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Re: Yosemite Valley still packed

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avatar Yosemite Valley still packed
July 31, 2011 04:01PM
i took a drive (2 1/2 hrs for me) to Yosemite Valley this last monday... i couldn't sleep at home, i was awake at 3:30 am, so i decided what the heck, i'll just leave early, so i was on the road by 3:55 am. lol

i got to the valley by 6:30 am, not a soul around the park anywhere (except for campers)... all the parking lots were empty... only workers were driving on the roads... but man! by 11:30 am, you could NOT find a parking space ANY WHERE!! lol i was shocked at how fast people came, it just happened lickity split!!

i stayed there until about 4 pm, and then started my drive home... i know school is still out for a lot of people, but i was still very surprised at how crowded the valley was even this time of year.

everything still green, and plenty of water... very very pretty this time of year.
avatar Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
July 31, 2011 04:06PM
I was camping at Upper Pines and got up way before my friend did. Went to Tunnel View and had it to myself:


http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/p4210020.jpg.html
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
July 31, 2011 04:09PM
I was there a few weeks ago, in the morning we could do what ever we could. By the afternoon, we were glad that we were riding bicycles because you could not drive on the road to save your life. We checkout out a day early, so we could leave in the morning with no traffic.
avatar Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
July 31, 2011 04:15PM
On that last fee free day I had to go down to the Valley to pickup a friend that was hiking from the quarry. The traffic was backed up to Curry from Lower Yosemite Falls and a good number of people where cheating via the shuttle bus lane by the old River campgrounds.
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
July 31, 2011 04:18PM
I get whined at by the hiking group sometimes for the early departures from Fresno, but the payoff is only dealing with traffic one way.

Yesterday we parked at 7 am and had most pullouts and viewpoints on the way in (sunrise!) to ourselves. Going out the traffic was as usual bumper to bumper trying to get past the village and the lodge and go home. Fortunately it was moving - sometimes it doesn't move at all. And I was a bit cheesed off by jerks who parked with their cars sticking out into the bus lane - OMG, what twits! the bus couldn't get around them and there was a solid line in the right lane so the shuttle was stuck in traffic too.
avatar Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 01, 2011 11:20PM
Two Thursdays past, we left Orange County at 5:30 am and in line at the gate by 10:30. Normally we would be at out campsite in another hour, but we had to wait at the kiosk for 30 minutes to pay! Arrived at our campsite by noon. Never had that happen before (the wait that is)! Part of our group came on Sunday and the wait at the entrance was over an hour at 11:00 am! And when they got to the valley, they were stuck for another half hour. We did see the traffic jams along the bike route from the village all the way to Curry Village. The Mist Trail was overly crowded as well. We ran into moms with small children who were petrified with the crowds and wet steps they encountered. They discouraged a mom traveling with us, so we took the kids to Happy Isles, where no one was at! A few in our group went up to Vernal and back and were grateful the kids didn't go. Way too crowded. But is was a Saturday, so our fault for picking a weekend day. But wow!

Curry eateries were more crowded than I've seen as well, but the Loft was not. Shhh.. don't tell anyone I said that.
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 12:33AM
We were pretty dissapointed with the Loft this last time. Both our pizzas were over done. I noticed they use an conveyor belt oven, I guess the belt was running slow that night.
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 04:57AM
Can't wait for my birthday trip in early November. Peaceful solitude and no line at the Curry Coffee Corner!
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 08:11AM
Did anyone have trouble getting into the Tioga Pass entrance on the weekend...traffic? (I am providing a shuttle for JMT hikers and don't have the luxury of early entrance to the patk...)


Very crowded at Mosquito Flat yesterday (everyone is not in Yosemite.) Parking was full all the way to the lowest overflow area. And it was Monday.

Hard to get gas on Sunday in Bishop. Just lots of people out and about.
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 05:14PM
Quote
hikerchick395
Did anyone have trouble getting into the Tioga Pass entrance on the weekend...traffic? (I am providing a shuttle for JMT hikers and don't have the luxury of early entrance to the patk...)


Very crowded at Mosquito Flat yesterday (everyone is not in Yosemite.) Parking was full all the way to the lowest overflow area. And it was Monday.

Hard to get gas on Sunday in Bishop. Just lots of people out and about.
We left via Tioga on Friday about 11 and there was at least 20 cars waiting to go in. They had exit line closed and were bringing cars in on both sides while we waited to exit.
Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 07:20PM
It's the height of summer. Why wouldn't you expect the Valley Floor to be packed? The Valley Floor is basically packed from June to mid-September. It's a huge reason I vastly prefer the Touloumne Meadows area. smiling smiley
avatar Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 10:09PM
According to my memory and my summer visits over the years, this is the worst I have ever seen it. I've visited during 4th of July week many times, as well as in June and August and yes it gets crowded, but not so that it impacts staying overnight in the valley. The hoards of people clambering for position on the Mist Trail during my visit last week were unbelievable! I teach (when I actually have a job that is) and the summer is the only time I can go camping. We take our bikes and rarely run into people on the bike trails, trail heads, etc. We see the traffic backed up between 4 and 6 pm, but that is usually it. This year the stores were packed, the trailheads were packed, the bike paths were full of people and the shuttles were so packed that the drivers kept yelling for people to move back (and since many don't speak English couldn't/didn't understand or comply). We saw people turned away at many of the shuttle stops due to crowding and spoke with some hikers who had to wait for three shuttles to go by before they could get on. And where we normally could just ride our bikes, we had to maneuver around groups of people just standing there. I don't mind sharing, but this happened most where the bike path is bikes only and the foot path goes a different direction (by Yosemite Falls).

I felt so bad for the people seated under me while standing on the shuttle bus after my Upper Yosemite Falls hike. We were in there like sardines and smelled like it to. Yikes!!

But I still will go smiling smiley Best vacation I've had in a very long time!!! Yes the crowds are frustrating and annoying, but Yosemite is worth it!
avatar Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 10:38PM
I think this year Yosemite has been extra crowded for several reasons. Not only because of the obvious, a great year for waterfall viewing, but because the previous several years were so lacklaster because of the semi-drought and warm springs which resulted in early snowmelt and lackluster waterfalls, especially by late June and July. Plus I think a good number of people postponed going to Yosemite in 2009 and 2010 because of the very bad economy.

So you have all this pent up demand of people who might not have gone for several years because of the economy plus so-so waterfalls, plus one of the best years on record for waterfall viewing, and voilĂ : record crowds at the park.



Leave No Trace
avatar Re: Yosemite Valley still packed
August 02, 2011 10:47PM
Good observations! We actually had a two week trip to Hawaii planned, but due to the economy and job issues, "settled" for just camping in Yosemite. Let's see, the sites are $140 for a week (which we split with another family), two and a half tanks of gas, and food (which we normally buy). We didn't need any new camping gear, so this vacation was a very inexpensive yet rewarding trip. Throw in a few beers, mallows and a souvenir or two, we vacationed for one week for under $500 (very high estimate).

And I don't feel bad about cancelling Hawaii at all!!! smiling smiley
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