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Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?

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Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 03, 2009 07:16PM
What are some of the great spots for watching sunsets or gazing at the stars in Yosemite? Is Sentinel dome good at night? The trail isn't too far from parking and seems like a good spot.
Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 03, 2009 08:14PM
I haven't actually been to Sentinel Dome myself, but the view is 360 degrees and the elevation is 8,122 feet, which should make it oustanding for stargazing. The higher you go, generally the more stars you can see. Even Palomar Mountain in southern California presents an astonishing array of stars and that's only 6,140 feet. So Sentinel Dome seems like it would be a perfect place for stargazing and meteor shower watching.
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 03, 2009 09:54PM
Devils Dance Floor - 6800' One mile south of Tamarack Flat Camp Ground. You can camp at Devils Dance Floor.
Quarter Domes - 8280' Short hop from Clouds Rest.
Mt Watkins - 8500' Short three miles from Olmstead Point
Clouds Rest - 9960" One short day in from Tenaya Lake

All these places give a 360 view except Quarter Domes. At Quarter Domes you still get plenty of sky viewing but you also get a view of Half Dome, the face of Clouds Rest, and up Tenaya Canyon all from one spot.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 03, 2009 10:31PM
Camping at Cathedral Lake was good too.
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 09:30AM
Sentinel Dome is great for a Sunset.
Try to go there on a full moon. Really nice. Good idea to bring a flashlight...
Of course Glacier Pt. has pretty much the same view... smiling smiley

Stargazing... that'd be just about anywhere...
Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 04:11PM
looks like the first full moon will be on the date we arrive - what luck! can't wait for this..
Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 11:04AM
One night last October I stopped at the tunnel view on the way back from some day hiking at TM. It was about 11 PM and there was not a single car in the parking lot (they had just opened the "new Tunnel View" parking lot/viewing area. It was a new moon. The view was completely different yet still almost overbearing. You could see the outlines of El Cap and the other landmarks only by the lack of stars where the rocks blocked the sky, and the hugeness seemed almost amplified. You could also see little flashes of light from the climbers on the wall of El Cap. It was almost spooky being there totally alone. Very cool, and also very cold (temperature, that is).
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 11:47AM
I don't particularly like hiking at night. However - it's not too bad if you're backpacking and find a good spot to stargaze. It might get a little difficult because of the tree cover unless you can find a meadow or clearing.

I find that almost anywhere (even Yosemite Valley) can be an incredible spot to see the stars on a clear night. There's just so little "light pollution" because the population density isn't like your typical urban/suburban setting and because the street/building lighting is at highly reduced levels.

Now I'd think one of the best places to view the stars on a clear night would be Mauna Kea. Just bring a jacket. A few weeks ago I was at the top of Haleakala. I heard that could be an incredible place to watch the sun rise right out of the clouds (wasn't there long enough to check out a sunrise), but they've also got some observatories there at a place called Science City.
Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 12:16PM
Quote
y_p_w

Now I'd think one of the best places to view the stars on a clear night would be Mauna Kea. Just bring a jacket. A few weeks ago I was at the top of Haleakala. I heard that could be an incredible place to watch the sun rise right out of the clouds (wasn't there long enough to check out a sunrise), but they've also got some observatories there at a place called Science City.


Is that the volcano on Maui?
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 12:45PM
Quote
Twagner
Quote
y_p_w

Now I'd think one of the best places to view the stars on a clear night would be Mauna Kea. Just bring a jacket. A few weeks ago I was at the top of Haleakala. I heard that could be an incredible place to watch the sun rise right out of the clouds (wasn't there long enough to check out a sunrise), but they've also got some observatories there at a place called Science City.


Is that the volcano on Maui?

Yep. It was rather cloudy and the crater at the top (10,000 ft elevation) looks almost like the moon.

I saw busloads of tourists up there wearing warm weather clothing (shorts, tank tops, aloha shirts, short sleeves) like they were still on the beach. It was maybe about low 50's Fahrenheit and a lot of people were crossing their arms trying to stay warm. I was still wearing my shorts, but since we drove straight from the airport we had all our stuff. I usually wear a jacket around my waist because it's easier than trying to pack already stuffed luggage.
Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 12:50PM
I went there last Christmas. I got to see the sunrise from the summit and it was absolutely amazing. The sun rises from behind the clouds and you feel like you are in some other world at the time. I then biked the way down and stopped at this amazing restaraunt with stunning views, I think the name of it was Kula Lodge & Restaurant. It was freezing at the top, but it was worth every shiver.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2009 12:50PM by Twagner.
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 01:09PM
Quote
Twagner
I went there last Christmas. I got to see the sunrise from the summit and it was absolutely amazing. The sun rises from behind the clouds and you feel like you are in some other world at the time. I then biked the way down and stopped at this amazing restaraunt with stunning views, I think the name of it was Kula Lodge & Restaurant. It was freezing at the top, but it was worth every shiver.

Welcome to the coldest place on Maui. Altitude makes a huge difference. grinning smiley

I heard the park superintendent put a stop to commercial downhill bike outfitters starting their bike "launches" in Haleakala NP after three deaths in 2007. Apparently they can take tourists to the summit or visitor center, but the bike starting point has to be outside of the park boundaries. I saw a lot of people riding outside the park boundaries, with the outfitters providing full-face BMX -style helmets. If if you bring the bike up yourself, I think the starting point can be anywhere. I'm thinking the thin air up there can also impair judgment to some degree - so one needs to be careful.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20071008/ap_tr_ge/travel_brief_haleakala
http://www.nps.gov/hale/parkmgmt/bikesafety.htm
Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 01:17PM
Hey. Reading the title, I was thinking I'd hear about the night life in Yosemite. What a disappointment! wink

Quote
y_p_w
Now I'd think one of the best places to view the stars on a clear night would be Mauna Kea.

No doubt. There are more than a few telescopes up there. Big 'uns.

When I was up there, I was on a tour, and there was no stargazing on the agenda. I did see a nice sunset, though.
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 05:16PM
I was there a few years ago and got the halo effect. The sun was just getting low enough and there was just the right mist in the crater. Have pictures somewhere but in my dotage/leisure time I might not remember to look for it.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite at night - best spots?
May 04, 2009 05:19PM
Mike.... you are slightly mistaken.

That was the halo around my head you got a picture of. Angel
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