View Full Version : Weather in Yosemite

6-Apr-2010, 17:40
Has anyone been to Yosemite lately I'm going in May and was curious what the waterfalls are like.I think they had a rather mild winter so I'm wondering what the waterfalls are like.

Keith S. Walklet
6-Apr-2010, 20:24
It actually was a pretty good winter at the higher elevations. I was on the phone with the head of guest recreation from calling Badger Pass a couple weeks ago and they had ten feet of snow on the ground and could walk straight off the deck. A tunnel coming up through the snow to the locker room. That's a good snowpack. Another foot or so two nights ago. The falls should be spectacular this year, if temperatures cooperate.

Hung Nguyen
6-Apr-2010, 22:08
Hi ignatiusjk,

My wife and I visited Yosemite on March 19th, and saw the valley waterfalls flowing beautifully. These included: Bridalveil, Horsetail, and Upper/Lower Yosemite Falls. This was during a five hour day trip to the valley floor. The valley was warm, and most of the snow had melted in the valley except for those spots in constant shade. We did not venture out of the valley, so I can not tell you the condition of the waterfalls not visible from the valley floor, but I suspect they are just as nice. According to the National Park Service, the peak time for waterfalls in Yosemite is in May. I have been to Yosemite five times (during Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter), but I have never been there during May. To be sure, the waterfalls I viewed from the valley were all fantastic. This was my wife's first trip there and she loved the views of the waterfalls from the valley...she wants to make a weekend trip to Yosemite again.

On a side note, we took along a 35mm camera with a 50mm lens and found it lacking in coverage for taking pictures of the waterfalls from the base of the falls.

Hope that helps.


Drew Wiley
7-Apr-2010, 13:24
This has been an El Nino year so the weather has been changing rapidly. Don't know about May yet. I was working on my house not far from Yos last week sanding
and painting in a T-shirt for three days. In fact, I got a sunburn. The next two days it
snowed. In other words, be prepared for anything, especially since things can be quite
different from the valley to the rim. There's quite a bit of snow higher up. Even in normal years blizzards can arrive in May. Last year I was in some pretty good ones even in June.

Dave Langendonk
7-Apr-2010, 19:24
I was just there last week, leaving Sunday. The waterfalls were flowing very well already. They just received another significant snowfall Sunday and Monday (12-24" in the higher elevations) so the waterfalls will be really going by May. Good luck with your trip.

Lon Overacker
7-Apr-2010, 22:08
Agreed that the waterfalls will be glorious - and really it's only a matter of degree how glorious depending on the winter snow melt. Even in dry years the falls are wonderful. As already mentioned the weather WILL BE unpredictable. Last year in early May it rained on and off for 3 days - another year, snow over night. Odds are though, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful spring in valley.

The biggest difference actually will be which half of May are you going? Early May you still have dogwood blossoms and the crowds won't have peaked from all the kiddies getting out of school. If you're close to the end of the month - read Memorial weekend, forget it; read a book in El Cap Meadow for the the day. :-)

Have a good time. And no matter how much or how many complain about crowds and cliche's, it's still one of the most wonderful places on the planet.


8-Apr-2010, 08:50
Snow on the ground in the Valley yesterday morning...


(check out Mon. April 5th!)

Jim Graves
13-Apr-2010, 23:17
Both February and March 2010 snow water content surveys were at over 100% of average in both the Merced and Tuolumne River watersheds ... you should have great falls in May.

14-Apr-2010, 01:44
More snow on the Valley floor yesterday!

Rain and even some snow expected off and on over the next couple of weeks. Perfect for my workshop there next week! Don't you just hate those empty cloudless skies?! :D

Drew Wiley
14-Apr-2010, 10:08
Vauhn - not many empty cloudless days this year. Virtually the other extreme. Seems like the last few days the sky has decided to outright empty itself on the earth pretty spectacularly. Gorgeous thunderheads between these meterological temper-tantrums.

14-Apr-2010, 10:25
Drew, I'll tie a rope to my 8x10 and stake the other end into the ground -- at least if it becomes a box kite, I won't lose it!

Drew Wiley
14-Apr-2010, 16:30
Cute Vaughn. But I've been a bit of a chicken lately and have been hiking mostly in wooded areas. That wind has had a bit of a bite up on the ridges.

emo supremo
15-Apr-2010, 06:38
I'm coming up mid May this year, posted a similar thread and have appreciated these comments. Thank you for your responses.

Jim Graves
27-Apr-2010, 21:35
Back from Vaughn's carbon workshop in Yosemite last week. We got about 2" of snow on the valley floor on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was snowing in the higher elevations there today. Falls were running strong. Will be a terrific May for water flow.