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Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?

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Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 05:41AM
Hi everybody

I'm going to Yosemite Valley in a week from now and I need some advice.

I'm a European going on holiday to California and it is my first trip to Yosemite. The plan is to rent a car in San Diego and driving around California - and one of the stops will be in Yosemite Valley. However, I'm a bit unsure about which driving conditions to expect at this time of the year. As I said, I'll be driving a rental car, so I'm guessing that it'll only have the normal tires and no chains. On www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm I can see that Hwy 41/120/140 are all open, but that I should carry tire chains in case it got mandatory. I'm only planning on visiting the Valley and perhaps Mariposa Grove. How is the snow clearance normally in these areas? Could it become a problem that I don't have tire chains here in late March? How would you advice me to prepare?

Regards, Niels
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 06:43AM
Getting around the valley and using HWY 140 you rarely need chains, only after a very cold snowfall. HWY 41 often requires chains following a snow storm for several days, if not longer. If you are just winging the itinerary, keep an eye on the weather, and don't go following a storm, or when one is looming.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 07:38AM
I would ask the rental company if they can throw in a set of chains just in case. Often cars are required to carry chains. You don't have to put them on, just have them in the car. There is a storm coming in this weekend that will bring snow to Yosemite, but that should be cleared by the time you get here.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 11:26AM
Buy them from a chain store, like Auto Zone, Pep Boys, etc. Ask about their return policy. Usually, if unopened, unused, you can return them.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 08:52AM
This time of the year you are required to carry chain even if there are no storms in the forecast. I suggest that you go to http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/chains.htm for clairification on carrying chains. Be aware that occasionally you will be asked if you have chains. Once we had to show them.

This time of the year they do not plow the road so you will not be able to drive to Mariposa Grove. You will have to hike from the parking lot at the hwy 41 entrance. I believe it is two miles and that showshoes are suggested. There are two other Sequoia grove in the park, Merced and Tuolumne. Both are located on hwy 120 near Crane Flat and the hwy is plowed after storms. I have not been to Tuolumne Grove but have been to the Merced Grove. Merced Grove is a 3 mile round trip hike and on the way back you have a to go back up a hill which is a 600 feet gain. I have never done this in the winter so I don't know what it is like. Maybe someone here can tell you about hiking there in the winter.

Even if you have to go through the effort of getting chains, going to Yosemite is an experience that no one should miss. IMO if you have only one place you can go on a California visit, it would be Yosemite. Please post if you need any suggestions on what to do. How long will you be in the park?
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 09:04AM
We've camped in the Valley at this time of the year for the past 4 years. The attached picture of our campsite was taken on 3/31/2010. We went to bed with raindrops 'falling on our heads', and woke up to the 'silence' of snow and a winter wonderland. Fortunately we weren't leaving until the next day, because although my truck has 4 wheel drive I do not have chains for the trailer.

We are going back there again this year beginning on April 1st.

Steve

Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 09:51AM
We once set up our tent in a snow storm and it was the third week of May. The snow melted quickly and the next day it was in the high 60's. Like the saying goes: " In the mountains if you don't like the weather then wait 5 minutes."
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 09:59AM
Quote
calberry
We've camped in the Valley at this time of the year for the past 4 years. The attached picture of our campsite was taken on 3/31/2010. We went to bed with raindrops 'falling on our heads', and woke up to the 'silence' of snow and a winter wonderland. Fortunately we weren't leaving until the next day, because although my truck has 4 wheel drive I do not have chains for the trailer.

We are going back there again this year beginning on April 1st.

Steve


that's what happened last year in May.

Buddy and I went for the weekend and rain was in the forecast for Sat night/Sunday. I drove up in my old Altima and it was 80 degrees on Friday and was a beautiful spring day.

Sat night we go to sleep and hear the rain pounding on the tent all night. Wake up around 7 to silence, open the tent and it's a white winter, as it's snowing.

My Altima is covered in snow, I have no chains, so we roll the dice and decide to book it before it starts to come down heavy again since more was on the forecast. Start going up the 41 and the snow is getting deeper and deeper until it gets to the point where I have to follow the tracks of the SUV in front of me. The car would start skidding every time I would veer off the tracks a bit and I was trying to not stop as I would get stuck in the snow the moment I would stop.

We finally come upon traffic where there was a trailer stuck in the snow. They got some help in getting their truck going and the traffic started moving again as my friend gave me a push out of the snow. Then a little further up there was an accident, which blocked traffic both directions and which also didn't allow the snow plow to get through. A ranger comes from the other side and tells everybody to turn around and take the 140 out of the park. She was shocked that the majority of the cars/trucks stuck up there had no chains.



