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Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit

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Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 15, 2006 03:12AM
Hi everyone,

We're planning to visit Yosemite 1st time in January 2007. We will rent a van from Las Vegas and drive to Yosemite. For my understanding, all vehicles need to carry chains into the Park. As we will return the rental van in San Francisco, how can we hire the chains rather than buying pair of them?


Many thanks


John
Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 15, 2006 09:04AM
John, you should be aware that it is a LONG drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite in January - Tioga Pass Road is closed that time of year, and your choices will be either through Tehachapi Pass and up through Bakersfield and Fresno (preferred), or up US 95 or US 395 to another road over the Sierra - either SR 50 or I-80 - and then down SR 49 to SR 120. Either way, you're looking at more than 500 miles, IIRC, in potentially adverse weather. Don't let this stop you - Yosemite in winter is a special treasure.

To be honest, I have used cables rather than chains the last 20 years or so because they are easier to install and remove. They are more compact as well, and weigh less. I'd get those. As far as vans go, if you are talking about a minivan, also be aware that front-wheel drive versions of these vehicles leave a bit to be desired when going in snow - if you load them up, the rear gets too heavy, and even with chains/cables the traction from the front is sometimes not enough. If you can get an all-wheel drive version of a van, that would be very helpful. Either that, or a big 4WD SUV that can carry what you need (in which case chains will not be necessary, but still advisable).

Cables are not real expensive, and renting them may cost almost as much as buying them. Whatever you decide, the best of luck to you, and have a great time in Paradise!





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 17, 2006 02:08PM
Some years ago, I rented an SUV in Los Vegas in order to visit the Grand Canyon.

The taxes on the rental car were almost as high as the rental fee! Hundreds of dollars!

It was not disclosed as part of the reservations. You have to ask specifically.

Please check this out before you make your plans. You may want to fly in somewhere else.

Rob
Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 18, 2006 07:54AM
Thanks Bruce & Rob!

We will stay in Merced over night before taking the trip into Yosemite the next morning.

Or, if we might be better of taking a bus with Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) into the park?


'The taxes on the rental car were almost as high as the rental fee! Hundreds of dollars! It was not disclosed as part of the reservations.'

Yes! Rob you are right!! -> For rental, we will go for alamo or thrifty. All price are listing on their web site including insurence.

Some web sites I found useful for me:
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/yosemitenationalpark/
http://www.nps.gov/yose/
http://www.yosemitepark.com/


Have a nice weekend...


:-)
avatar Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 18, 2006 11:22AM
John_Oz wrote:

> We will stay in Merced over night before taking the trip into
> Yosemite the next morning.

Make sure you check on the condition of highway 140 before you try heading in that way.

Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 18, 2006 06:02PM
John Oz wrote:

>We will stay in Merced over night before taking the trip into Yosemite the >next morning.

>Or, if we might be better of taking a bus with Yosemite Area Regional >Transportation System (YARTS) into the park?

In January, the park is less crowded. Drive in yourself.
I don't know if the shuttle buses are even running in winter. In any
event, you will not waste time waiting around in the cold for the bus.

Regarding the question of snow chains, here are my thoughts.

There may or may not be snow. In the Sierras, there are snow storms which
are followed by warmer weather. Snow is cleared quickly from the roads.
You will need chains if driving while snow or ice is on the roadway.

Highway 140 follows the Merced River. It is very flat, a former railroad
right of way. That is the route least likely to require chains into Yosemite.

Four wheel drive or AWD cars generally do not require chains in
California. The only exception is ... Yosemite National Park. The
rangers there tend to be sticklers for this.

Since you will have a rental car, I would follow the weather and make
a decision on buying chains as late as possible. You can purchase them
at any auto parts store. Rentals are often available in a pinch.

I still have some chains that I purchased on a trip some years ago for a
rental car.

Rob
avatar Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 18, 2006 09:43PM
The shuttles do run in winter but the service is much more limited.

Re: Hire Tire chains for Winter Visit
August 19, 2006 12:32AM
Thanks for your help,


Then we will drive our retal car all way up to the Yosemite.
We will rent or buy pair of chains for the trip in Merced.
We just need to give away the chains to the local fire brigade by the end of the trip.


See you in the Yosemite...


:-)
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