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Re: Yosemite Trip Report

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avatar Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 01:28AM
Hi, haven't posted in a while (I visit a lot but don't usually post), but wanted to share my experience from last week. High of 50, lows in mid 30s. No real snow in the valley. Some patchy areas and icy streams. Biggest patch of snow was in Housekeeping camp by the water.

Stayed in Curry Village in a cabin without bath. If you are thinking of this route, don't. There are only 14 cabins without bath left and they are in the Boystown area. All of the other hard-sided cabins are on the other side of Curry Village. If It seems they forgot to clean the cabins and change the sheets for the holidays so I was glad I brought my sleeping bag. It was surprising quiet in the evenings through. Had a few visits from a large group of raccoons. They were on the roofs of the hard-sided cabins looking for food.
Oh, and the shower houses now have combination locks on them (they didn't over the summer or at least the one I used didn't). I ever stayed here again, I would definitely get the cabin with bath. The shower house showers were so small! They seemed tiny compared to the main shower house.

If I had know that the weather conditions were like we experienced, I would have tent camped. Walked through the campground at night and saw a lot of people tent camping. I almost regretted staying in Curry (until the blast of heat hit me when we returned to our cabin for the evening). Completely doable for a car tent camper such as myself.

The only food option open in Curry Village is pizza. It is not bad, but not something I want to eat more than once in a trip. The deli was the next closest place open this time of year, but they close at 5:00 just like in the summer. We purchased sandwiches a lot and put them in the cooler until we were ready. Still a great sandwich and the best value for my money in the valley. We also made the trek to the Lodge for the food court. It was so crowded there but the food was okay. I don't think they were prepared for the holiday crowds. They were selling s'more kits in the lounge and many families were roasting marshmallows in the fireplace there.

As for activities: Hiked Vernal/Nevada via the Mist Trail. No real issues with snow/ice. Very cool to see the falls partially frozen. Didn't need anything other than our hiking boots. Wore lightweight moisture wicking pants/tops with a fleece jacket. Very comfortable.

Walked parts of the valley loop trail. Tried to go routes that we haven't been before. Pleasant and not too many people out and about. Lower Yosemite Falls trail was the most crowded place in the Valley. It was flowing slightly above a garden hose but the top was partially iced over. Walked back to Mirror Lake which was frozen over in many places. Unusually quiet there and very beautiful.

Ventured out on Tioga to Tenaya lake. Walked across in Yak Traks. We ran into many people who came up from Mammoth because the conditions there weren't great. Saw lots of ice skaters, some pulling dogs on sleds others pulling kids. A few people playing hockey. Rangers posted lots of signs warning people not to go on the ice. Went to the Tuolumne Meadows campground and hiked back through there. Saw some animal tracks, but no animals were out except the birds. Walked back on the frozen Tuolumne River which was super cool. On our way out, some people who had been out at Tenaya Lake decided to ice skate on the river there. It actually seemed more stable than the lake. Very serene and not a lot of people out hiking.

Drove up to Glacier Point as well. There was an area about half way up where people decided to do some sledding since Badger Pass still wasn't open. It was an open area and there was plenty of room for cars to park. This was the only place that had an incline and enough snow to play that I noticed. One couple kept sending their dog down on a sled. Comical! Wanted to hike to Sentinel Dome from the trailhead, but packed with too many cars. We drove up to Glacier point and hiked in that way. A little snow/ice, but nothing regular hiking boots couldn't do. Great views but there was way more snow in the backcountry last July. No services were available at Glacier Point and it didn't seem that the restrooms were being serviced regularly either.

Only animals we saw were raccoons, coyotes, mule deer and squirrels.

Just wanted to share in case anyone was interested. I have read so many great trip reports from so many people here and wanted to make my small contribution! We also knew in advance about Tioga Pass and Glacier Point road being open because of this forum, and were able to plan accordingly.

So thank you very much for helping make our trip extremely enjoyable!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2012 03:32PM by robinjayp.
avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 07:22AM
Berry nice

At 7400 ft. - Sunday night... it got down to 40 degrees...

Global Warming anyone?



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 12:22PM
Quote
robinjayp

Wanted to hike to Sentinel Dome from the trailhead, but packed with too many cars. We drove up to Glacier point and hiked in that way.

Just an FYI. If the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point parking lot is all full, you can travel about 1/4-1/2 mile farther down Glacier Point Road and park on the right, across from the now-gated Sentinel Dome spur road, and then hike up this maintenance road to Sentinel Dome (this is the same road that the official Sentinel Dome trail joins and travels along about 3/4 miles from its trailhead parking area. It's actually the quickest way up to Sentinel Dome from Glacier Point Road, a lot shorter hike than hiking the Pohono Trail from Glacier Point.



avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 03:20PM
Thanks for the trail info Plawrence! Saw the road and a service truck on it during the hike. Ran into a group that had started following the service road but wanted to get to Taft Point. Not sure if it was open as a ranger had told me it wasn't when I check a few days before. The sign was on the actual trail and they missed it.

