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Re: Best time to visit?

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Best time to visit?
March 26, 2011 09:50PM
What month is the best time to visit? When is it the least crowded?
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 26, 2011 09:54PM
Before school is out in the spring and after it starts in the fall.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 26, 2011 10:21PM
Quote
mrcondron
Before school is out in the spring and after it starts in the fall.
That's the best. Summer week days aren't too bad. If it's a holiday weekend - stay home! It could take over 4 hours just to do the Valley Loop - and that is after waiting in line at the entrance gate for an hour or so.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2011 10:22PM by Dave.
Re: Best time to visit?
March 26, 2011 10:22PM
I like going in May and early June. Due to all the snow melting, the rivers are usually at their best then.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 26, 2011 10:57PM
Least Crowed? - in winter when you have to put chains on your car to get into the valley.

Best time to visit? - kind of depends on how you define "Best". What do you like? What do you want out of your visit? Waterfalls? Hiking? Camping? Backpacking? Solitude? Do you want to be around people? Or not see a single person your entire visit?

High flow on the water falls would be late May/early June.
Hiking/Backpacking can be a problem due to snow, high flow streams, lots of water everywhere until the middle of summer so best time would be Aug or Sep. Mosquitoes can also be a problem until then. If you want to see more than the valley, i.e. Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, or Tuolumne Meadows, you have to make sure the roads are open.

There are pros and cons to going at any time of the year. There's always something great to see!
Re: Best time to visit?
March 27, 2011 01:09AM
Well, winter time will be an issue because I prefer hiking and tent camping. I remember going during the 4th once and found the crowds on the trails, toe to toe car driving on the road, smokey valley due to the campfires to be a bit exhausting. Just want to beat the crowd either before or after?
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 27, 2011 01:26AM
Late season then. After school has started up.
late Aug
Sep
Oct

fewer mosquitoes
no snow
all the trails open
the roads are open
no waterfalls
easier stream crossings
watch out for the weather ( early snow storm could ruin a trip! )
watch out for when TM services start closing ( they close early so as to ensure they're out of there before the first snow )

This page will give you an idea of historic open and closing dates for the Tioga and Glacier Point roads.
Tioga and Glacier Point Roads Opening & Closing Dates

An here's another page I just found that mentions approximate open dates for the campgounds ( I'm sure they're VERY approximate )
Campground & Campsite Information



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/2011 01:55AM by qumqats.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 27, 2011 02:44AM
Except if you don't like smoke, September visits can be a problem because that's a time that when Park Service likes to do prescribed burns in some areas of the park, weather permitting, and that can generate a good deal of smoke. And of course, during that time there can be smoke generated by wildfires within the park too.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 27, 2011 02:57AM
Yosemite park is least crowed in December and January.

But the best time to visit Yosemite depends on what you want to do there.

For photography, Late October through early June is best (though there's usually still some good wildflowers blooming in the high country as late as July).

To watch the waterfalls at their peak with manageable crowds, visit the park in mid to late May during the weekdays. But the crowds on weekends in May (outside of Memorial Day weekend) are not really that bad either, but the weekdays are noticeably less crowded.

And avoid visiting the park during any of the summer's holiday weekends (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends).

And hiking in the high country is best in late summer through early autumn (August through early October).

So depending what you want to do, you might want to visit the park in May, or February, or even October.
Re: Best time to visit?
March 27, 2011 12:52PM
I would love to come in May to see all the waterfalls, but I may be too late this year. I may try to plan for an August trip this year and avoid the July crowds. Doing a quick search online last night, I found this site with pros and cons for every month.

http://www.yosemitefun.com/yosemite_best_time_to_visit.htm
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 03:49AM
Quote
DanPJ
I would love to come in May to see all the waterfalls, but I may be too late this year. I may try to plan for an August trip this year and avoid the July crowds. Doing a quick search online last night, I found this site with pros and cons for every month.

http://www.yosemitefun.com/yosemite_best_time_to_visit.htm

It will still be plenty crowded in August as in July. Don't fool yourself thinking otherwise. But it will be drier. Though this year, with the increased snowpack, many falls that normally would be all dried by August might still have some water flowing down.

August is best if you want to hike the high country. But if you want to focus more on Yosemite Valley itself, I think July or late June would be the better summer months.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:52PM
Quote
DanPJ
I would love to come in May to see all the waterfalls, but I may be too late this year. I may try to plan for an August trip this year and avoid the July crowds. Doing a quick search online last night, I found this site with pros and cons for every month.

http://www.yosemitefun.com/yosemite_best_time_to_visit.htm

Most of this is pretty good. Seen it before.