So, yes, twas was a stupid thing to do, but was an interesting adventure.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2012 09:59AM by sactown23.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 11:54AM
Quote
sactown23

My Altima is covered in snow, I have no chains, so we roll the dice and decide to book it before it starts to come down heavy again since more was on the forecast. Start going up the 41 and the snow is getting deeper and deeper until it gets to the point where I have to follow the tracks of the SUV in front of me. The car would start skidding every time I would veer off the tracks a bit and I was trying to not stop as I would get stuck in the snow the moment I would stop.

We finally come upon traffic where there was a trailer stuck in the snow. They got some help in getting their truck going and the traffic started moving again as my friend gave me a push out of the snow. Then a little further up there was an accident, which blocked traffic both directions and which also didn't allow the snow plow to get through. A ranger comes from the other side and tells everybody to turn around and take the 140 out of the park.

Yup, good advice. If you're hightailing out of Yosemite Valley to avoid additional snow (and don't want to put on, or don't have, chains) ALWAYS take Hwy 140 out of the valley. Always.
.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 11:58AM
There are several Napa auto part stores in Fresno and also one in Coarsegold and Oakhurst. I would give them a call once you get to San Diego and ask about getting snow chains. They would have to know what kind of car you are renting to get the correct size. Sometimes places that sell chains will allow you to return them if you did not use them. Cables are an option to chains and sometimes are less expensive.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 09:52AM
You should also call the road conditions phone line at 209.372.0200 and then press 1 and then 1 again. (You can press them in rapid succession after the call connects). That is the up-to-date road information line which changes as the road conditions change. A few terms to know when calling that number.

R0 - No restrictions
R1 - Snow tires required, otherwise chains required (most cars have snow tires. You easily check by looking at the side and look for SM standing for 'Snow and Mud')
R2 - Chains required, unless you have 4WD or AWD
R3 - Chains required for everyone
R4 - Road closed
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 09:54PM
Quote
buster
R1 - Snow tires required, otherwise chains required (most cars have snow tires. You easily check by looking at the side and look for SM standing for 'Snow and Mud')

And must have chains with you.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 11:13PM
I think most, if not all of of us, are saying "chains" and meaning "cables or chains".

I've never even considered using chains, I've always used cables. They're cheaper, easier to put on, and work just as well.

Actual chains I think are mainly used on larger vehicles.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 24, 2012 09:04AM
Quote
qumqats
I think most, if not all of of us, are saying "chains" and meaning "cables or chains".

I've never even considered using chains, I've always used cables. They're cheaper, easier to put on, and work just as well.

Actual chains I think are mainly used on larger vehicles.


We had chains for our old SUV. As luck would have it, when we got a new SUV the tire sizes were different so we bought cables because they are cheaper. In all the years that we have been going to Yosemite in the winter we have been lucky that the conditions only was 4WD with snow tires so we never have used either of them. Good thing since both my husband and I come from states where studded winter tires are used and we have never put on chains. I have seen cars with chains on.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2012 12:52PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 24, 2012 12:30PM
Quote
qumqats
I've never even considered using chains, I've always used cables. They're cheaper, easier to put on, and work just as well.

I've seen them work not very well at all. They don't grip the tires as well as chains do.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 25, 2012 06:48PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
qumqats
I've never even considered using chains, I've always used cables. They're cheaper, easier to put on, and work just as well.

I've seen them work not very well at all. They don't grip the tires as well as chains do.
Cables definitely are not as good as chains. I have used both on a variety of terrains and I will never use cables again. People often say that cables are easier to install, this is because they do not know how to install chains.

The easiest way to install chains is this: Carefully lay them out in front of (or behind if rear wheel drive) the drive tires. Then drive just onto them. Drape the long end up and over the tire and fasten them. If it is front wheel drive, it helps to turn the steering wheel to gain access to the inside hooks. I always use the rubber tighteners as well to keep them nice and tight.

Cables are ok for light weight cars on a surface that has an even amount of snow. But if you are driving over areas that have been plowed down to pavement, or melted down to pavement, the cables have no bite at all and will slip on bare pavement. Chains bite into asphalt and snow and offer a lot more traction.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 25, 2012 10:50PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
eeek
Quote
qumqats
I've never even considered using chains, I've always used cables. They're cheaper, easier to put on, and work just as well.

I've seen them work not very well at all. They don't grip the tires as well as chains do.
Cables definitely are not as good as chains. I have used both on a variety of terrains and I will never use cables again. People often say that cables are easier to install, this is because they do not know how to install chains.

