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How's the valley during the week right now?

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How's the valley during the week right now?
August 24, 2011 05:55AM
Got a friend up in Lee Vining trying to decide if they should head to the valley today or just stay on the east side, he asked me about crowds. Anyone been to the valley lately during the week and know about crowds?
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 24, 2011 08:39AM
I was there on Friday. It looked crowded to me. Swarms of bicyclers and kids. The shuttle from Happy Isles was standing room only. But the Tioga Road parking spaces were all full also. All the trailheads had cars parked in the lots and on the roads. On Tuesday, in order to get a spot in the JMT trailhead parking lot, I was there at 6am and got the last space.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 24, 2011 02:49PM
We went down to the Valley around 2 pm last Friday and was very surprised that unlike the past few visits this summer, there were no traffic jams and we could find parking when we went to Curry, the Village, the Ahwahnee and Yosemite Lodge. I don't know what the shuttles were like because we were bad and drove around since we were just stopping by and the main reason we were in the Valley was to have dinner. When we were at the Ahwahnee there was only 8 other people in the Great Room around 4 pm. We went to the Mountain Room around 5:30 for dinner and it did not start filling up until almost 7 pm. "Mom" must have been there at a different time and in different places than we were.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 24, 2011 05:34PM
True. I got to the Valley around 6pm. Friday. I did not see any traffic jams. By the time we got to dinner at the Curry buffet, it was not crowded. But Curry Village before that time seemed like an ant hill. People milling everywhere, lots of kids on bicycles. And my definition of 'crowded' may be less lenient than yours, especially after having blissful days of seeing very few people on the trails. I am to the point where I avoid the Valley when I visit Yosemite. It seems as though the people that hang out in the valley are rafting, biking, eating ice cream and pizza, playing music too loud, talking on their cell phones, and not even noticing where they are. It's just a whole different type than at Tuolumne or at the HSCamps.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 24, 2011 08:19PM
The Valley Floor in August is always crowded, unless it's at 5:00 am. I did Four Mile Trail to Nevada Falls and back on Monday. I started at 5:30 am and saw no one until I was on my way back. Then when I got to the car at the trailhead on the Valley Floor it was total hell. Just to go from there and circle around until the fork going to Crane Flat took 1 hour. The same drive in October would take 10-12 minutes.
avatar Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 25, 2011 02:41AM
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Ulysses61

The Valley Floor in August is always crowded, unless it's at 5:00 am. I did Four Mile Trail to Nevada Falls and back on Monday. I started at 5:30 am and saw no one until I was on my way back. Then when I got to the car at the trailhead on the Valley Floor it was total hell. Just to go from there and circle around until the fork going to Crane Flat took 1 hour. The same drive in October would take 10-12 minutes.


A tip for those hiking up and down the Four Mile Trail in the summer and would like to avoid the massive bottleneck between Yosemite Village and the Yosemite Lodge on Northside Drive. Instead of parking your vehicle at the Four Mile trailhead pullout, park your vehicle at the Yosemite Lodge auxiliary parking lot at the very westend of the Yosemite Lodge property (located beyond the maintenance facilities buildings). Occasionally this auxiliary lot is closed off or has some temporary construction equipment stored there, but more often than not is open for day-use parking.

This auxiliary parking lot is located very near to the bike path/paved trail from the Yosemite Lodge to Swinging Bridge and is a very easy 10 to 12 minute walk to and from the Four Mile Trail trailhead. This auxiliary parking lot is also close by to the Upper Yosemite Fall trailhead.

By parking at this lot, you'll be able to avoid the bulk of the traffic jams associated with Yosemite Valley after you return from your hike on the Four MIle Trail, and exit the Valley in a more timely manner.
avatar Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 26, 2011 06:11PM
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Ulysses61
The Valley Floor in August is always crowded, unless it's at 5:00 am.

Not really.

2:33 PM, a few people but hardly crowded:

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/sh-dscn4234.jpg.html

11:57 AM, nobody in sight:

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/cm-dsc_0048.jpg.html

4:06 PM, Camp 4 pretty much empty:

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/sh-dsc_0142.jpg.html
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 24, 2011 08:47PM
I guess not crowded was a relative term based on the last two trips when we had gone down to the Valley, got stuck in traffic jams and it took us over an hour to go from the Sentinel Picnic area to Swinging bridge, there was no parking to be found anywhere and you could not walk anywhere without tons of people around. Friday we only went to Curry to go to the Mountain Store there and did not go further into the area but I can say that this was the most crowded of all the places that we had been that day. Can't understand why there was so few people in the Ahwahnee but it could have been the time we went.