I laugh really hard on these points:
November : backcountry closed
December : stay out of the backcountry



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Best time to visit?
April 23, 2011 04:14PM
Great. I'll be here just in time for the waterfalls!
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 27, 2011 05:19PM
As others said, the best time depends upon what you want and where, within the park, you want to visit. I won't 'dis July-to-mid-August either, because in the high country crowds and mosquitoes tend to coincide with flower season in the alpine areas.

Here's what the first weekend of March looked like:



and...



The next day saw lots of rain on top of that snow, enough to turn the Curry Village area into a soupy mess with lots of stuck people in the parking lot, but not enough to melt all the snow on the Valley floor:



The rest of the images from that weekend are here.


Tom.
Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 01:23PM
Is there a time when there are more wild life encounters? Ie deers, bears, etc.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:02PM
I would say that there is not.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:32PM
You will be surprised at how much wildlife you will see in winter.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:35PM
Quote
chick-on
You will be surprised at how much wildlife you will see in winter.

I keep hearing there are chickens year round...

The bears stay active in winter, some of them anyway. Marmots hibernate. I think deer head into the foothills, mostly. But lots of birds and a few tourists left.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:41PM
Quote
chick-on
You will be surprised at how much wildlife you will see in winter.

Snow makes it a lot easier to see tracks too.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 09:05PM
Quote
Marksm
Is there a time when there are more wild life encounters? Ie deers, bears, etc.

Summer is a good time to see bears. Hang around a Valley campground long enough and you're almost guaranteed to see a bear looking for human-supplied food.

Deer do nothing for me. I see black-tailed deer all the time in my neighborhood.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 02, 2011 01:21AM
There seems to be an overabundant amount of bears in August and September. At night, I would always hear people making loud noises to scare them away.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 02, 2011 11:01AM
There is usually a low supply of food for them then, so they wander into your campsites looking for food :-).
Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:42PM
I've always found winter is great for animals. First week of March I saw both a bobcat and a coyote out in the meadows during the middle of the day.
Re: Best time to visit?
March 28, 2011 07:55PM
If you pick your location and activity according to the calendar, I bet you can have a best time every day of the year! The only bad time to pick is Feb. 29th, since it only comes around once every four years.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 04, 2011 11:49AM
These days, I just see if I can get a campsite and make time to go then. It is so difficult.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
March 31, 2011 04:12PM
I was just in the park 2 days ago. The winter is the only time I ever go into the valley, and the last few days there was the least amount of people I have ever seen there. It was great, we did a little snowshoeing out towards Merced Grove. Also, we drove down to Cherry Lake and did a little snowshoeing there. I couldn't believe how much snow was on the ground there, it was at least 3 feet, if not more.

On the wildlife front, I saw quite a few deer and a bobcat.

Pretty much any time of the year you can find something fun to do.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 01, 2011 11:56PM
I never knew there were bobcats. Are they there only in the winter months? I agree with everyone else here... there is always something to do in Yosemite at any season.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
April 03, 2011 10:34AM
Quote
emc2
I never knew there were bobcats. Are they there only in the winter months?

No, they're around all year.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 04, 2011 10:32AM
Yeah, I have seen them quite a few times. Not as often as bears or deers, but they are around.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 04, 2011 12:58PM
They tend to be out more in the winter as the colder temperatures move them to lower elevations. An employee from the Ansel Adams Gallery said the one I saw had been hanging around the village all winter.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 17, 2011 11:55PM
I've never seen one in Yosemite. I'll have to check an eye out for them next time.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
April 18, 2011 12:17AM
This guy walked right through our camp on Old Big Oak Flat Road trail near the overlook. By the time Bill-e-g got the camera out he had past by so all Bill-e-g got was the going away shot.

