View Full Version : No snow in Yosemite

17-Jan-2015, 17:49
I just looked at a Yosemite webcam and there's no snow in Yosemite.Even the higher elavations looks like there's no snow what gives??I was thinking about going to Yosemite in Feb but if there's no snow why go.Has anybody been there lately??

John Kasaian
17-Jan-2015, 18:39
Yosemite Valley is only 4,000' or so in elevation so it only rarely has snow even when the snow pack is good at higher elevations. Far more troubling is the lack of snow in total. it looks like it's going to be a very bad year indeed. Get ready to pay a lot for groceries. Head for the Rockies or the Cascades if you want snow.
OTOH, Yosemite Valley in February will be free of crowds. I think one of the coldest nights I've spent camping was in Yosemite Valley in February---the cold is very humid, sinks into the Valley and goes straight to the bones----I think it is actually more comfortable camping at a higher elevation, even in the snow, than in Yosemite Valley in the Winter (even the native tribe would migrate down to the foothills in the Winter.

17-Jan-2015, 19:03
Why go? Because it is still Yosemite...and without crowds! I like the end of February -- usually good weather.

17-Jan-2015, 20:11
From past experience, I've seen many warm and sunny days in Yosemite Valley in January, and not just during drought years. One of my fondest memories was climbing on Reeds Pinnacle one warm and sunny January day and looking down on the backs of a pair of Golden Eagles floating over the canyon below.

Typically, the lower elevations of the Sierra West Side see their snow during February and March, so the OP may want to keep an eye out and be ready to head up there on short notice when a big, cold storm is in the offing.

Why go? Because it is still Yosemite...and without crowds!



17-Jan-2015, 20:16
I just got back from a trip that included Mammoth Lakes/June Lake/ Lee Vining. I was shocked how little snow there was over all. Bryce Canyon got it all.
I moved there in the 1980 winter. This year it looks like 1980. Many of the back roads were open due to a lack of snow so there was a good aspect to it.
The pass however was closed, obviously.

Jon Shiu
17-Jan-2015, 21:18
Has been warm winter. May even hit 70 degrees in a week or so.


18-Jan-2015, 07:03
Why go? Because it is still Yosemite...and without crowds!

Yes, indeed, and a different Yosemite than what most see in photos. Different atmosphere entirely. There is something striking about a vast and intimidating snow-free, Yosemite. Austere comes to mind.

Drew Wiley
19-Jan-2015, 10:11
Those Ansel-Adamesque postcardy snow scenes on the Valley floor are more the exception than the rule. It's hard to predict what will happen this Spring. We just had our wettest Fall on record, but driest January. The Spring snows haven't begun yet, but these tend to be wetter and warmer, so generally are not going to be fluffy powder snow at lower elevations, and will melt off faster. Of course, you can get some lovely snow in the shaded crevices up on the cliffs, and on the distant
peaks. And some Spring storms can be relatively cold. But there's a reason that chance has favored those who have either lived in Yos Valley itself or someplace nearby.

John Kasaian
19-Jan-2015, 10:39
I'll be up there in March to get my Lifetime Senior National Parks pass! :cool:

Drew Wiley
19-Jan-2015, 10:59
Congrats! Yosemite is an expensive pass, and it's certainly nice to have free access to all Fed venues. There's a pretty substantial discount even to most official FS campsites. My next big move will be retirement, making it easy to slide into the park mid-week when traffic is low. The only problem with that is avoiding rush hour on the freeway on the way back, and of course, this time of year, avoiding the tule fog across the Central Valley. But as early Spring soon arrives, I'm more interested in the hill country anyway. Most people just blindly rush past that on the the way to Yosemite. But to me, it's the main draw photographically, and not Yosemite Valley itself. But there are quite a few off-trail micro-hikes I'd like to take. Even in a place like that, solitude is easy to find. Kings Canyon is more on the radar for extended backpacking this year; but it always deserves a fair amount of conditioning in advance.