Parklover - we were there Thursday as well. We were there before the ranger and when we left the signs were then in place. Did you happen to catch the dad playing hockey while pulling his two kids on sleds! Comical! There were a few people doing figure 8s and a few jumps but a lot of people on skate! They valley wasn't crowded really, it is just that the limited services that were open made it frustrating. The food court had no tables available and only one lady was clearing the tables. So basically people were standing behind you while you ate waiting to jump on any open seat.

Oh and the valley had plastic discs and sleds for sale around $20 I think. We had brought some heavy duty disc boogie sled things from home and a few people offered to buy them off of us when we were leaving. They were Christmas presents so I couldn't part with them.

Hotrod - The locks on the shower houses looked new. They gave you a four digit code at check in. Last July I hate to say I used one and it did not have a lock. Went to the main shower house and the line was too long. I had just finished HD and needed to get clean ASAP. So I snuck in. There is also a student group that now has one of the shower houses as well as a student store in Boystown.

Great trip! Can't wait to try for a campsite this summer!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2012 03:31PM by robinjayp.
avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 06:01PM
Quote
robinjayp

The valley wasn't crowded really, it is just that the limited services that were open made it frustrating.

That's the annoying thing about visiting Yosemite Valley during the offseason – very limited dining options. And it's usually too cold to have a nice picnic outdoors. More frustrating is that Degnan's Loft IS OPEN during the off-season, but ONLY for Park Service and DNC employees. Huh... It's make you feel like you're a second class citizen in even in your tax-dollar supported and entry-fee paid National Park.
Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 07:00PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
robinjayp

The valley wasn't crowded really, it is just that the limited services that were open made it frustrating.

That's the annoying thing about visiting Yosemite Valley during the offseason – very limited dining options. And it's usually too cold to have a nice picnic outdoors. More frustrating is that Degnan's Loft IS OPEN during the off-season, but ONLY for Park Service and DNC employees. Huh... It's make you feel like you're a second class citizen in even in your tax-dollar supported and entry-fee paid National Park.


Quote
robinjayp
The only food option open in Curry Village is pizza.

Maybe you missed this part of the post. Curry Village pizza is the best!

SaveCurryPizza
avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 08:04PM
Hmmm...your Save Curry Pizza URL causes my ISP's DNS to present a page offering Totino's "Pizza"[sic] and Domino's "Pizza"[sic], in order. Please try to do better.

Actually on topic...

1) Just before the solstice (Happy Festivus!) I stayed at a heated tent cabin, and was given a shower building combination which was totally unnecessary in the main WC/Shower facility. Does this only apply if I want to use an outlying facility of some sort, or have things changed in the last two weeks?

2) I found Curry Village Pizza passable, I wouldn't rave but wouldn't denounce either.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2012 08:05PM by ttilley.
Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 12:40PM
Quote
robinjayp

Ventured out on Tioga to Tenaya lake. Walked across in Yak Traks. We ran into many people who came up from Mammoth because the conditions there weren't great. Saw lots of ice skaters, some pulling dogs on sleds others pulling kids. A few people playing hockey. Rangers posted lots of signs warning people not to go on the ice. Went to the Tuolumne Meadows campground and hiked back through there. Saw some animal tracks, but no animals were out except the birds. Walked back on the frozen Tuolumne River which was super cool. On our way out, some people who had been out at Tenaya Lake decided to ice skate on the river there. It actually seemed more stable than the lake. Very serene and not a lot of people out hiking.
!

Glad to hear that you had a good trip.

What day were you at Tenaya Lake? We were there on Thursday afternoon. It was while we were there that the rangers came and posted the warning signs. We did not have any thing on our feet except regular hiking boots but they worked fine if you walked slowly. The front part of my soles near the toes are fairly smooth so I did what I called "boot skating". I really envy the people who were able to skate. There was one speed skater there that really got going fast. We did not go on the T River but did cross on the ice on Yosemite Creek at the picnic area up there. It was quite an experience being on the ice at Tenaya Lake, probably a once in a life time thing so I am glad that we went there.

We did not spend much time in the Valley during the main part of the day when we were there so we never got to see if it was crowded.
Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 01:41PM
Good to know about the showers being locked. I guess the days of free showers at Curry are over! (unless of course you are staying there)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2012 01:42PM by hotrod4x5.
avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 03, 2012 08:57PM
We used the showerhouses out by Boystown which all required codes. Didn't use the main showerhouse this trip so I don't know about that.

I found the Curry pizza good but not great. The Dengan's pizza is much better in my opinion. I agree it is frustrating that they are closed during the winter. In the past they were open for employees but didn't see they were open this year. One night it was open but for a private party only. I don't eat pizza often these days but when I do I want it to be worth it!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2012 09:14PM by robinjayp.
avatar Re: Yosemite Trip Report
January 04, 2012 12:42AM
Quote
robinjayp

I found the Curry pizza good but not great.

That would be my assessment too.

Quote

The Dengan's pizza is much better in my opinion

I think Degnan's Loft pizza is better than Curry's, but not a whole lot better. Both are good though, a lot better than some other food options available in Yosemite Valley. But it would be nice to have an option of eating a pizza, or one of their salads (which are also excellent) in the Loft that sports a nice fireplace to boot, than being squeezed into a corner of the Curry Dining Hall scarfing down the Curry Pizza.


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