View Full Version : Back from Yosemite Valley

John Kasaian
12-Oct-2009, 19:59
We spent 2 nights. The water is low---Yosmite Falls is practically dry, Bridlevail Falls is still bravely soldiering on, but just.
The Pacific Dogwood has just started turning yellow and there are some nice trails which "tunnel" beneath the foliage between Stoneman Bridge and Yosemite Village.
Expect some long delays if you're driving up Hwy 41 in Chiquinpin where the Glacier Point road joins 41.

The bats where putting on quite a show over the Merced river at dusk, apparently eating skeeters (but we weren't being eaten---in fact we didn't even bring mosquito repellant this trip---skeeters weren't an issue which is to be expecting during autumn. Perhaps the bats were on a training mission?)

In the canyon at the entrance to the Valley the river is quite low and offers some pretty cool abstracts with all the exposed boulders formed (or tortured?) by the water.

Very little wildlife were observed. We saw lots of hungry squirrels and a few does but nothing with antlers or big claws.

Oh yeah, the ice cream counter at Degnan's is closed for the season :(

All in all a great getaway though. It always is! :D

David Karp
12-Oct-2009, 20:22
Always beautiful. Sounds like a great couple of days.

Jim Fitzgerald
12-Oct-2009, 20:48
John, I was in Yosemite valley on Thursday morning coming in from Tioga pass. The high country was nice. Still ice and snow from the storm a week ago on Sunday when they closed the pass. Found some great 8x10 and 11x14 shots. When I got to the valley floor I was amazed to find that camp 4 was full! October and it was full? First time that has happened. I was very low on funds so I broke out the 11x14 and shot a couple of images of the black oaks to continue my series on them, spent what little money I had left on diner at the Yosemite lodge and headed home about 7pm. It was great to be in the valley again. I did notice what I think were a lot of Europeans in camp 4 and in the valley. It was like I was in a foreign land. Nice to see so many different faces enjoying one of the most beautiful places on earth.


Tom Schaefer
12-Oct-2009, 21:18
I was out there last Oct can't wait to get back.
A little different than south Florida.
But I still love south florida


shadow images
12-Oct-2009, 21:36
Just spent last sun-thur there. We got caught in the seasons first snow fall. No bears but every other kind of wild life was abundant. Will probably go back same time next year.

12-Oct-2009, 22:15
The Merced will be rollin' and Yosemite Falls will be roaring when the system that is poised off the coast this evening rolls in.

You fellas' back east will be getting it too!


12-Oct-2009, 22:22
I am considering over-nighting in Yosemite Valley around Nov 21st on our way to southern CA. With the stops required by having 3 twelve year old boys, it takes almost 11 hours to get there...and then a similar distance to our final destination.

The other choice is to head due east and hit Hwy 395 north of Reno and drive south that way eventually to Hwy 15. The advantage of Hwy 395 (if we do like last year), is that we can camp the first night in Lee Vining Canyon and the second night in the Alabama Hills.

I can usually sneak in a couple photos in with the 8x10 in the Alabama Hills the afternoon we get there...and perhaps one in the morning before my boys get hungry.

These options add 100 to 150 miles to the trip, but it is all about the journey.


Drew Wiley
13-Oct-2009, 10:31
It is entirely possible that today's storm will close Tioga Pass for the season. Although
it is a relatively warm storm, it will still dump a lot of snow in the high country. Not a
light snow like last weekend. The park sometimes closes the pass arbitrarily without
informing Caltrans, so anyone planning to head that way should do their homework.
Also likely that the other high passes like Sonora, Monitor, and Kaiser will close.

Curt Palm
13-Oct-2009, 10:57
the parks website lists tioga pass as currently closed. i couldn't tell if they had decided if it was for the season or not

13-Oct-2009, 12:12
The Seasonal road condition page has not been updated, so maybe it will reopen. We'll see....


shadow images
13-Oct-2009, 22:43
Current road conditions can be found at 209-372-0200. This is in park road info.

Jim Graves
14-Oct-2009, 20:27
Actually, today's webcam of Tioga Pass showed a very nicely cleared road. This storm was wet but very warm. I'm betting it reopens in the next day or two.

14-Oct-2009, 21:14
Our local news said today that Tioga will likely open on Thursday 10/15. Sonora and Ebbets passes are still closed, with no dates given.


Keith S. Walklet
15-Oct-2009, 19:55
Tioga Road is open. About six inches of snow from 8,000 and above. Autumn color from Bishop north.

Keith S. Walklet
16-Oct-2009, 14:36
Always amazed to see what one storm will do for the falls and river in the Valley! Yosemite and Bridalveil are flowing at early March levels and the river is up. The big leaf maple on the south side of the valley is providing most of the color. The park is bustling with activity, and the parking lots are full.

Interesting also to see where the snow still hasn't melted. The Mono Craters are frosted nicely, as are the main peaks on the south side of Lee Vining Canyon, Mammoth Peak, and the higher ridges of the Cathedral Range.

As for the pass itself, Ellery Lake was gorgeous this morning. Lee Vining Canyon's aspen leaves are about 50% changed, though not in patches, but more uniformly distributed change. Dana Meadows was solid white with snow while Tuolumne Meadows had mostly melted. Some surface ice in the smaller ponds.

Whoa Nellie Deli, Nicely's and Latte Da are still open for business. Plenty of rooms last night in Lee Vining, but bookings are tighter for the weekend.

16-Oct-2009, 16:33
Sonora Pass has also reopened.

Keith, thanks for the info. I'm headed to The Valley on Thursday and will be there through early evening on Saturday.


Drew Wiley
16-Oct-2009, 18:47
Think I'll head up next weekend to work on the roof and water lines. Hope this goes
quickly so I have a day or two of photography too. But more likely to go toward
Sequoia/Kings, simply because there's a lot less traffic than Yosemite, even though
my property is about equidistant between them. I can see the Ritter Range from the
end of my road, which will no doubt have fresh snow.