Here is the link to the rest of the pics:

https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/CraneCreek#





Old Dude
Re: Best time to visit?
April 18, 2011 02:01PM
Thanks again guys. I am looking forward to go in September. Seems like you really can't go wrong, but I prefer the lesser crowd so it might be a good time for me.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
April 18, 2011 02:48PM
Hey Dan! As a fellow tent camper and someone who camps only in the summer (the life of a teacher) I can tell you that we have been in Yosemite in many stages of the summer, even 4th of July weekend. We park our cars at our campsite and take our bikes everywhere. We rarely have problems with crowds except the Mist Trail, Lower Yosemite, Bridalveil and of course the deli (but the crowds aren't so bad we wouldn't go there). After Nevada Fall meets with the John Muir Trail, the crowds thin significantly. Last July 4th week we did not run into a single person on Four Mile until the top and only after a bus dropped off people who wanted to hike down. We ran into few people on Panorama and Upper Yosemite. So summer is not necessarily a bad time especially when you are camping and hiking in the valley smiling smiley We try to ride our bikes to the trailheads (if bike racks are available) or take the shuttle on its first run to avoid the day crowds and it works very well for us.

I've seen bears in meadows and campgrounds, but my favorite place the find them is in the apple orchard behind the stables (late summer/fall). One August we saw at least one every day we were there and many climbing trees for apples! We have also seen bears and plenty of deer along Tenaya Creek as well. Have fun!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2011 04:24PM by robinjayp.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
April 19, 2011 01:31AM
Quote
robinjayp
. . . snip . . .
I've seen bears in meadows and campgrounds, but my favorite place the find them is in the apple orchard behind the stables (late summer/fall). One August we saw at least one every day we were there and many climbing trees for apples!. . . snip . . .
How long ago was this?
I'm under the impression that the apples on the trees in the orchards in the valley are knocked off and carted away so as to not attract the bears. Although maybe they only do this at Curry Day Use since that's the the location where you'd not want the bears to go. The other orchards are out of the way of people.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
April 20, 2011 06:59PM
It was in the last two to three years I think. Last two trips were in June/early July but when we've been there in late July/August we've had success here. I've never seen them carting away apples though, perhaps this is a new endeavor.
We rarely see people over there, but have seen people gathering at the stables during twilight hours with cameras and chairs. We've seen them go between the orchard and the backpackers camp and sometimes coming directly into the North Pines campground during the day.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 20, 2011 08:37PM
Hmm. I have to keep an eyes around the stables then. I didn't even know there was an apple orchard.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 30, 2011 05:04PM
I'm pretty sure you will run into a bear without making an effort, especially later on in the summer/fall.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 18, 2011 03:19PM
There is a big change in the crowd between June/July/August and September. Even Labor Day weekend, it is must less crowded a little more bearable in the valley.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 22, 2011 01:01PM
I don't think there is ever a bad time to visit. Just do research for whichever season you are going and there will be tons to do. You won't be able to enjoy everything that Yosemite has to offer any one time period, its the collections with the seasons that allow you to experience nature.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 24, 2011 04:47PM
What is there to do when you are rained in?
Re: Best time to visit?
April 26, 2011 08:49AM
For hiking, you can't beat September (AFTER Labor Day until October). Some years you can still hike in November in the High Country. If you're not hiking, May is great because of the waterfalls.
Re: Best time to visit?
April 30, 2011 01:26AM
There are many hiking trails in May too. Heck most are open by June already.
Re: Best time to visit?
May 06, 2011 02:33PM
I found out a friend of mine have reservations for late May, and I am going to join him. The waterfalls will be great I am sure, but will there still be good hiking trails in May?
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
May 07, 2011 03:24PM
Quote
caldrich
The waterfalls will be great I am sure, but will there still be good hiking trails in May?

The Mist Trail should be great if you don't mind getting wet.
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
May 07, 2011 05:34PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
caldrich
The waterfalls will be great I am sure, but will there still be good hiking trails in May?

The Mist Trail should be great if you don't mind getting wet.

with ice cold water.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
May 07, 2011 05:44PM
Quote
mrcondron
with ice cold water.

If you want to be picky...
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
May 07, 2011 05:48PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mrcondron
with ice cold water.

If you want to be picky...

To some of us there is water and then there's ice water. One is fatal.



Old Dude
Re: Best time to visit?
May 09, 2011 09:40AM
Yes, and with the smaller crowds, you won't feel like you are in line at an amusing park during your hikes.
Re: Best time to visit?
May 06, 2011 01:18AM
May to Sept, when is there the least amount of bus, ie mosquitoes?
avatar Re: Best time to visit?
May 07, 2011 03:16PM
Quote
lizzy79
May to Sept, when is there the least amount of bus, ie mosquitoes?

You won't usually find any of those pests in September.
Re: Best time to visit?
May 08, 2011 11:49PM
Great. Good to know. Less bugs and people.
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