Yosemite- Tell me about it?
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Nov 7, 2012 1:37 PM Last Post By: nutraxfornerves
Nov 6, 2012 12:06 PM
Yosemite- Tell me about it?Hi
I'm planning to go to Yosemite next year. I have read the web sites, but the best info comes from the people that have done it.
1) Is it better to go in Spring or Autumn
2) I'm hoping to be staying in Mammoth. On the map it looks close, but is it really a good position
3) How much time would I need to to get a reasonable taste of what Yosemite has to offer
Nov 6, 2012 12:13 PM
11) It depends on your goals. The falls are better in spring, but the hiking is better in autumn.
2) Not really. It's a 2 hour drive or so to the valley, where you'll likely spend most of your time. Oh, and that drive is closed in the spring.
Stay in the park if you can.
3) At minimum: two days in spring, three in autumn (because the higher elevations are open).
Nov 6, 2012 2:14 PM
2It does depend on what you mean by "spring." Most years, the falls are at their best in May and early June, when the high elevation snow begins to melt. You can do a number of hikes in the Yosemite Valley area, although some areas may be icy.
If you are thinking earlier--March or April, it will still be a bit wintery. I've even run into snow in early May.
August will be warm to hot, depending on the elevation. There may be late afternoon thunderstorms, but no steady rain. Many of the falls will have dried up, as well as a lot of vegetation. Especially in Yosemite Valley, it will be very crowded. Don't expect to be able to get a campsite, unless you are incredibly lucky. Other lodging can be booked a year in advance and should be booked as soon as you know your dates. The high country, though, is definitely worth a visit.
I agree that Mammoth would be a terrible place to stay. If you think you can't afford to stay in the park, there are better options on the west side. There is a hostel and motels at all sorts of prices.
Another consideration for "how many days" has to to with what time of day you will be arriving. If you are, say driving from Las Vegas and arriving in the evening, then one night and part of the next day won't be enough. If you are arriving in Yosemite at 10 in the morning, then you'll have much more time to explore.
Nov 6, 2012 2:25 PM
Nov 6, 2012 3:06 PM
Nov 6, 2012 3:22 PM
5The change in the seasons is perhaps the best time to go, say April-May or September-October is about the best time to go, it can get very hot in summer and thunderstorms do happen at that time of year.
It is a beautiful part of the world, and seeing it is the highlight of my time living in the US for a time, as John Muir wrote famously in one of his travel journels 'I am off to the back woods, and i only take a few things with me, some tea and sugar some bread and not much else, but i'm taking a book by Emerson, and the noble beauty of the park that i see should also help with my sustenance'.
Nov 6, 2012 6:16 PM
6The John Muir Trail stretches from Mammoth at Red's Meadow to Yosemite Valley, if you really want to get the maximum highlights of Yosemite National Park. I trekked the route in August and attempted to ski tour it in March, but there were heavy avalanche conditions at that time.
If you go to Yosemite in March for the waterfalls, there may be cross-country skiing available out of Badger Pass area, or snow-shoeing on a guided ranger-led tour. There are shuttlebuses from the Valley up to Badger Pass. If it is icy, some of the trails out of the Valley on the north-facing side will be closed. The scenery is spectacular trimmed in snow.
It would be a long drive between Mammoth and Yosemite Valley before the Tioga Pass Road opens after Memorial Day of May 31st -- you would need to drive north to South Lake Tahoe, Highway #50, to cross over the Sierra Nevada to the west side.
Nov 6, 2012 10:21 PM
7Spring(May/earlyJune) is beautiful and the falls have more water. Autumn(September/early October) is also beautiful. Both times are cooler than summer. I love both times. Do not stay in Mammoth, stay in the valley if you can still get a campsite or a tent in curry village. I lived, worked and climbed in the valley for almost a year on two separate occasions and never really felt like I saw and experienced everything. Stay as long as you can.
Nov 7, 2012 7:42 AM
8Your first visit to Yosemite Valley should be in May to experience the magnicent falls and river at full flow. That means that you have to plan your trip on the western side of the Sierra and can not stay in Mammoth .
In July & August you can stay in Mammoth and take YARTS to Tuolumne Meadows and to Yosemite Valley,
For a very scenic day hike , get off YARTS at the Porcupine Creek trailhead ,walk out to the summit of North Dome for the spetacular view of Half Dome & Tenaya Canyon ,hike west to the tip of Yosemite Falls ,hike down to the Valley for lunch and take YARTS back to Mammoth.
Fall and winter visits to the Valley & Tuolumne are very interesting too.
Have a great trip !
Nov 7, 2012 8:27 AM
9In the late 1800’s or early 1900’s a college-educated chemist went blind in an industrial accident. When He regained his sight he decided that “all that money stuff” didn’t matter so much to him and he wanted to use two, now good again, eyes, to see the earth’s beauty.
He walked from Georgia or South Carolina to the gulf coast. (wrote a book about it).
He pretty much walked from there to the west coast (wrote a book about that too.)
Then he went to Yosemite. He said in effect “this place is special, this place must be saved,” his books became popular and he founded the worldwide idea of national parks.
Could it get any better?
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Nov 7, 2012 8:35 AM
Nov 7, 2012 8:55 AM
11The "college-educated chemist" was John Muir. He wasn't a chemist. He had two years of college, studying botany & geology among other things. He dropped out to go to Canada as a draft dodger in the Civil War. He did temporarily lose his sight in an industrial accident.
He walked from Indiana to Florida in 1867, then took a ship for California, where he fell in love with Yosemite. He championed the cause of making Yosemite a national park and also lobbied for creation of other parks, such as Rainier & the Grand Canyon.
Muir had a lot of influence and was able to arrange to take President T. Roosevelt camping in Yosemite in 1903.
Roosevelt became a real proponent of national parks & established 5 of them.
Yosemite was sort of the first national park. In 1864, Congress passed a law preserving Yosemite, but it was left under state control. Yellowstone was created as the first national park in 1872. Yosemite became a full-fledged national park in 1890, but didn't include Yosemite Valley & the Mariposa Giant Sequoia grove until Roosevelt got them. added.
Muir Woods is named for John Muir.
Nov 7, 2012 9:34 AM
12Roosevelt was already involved in the preservation of Yellowstone by the time he took that trip with Muir. I see it less as convincing the president to create parks as convincing him where the parks should be.
Further, even though the first national park was founded in 1872, preservation discussions had been occurring since the 1830s, at least.
xHot Springs, in AR, was protected by federal law in 1832, six years before Muir was born.
So again, I think calling him the founder of "the worldwide idea of national parks" is anachronistic.
He was certainly a major proponent though.
Nov 7, 2012 1:00 PM
Nov 7, 2012 1:04 PM
14End May in Yosemite was beautiful - the sun was out and it was chilly only in the early mornings and late nights. There are many options to stay west of the park, one suggestion is Hotel Jeffrey in Coulterville (a one-road town with character). It is a 1.5 hr drive to the park though. The waterfalls are full and flowing in this season and dry up by end of summer (Aug-Sep). Weather was perfect for hikes and walks around the valley. No idea about all the back country stuff though, didn't have time to explore those!
Two days are good for the valley only (if not hiking much). Three if you want to do half dome (check permits). Four if you want to do more hikes (Upper Yosemite Falls etc.) More if you are the back country type and want to explore those areas as well.
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