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Re: Yosemite in November

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Yosemite in November
July 13, 2006 06:24AM
I'm planning my first visit to Yosemite for the first full week of November this year. We'll be staying at the Yosemite Lodge and plan to be there for a week - doing a lot of day hikes. I have tons of questions. 1 - What is the weather generally like in very early November? A lot of rain? How about snow? I'm hoping not! 2 - I've read that they take down the cables at Half Dome sometime in October, does that depend on weather? Could they potentially still be up in early November? 3 - What about the road to Glacier Point? Is it likely to be closed by that time or does it depend on weather? I'm sure I'll be posting more questions, but I'll just start with these. Any info is appreciated.

avatar Re: Yosemite in November
July 13, 2006 10:48AM
LNM wrote:

> 1 - What is the weather generally like
> in very early November? A lot of rain? How about snow? I'm
> hoping not!

It varies a lot.

2 - I've read that they take down the cables at
> Half Dome sometime in October, does that depend on weather?
> Could they potentially still be up in early November?

The cables are taken down on a schedule designed to avoid foul weather. So I really doubt they'll still be up. But there are plenty of other hikes to do. North Dome would be a good substitute for Half Dome.

> 3 - What
> about the road to Glacier Point? Is it likely to be closed by
> that time or does it depend on weather?

It (and Tioga) close with the first real or predicted snow storm.

Re: Yosemite in November
July 13, 2006 12:15PM
I've climbed half dome with the cables up and down. Now if it's rainy and/or slippery it's dangerous regardless. But in my opinion the climb was actually easier with the cables down. I wouldn't let the cables dictate the hike. Just the weather.

Charlie
Re: Yosemite in November
August 01, 2006 11:04AM
We were in Yosemite for Thanksgiving last year (2005). It rained all day for one of our days. We brought our rain pants and rain coats and hiked to Mirror Lake in the rain anyway. At least you will be staying in the lodge so you can stay dry , we stayed in the Curry Cabins. I doubt you will have snow in the valley .. I don't know too much about snow conditions in the valley, but I don't think snow lasts long in the valley, even though there may be snow at higher eleveations. I think Glacier Point Road also closed that Thanksgiving weekend. Here is an interesting chart of when Tioga Road has opened/closed over the last several years, that should give you a general idea of road closings : http://www.nps.gov/yose/trip/tioga.htm#dates

I suggest hiking to the top of Sentinel Dome from Glacier Point Road.. and to Taft Point if you can. You get a great panoramic view from up there without everything that goes along with Half Dome. If there is snow, be careful of losing the trail to Taft Point, bring a map. Just make sure to acclimate at 4000 feet in the valley for a day before heading up.. you might feel kind of headachey if you go up too fast. Last summer, we hiked Sentinel Dome to Taft Point, we hiked halfway up Yosemite Falls, then then backpacked from Mono Meadow to Half Dome. That was a pretty good way to acclimate to the higher altitudes. The first day we arrived in the valley all I wanted to do was lay around because I felt pretty headachey.. bring the Tylenol! (We live in Oakland at like 0 sea level). Here's some pictures:

http://www.letterknit.com/photos/v/YosJune05/

Re: Yosemite in November
August 01, 2006 12:37PM
Re; the hike up Half Dome - if the cables are down, or even if they are not, and you still want an excellent alternative to this hike, try the walk to the top of Eagle Peak. This gives you a big hike of about 14 miles, with a 3,400 foot elevation gain, a truly commanding viewpoint from the top of the Three Brothers, and the trail all to yourself once you're beyond the top of Yosemite Fall. You will have an easier time doing this hike on a short late fall day as well. Frankly, I prefer the view from Eagle Peak to that from Half Dome - for one thing, from Eagle Peak, Half Dome is visible! Also, good point-blank views of Upper Yosemite Fall, which ought to be flowing a bit by then, and opportunities to walk fairly easy cross-country to the cave at the waterfall's base (!) if the flow isn't too strong.

Be forewarned - we have experienced white-out winter storm conditions in Yosemite Valley (4,000 feet elevation) at Thanksgiviing, so - go prepared!





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Yosemite in November
August 03, 2006 08:02PM
Thanks to all for the information. I made our plane reservations today so it's a done deal. After what I've been reading it looks like we should be prepared for just about any weather - but it sounds like it will be beautiful no matter what. We fly in to Oakland, CA and we are planning on renting a Jeep Cherokee (and getting some chains) and driving straight to the park. According to Mapquest it is about a 3.5 hour drive from the airport. Is that accurate? It looks like 120 is the most direct route, but I've heard the road is a little scary -- is that the best route to take from Oakland?

avatar Re: Yosemite in November
August 04, 2006 12:07AM
With the problems on 140 I'd certainly say 120 is best. But I'm not sure why it'd be considered scary unless you mean Tioga Pass.

Re: Yosemite in November
August 04, 2006 08:35AM
Hi - State Route 120 isn't scary at all, and it is the shortest route anyway - and especially now that 140 is largely unavailable for passage. From Oakland airport, take Interstate 880 south to I-238 (toward Castro Valley and Stockton), I-238 then connects directly to I-580 east at Castro Valley. Stay on I-580 through Livermore and over Altamont Pass, then stay in left lanes as I-580 blends onto I-205 east through Tracy and toward Manteca. You will see signs for Manteca, Sonora and Yosemite soon.

There comes a series of fairly quick highway changes - I-205 to I-5N, then to SR 120E, then SR 120E/SR 99N, then finally to SR 120E at Manteca, all the way to Yosemite. Just keep following the signs.