I agree that the visitors to the Valley can be different than what you see at T. Meadows and I have always wondered if it is because of T. Meadows not being developed like the Valley and it appeals to more of the hiker types. I also have friends who are not used to mountain roads and find the Tioga Rd to be daunting.

This is the first time that we have gone up in the summer so it has been an eye opener for us with all of the crowds and traffic jams.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 25, 2011 01:45PM
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parklover
Can't understand why there was so few people in the Ahwahnee ...

Perhaps because it's so expensive?? We went there for dinner on our last night. Great meal, amazing building, and very peaceful. It was fun to dress up one night and pretend we could afford to stay there. We observed the dining room took some time to fill, and our reservations were for 7 PM. We presumed it was that the Europeans had late reservations. In Paris if we ate at 7 PM we had the restaurant to ourselves, but by 10 PM they were packed. The young women with unbelievable short mini skirts at the next table looked very European.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 25, 2011 03:26PM
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Brewer
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parklover
Can't understand why there was so few people in the Ahwahnee ...

Perhaps because it's so expensive?? We went there for dinner on our last night. Great meal, amazing building, and very peaceful. It was fun to dress up one night and pretend we could afford to stay there. We observed the dining room took some time to fill, and our reservations were for 7 PM. We presumed it was that the Europeans had late reservations. In Paris if we ate at 7 PM we had the restaurant to ourselves, but by 10 PM they were packed. The young women with unbelievable short mini skirts at the next table looked very European.

I was talking more about the common areas where non guests can go to. No matter what time of the year we go, the Great Room and other common areas have a lot of people in them and sometimes it is hard to find a place to sit. This time there was only a few people at the lounge area near the sweetshop and the patios, two people in the Mural Room and around 8 in the Great Room. The sitting area near the restaurant, solarium and the Winter Room were empty. Each time we go, we try to make a visit to the Ahwahnee just to sit in the Great Room and look at the architecture. This time we were lucky and the pianist was there playing the grand piano.

Glad you had a great meal in such a beautiful setting. We have not eaten dinner at the Ahwahnee for years but occasionally have lunch in the dining room and snacks in the bar. They have relaxed the dress code at dinner a bit. When we had dinner there the first time in the late 80's the men had to wear suits with ties and the women dresses with stockings. I can remember the struggle of putting pantyhose on while in our tent and trying to walk to the shuttle stop in heels. The staff would ask people to leave if they were not dressed to code. I am not much of a dress wearer so I am now happy that you can go to dinner in nice slacks and a blouse.

I just hope that the girls did not try the Mist Trail in those short skirts. LOL We have seen girls in mini skirts and heels trying to go up the trail.
avatar Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 26, 2011 06:02PM
I came through yesterday morning just enough to catch Wawona Road heading towards Fresno (and then on to Kings Canyon). There were people around but it wasn't terrible. Still had trouble with cars waiting to turn left into the Bridal Veil parking lot (NPS, please do something about this!) but got through in about a minute.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 27, 2011 07:16AM
Nice shots EEEK, can you walk across the river under Swinging bridge yet?
avatar Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 27, 2011 09:46AM
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hotrod4x5
Nice shots EEEK, can you walk across the river under Swinging bridge yet?

Didn't make it up that way on this trip.
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 28, 2011 01:14AM
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eeek
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hotrod4x5
Nice shots EEEK, can you walk across the river under Swinging bridge yet?

Didn't make it up that way on this trip.
Oh, I thought that was it in your photo, which bridge is that?
Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 28, 2011 07:51AM
That's the Swinging Bridge, alright, but it ain't August. But the general gist is true.
Walk 100 yards in any direction from any road or path and you will find relative solitude.
avatar Re: How's the valley during the week right now?
August 28, 2011 11:03AM
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hotrod4x5
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eeek
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hotrod4x5
Nice shots EEEK, can you walk across the river under Swinging bridge yet?

Didn't make it up that way on this trip.
Oh, I thought that was it in your photo, which bridge is that?

It is Swinging Bridge. But not from this last trip.
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