like to try to get as close as possible, do a bit of hiking (the cold/snow doesn't bother us) and of course try to get some photos.

    I'd love some pointers on these places and others that might be recommended.

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic
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    Re: Sierras in April

    Quote Originally Posted by vanguardist View Post
    My wife and I are thinking about going to California for our yearly trip. Turns out that since she's going to a conference in San Diego the first two weeks of April, I might go right after it is over, rent a car and drive around CA for a week.

    I am thinking of visiting Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yoshua Tree. This is just a list of things that interest us. We've never been there before , but I assume that in the upper elevations there's still a lot of snow and roads might not open till May. That said, we'd still like to try to get as close as possible, do a bit of hiking (the cold/snow doesn't bother us) and of course try to get some photos.

    I'd love some pointers on these places and others that might be recommended.
    Joshua Tree NP, absolutely. Wonderful place to be with an LF camera. Should be wildflowers blooming in April. You can spend a week there no problem.

    Sequoia will likely be very cold in April. I was there in mid-June 2005 there was still snow on the ground and it was below freezing most mornings.

    Yosemite valley will be opened but that's probably all. The road to Glacier Point will likely be snowed under and the Tioga Road will certainly be closed. In 2005 it didn't open until early July. Depending on the snowfall and the weather the water falls may be ramping up in April.

    If it were me, I'd hit Joshua Tree. Then if I felt I wanted to see other places, I'd go into Arizona. Maybe Sedona, maybe down to Organ Pipe. Lovely places all. Then again, maybe north into Death Valley NP although it may be getting pretty warm there in April.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: Sierras in April

    Bruce's idea regarding J-Tree is excellent. You might also consider a tour up US 395 on the Sierra East Side. The area from Lone Pine in the south to Mono Lake in the north is sublime. There are many opportunities for photography, ranging from high desert to vistas of the Sierra, along with many creeks and riparian habitat. Sunrise from the Alabama Hills (Lone Pine) on the Mount Whitney Sierra is not to be missed. There are also many hiking trails that are opening up during April.

    Enjoy your trip to CA!

    -PB
    Last edited by Preston; 20-Dec-2007 at 08:30. Reason: Spelling is not my strong suit :-)
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  4. #4

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    Re: Sierras in April

    April in Yosemite Valley should have the waterfalls cooking nicely and would be a fine time to see them in thier glory. Of course that means you'll need reservations too as you can expect a lot of other visitors coming to see the falls as well. April should be relatively mosquito free---they come out in force as the spring progresses! The higher elevations (Tioga Passs, maybe Glacier Point) would most likely be closed but who knows for sure? Mariposa Grove should be open though.

    Kings Canyon and Sequoia are always nice.

    Other places to see are the Gold Rush country (lots of fun wineries!) Lake Tahoe/Desolation Wilderness and of course the coast line. If there is stll plenty of snow, you might consider the "other side" of the sierras on 395 if you have the time---lots of rugged snow capped peaks and alpine valleys right off the highway (I'm thinking Mammoth, June Lake and of course Mono) plus you've got some desert locations you can "hit" on the way up from Southern Ca.

    Have a great trip!

    For accomodations in Yosmite Valley try the tent cabins at either Camp Curry or the House Keeping Camp (Camp #!6) if you're on a budget, or try to get a cabin at Curry for more $$.

    BTW, The Ansel Adams Gallery in YNP stocks 4x5 film as does Horn's Photo in Fresno.

    In San Diego, there is plenty to see. Try to catch a performance of "Triple Espresso" at the Horton Grand Theater in the Gas Light district for a hilarious evening. San Diego also has a very fine maritime museum worth checking out, as well as a couple of old Spanish Missions within a short drive.
    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.

  5. #5

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    Re: Sierras in April

    If you're in the general vicinity of Lone Pine you should spend at least a day at the Alabama Hills, right outside Lone Pine. That's one of my favorite areas and April should be nice weather. Mono Lake is also nearby. It doesn't do much for me but a lot of people like it.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. #6
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Sierras in April

    Give yourself some flexibility. I was in Joshua Tree two years ago and it was so very hot and dry. Then I was there again this April and it snowed about 4".
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Sierras in April

    I've heard you can snowshoe out to Glacier Point in Yosemite. Sounds like fun!

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Sierras in April

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    I've heard you can snowshoe out to Glacier Point in Yosemite. Sounds like fun!

    Jon
    Not so much 'out', as 'up'

  9. #9
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Sierras in April

    I guess Badger Pass to Dewey Point would be more practical:
    http://www.outdoordb.org/index.php?t...ia_Badger_Pass

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  10. #10

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    Re: Sierras in April

    April at Badger Pass might well be mud shoe season
    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.

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