It is about 3.5 to 4 hours, 185 miles - but may take a bit longer if you encounter heavy traffic during the first 60 - 70 miles (could be a problem from about 2:30 pm to 7:00 pm), and some sections of the road have speed limits well below 65 mph. SR 120 itself is just two lanes most of its distance, but it moves along fairly quickly through interesting scenery. Watch for slower-moving ag vehicles.

I *strongly* recommend keeping near the speed limit and not exceeding it by much if at all. The smaller towns along this route, as well as County sheriffs, patrol these areas and *will* hand out tickets!

In Escalon and Oakdale the road changes directions a couple of times (well-signed, though), and after Oakdale, SR 120 and SR 108 are the same road until a place called "Yosemite Junction" just short of the town of Sonora where you will need to make a 90-degree right to stay on SR 120. After that, no more surprises.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Yosemite in November
October 30, 2006 10:02AM
Well the time has come - I'll be in Yosemite next week. Does anyone know the local forcast? On weather.com it looks like temps in the mid to upper 40's. Does that sound accurate? Any predictions of major snow? Is there any fall color left there or are we too late? Are many waterfalls running? Are there free shuttles that go outside the valley - to trail heads like at Glacier Pt or Tuolome Meadow? Or would we just drive our own vehicle? How far is it to Mariposa Grove - is it worth a trip there? Did I hear there were prescribed burns going on there? Have any roads been closed for the winter? Any info is appreciated - what to avoid, what not to miss. I'll be there a week - hoteling it in the valley and doing day hikes.

THANKS

avatar Re: Yosemite in November
October 30, 2006 10:43AM
LNM wrote:

> On weather.com it looks like
> temps in the mid to upper 40's. Does that sound accurate?

It'll probably be in the 60's to 70's for the Valley and down into the 30's
at night.

> predictions of major snow?

The only storm being forecast appears to be staying north of Yosemite.

> Is there any fall color left there
> or are we too late?

You might find some at the lower altitudes.

> Are many waterfalls running?

Some are but not with high flows.

> Are there
> free shuttles that go outside the valley - to trail heads like
> at Glacier Pt or Tuolome Meadow? Or would we just drive our
> own vehicle?

AFAIK you'll have to drive.

> How far is it to Mariposa Grove

It's all the way to the south entrance.

>- is it worth a trip there?

Have you seen a Sequoia before?

> Did I hear there were prescribed burns going on
> there?

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/fire1006.htm

> Have any roads been closed for the winter?

Not yet. They'll stay open until a major storm.

Re: Yosemite in November
October 30, 2006 12:06PM
Lots of good info from eeek and Bruce, so I don't have that much to
add.

120 is the best route from the north and west. Do obey speed
restrictions and limit your speed on Priest Grade. If you do that
you should be just fine.

The weather has been pretty nice. You should plan to dress in
layers and be prepared for anything from 30-80 degrees.

There are shuttle buses running in the valley. There are buses
to Tuolumne and Glacier Point, but I don't think they are free.
They may not be year round.

You asked about things to see and waterfalls. Yosemite Falls is
dry. Vernal and Nevada falls run year round. As of 10/21 Bridalveil
Falls was still active.

If you can get a shuttle to Glacier Point, and you are a good hiker,
Panorama Trail is an option. It is a long haul, but worth it! Bring
a camera and lots of film/memory cards! Also bring a rain shell or
waterproof jacket. It takes you from Glacier Point down past
Nevada and Vernal Falls. Awesome views. Bring lunch and lots
of water. Early start mandatory.

If you can't get that bus, you'll want to hike those falls from the valley.
The free shuttle stop is Happy Isles.

I suggest buying a good book of hikes. There are many of them.
If you don't have one when you arrive you can purchase one at
the Visitor Center store in the valley. I like Jeff Schaffer's books,
but reading them you may be disappointed that you can't hike
that many trails before you leave!

Other 'don't misses': view from Wawona Tunnel (or Inspiration Point),
views of El Capitan, and a visit to the Ahwahnee Hotel. Best time to
view the valley is just before sunset.
avatar Re: Yosemite in November
October 30, 2006 09:35PM
RobE wrote:

> Other 'don't misses': view from Wawona Tunnel

If you can get yourself up early, it can be quite nice in the early
morning:

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php?g2_itemId=189

Re: Yosemite in November
November 04, 2006 08:11AM
Have you been to this website before?
http://yosemitefun.com/
Re: Yosemite in November
November 16, 2006 09:14PM
Just wanted to put in a post to thank everyone for the info they provided. It was very helpful. We all had a fabulous time in Yosemite last week. The weather was perfect - almost too warm on some days. The Saturday we left was the day they started getting snow. We were able to get to Mariposa Grove, up to Glacier Point, out Tioga road as far the Porcupine Creek Trailhead and even up to Hetch Hetchy. We practically had the trails to ourselves, and we still a few waterfalls (although not 'gushing') and even a couple wildflowers. All in all I think it's a great time to visit the park.

For the record - I think the 'scary' part of 120 that someone had metioned is probably the switchbacks at Priest Grade. I could see where some people might be a little unnerved ... I was glad I wasn't driving, but I'm a wimp about that sort of thing.
avatar Re: Yosemite in November
November 26, 2006 07:53PM
LNM wrote:

> out Tioga road as far the Porcupine Creek Trailhead

If you went that far, you should have gone on to Tenaya Lake at least. Oh, well.

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