The easiest way to install chains is this: Carefully lay them out in front of (or behind if rear wheel drive) the drive tires. Then drive just onto them. Drape the long end up and over the tire and fasten them. If it is front wheel drive, it helps to turn the steering wheel to gain access to the inside hooks. I always use the rubber tighteners as well to keep them nice and tight.

Cables are ok for light weight cars on a surface that has an even amount of snow. But if you are driving over areas that have been plowed down to pavement, or melted down to pavement, the cables have no bite at all and will slip on bare pavement. Chains bite into asphalt and snow and offer a lot more traction.

It really depends on the manufacturer and the design. Most of the basic cables use a simple design of round crimped rollers. The ones I have are Cobra Cable Chains from Quality Chain. I remember trying to put them on in my garage, and they were a royal pain. The instructions were to slip them over from the top and secure at the bottom of the tire. I understand that many people ignore those instructions and just lay them flat and drive on top of them to secure them closer to the top where there's more room to work with.

Security Chain uses a different design. They're basically cables, but their traction segments aren't round rollers but little screw shaped coils that have a much better bite than rollers. Even their ladder type cables use these coils instead of rollers.



What really helps are the diagonal "Z type" cables that maximize the time that the traction surface is in contact with the road. The common ladder type chain or cable sort of repeats after losing contact. The Z type cable almost always maintains contact with the road. They're also a lot better with anti-lock brakes because the traction is more consistent. The ladder types can cause ABS to got batty when the tires slip and grip again while the chain/cable lose and regain contact.

There are several types of cables that use a "diamond" shape to maximum time that part of the chain is in contact with the road. Those should perform better than ladder type chains.



Thule also has some really insane looking "chains" they call the K-Summit.



There are some other devices on the market, but a lot of them are more like snap on studs rather than full traction devices for snowy conditions. Michelin has a product they call the "Easy Grip" with a mesh nylon mesh traction control web along with metal sections to break through ice. Amazon sell them, but they have a message that they're not currently considered "tire chains" for California chain conditions. I also read some reviews that their installation is a pain. They sore of wrap around the tire. I guess you partially put them on, drive a little, and slip the rest on, then place the tighteners.

avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 24, 2012 03:40PM
Quote
qumqats
I think most, if not all of of us, are saying "chains" and meaning "cables or chains".

I've never even considered using chains, I've always used cables. They're cheaper, easier to put on, and work just as well.

Actual chains I think are mainly used on larger vehicles.

Commercial truck trailers often have their tire chains located right under the chassis, and they make noise like the teh ghost of Jacob Marley.

I think legally California laws simply refer to all suitable "traction control devices" as "tire chains". Studded tires are actually legal anywhere in California during certain parts of the year, but aren't substitutes for traction control devices.

Real linked chains are probably more durable, but they're noisy and rougher. Technically, they should grip better than equivalently shaped cables. Real linked tire chains are still available in pretty much every size, and many of the new ones use more and smaller links and meet the limited clearance requirements for most cars. However, they're a bit harder to separate and cost more.

http://www.scc-chain.com/Traction%20Pages/Trac_WS.html
http://www.scc-chain.com/Traction%20Pages/Trac_QGPL.html

I'm not even sure "cable" is the right word. They certain use stranded cables, but the actual traction is from little rollers or screw-shaped pieces.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 24, 2012 10:17AM
Quote
buster
You should also call the road conditions phone line at 209.372.0200 and then press 1 and then 1 again. (You can press them in rapid succession after the call connects). That is the up-to-date road information line which changes as the road conditions change. A few terms to know when calling that number.

R0 - No restrictions
R1 - Snow tires required, otherwise chains required (most cars have snow tires. You easily check by looking at the side and look for SM standing for 'Snow and Mud')
R2 - Chains required, unless you have 4WD or AWD
R3 - Chains required for everyone
R4 - Road closed

"SM" (which I think you probably already know) is something totally different. Tires are labelled M+S, MS, M&S, etc. In California a compliant "snow tread tire" is one with that designation stamped on the sidewall and with at least 6/32" of tread left as measured across a major tread channel. Of course a true winter tire is probably better, but would be unlikely to be installed on a rental car in California. I wouldn't count of a rental necessarily having the required tread depth, especially since rental cars are left in service longer than in years past. Also - some M+S tires are better than others in the snow. I don't believe there's any kind of certification beyond the manufacturer's say so. I had a set of M+S tires (Pirelli PZero Nero M+S) that had none of the typical traits of all-season tires. It looked like a 3-season tire and frankly felt skittish in the snow compared to the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS tires that I replaced them with.

I drive a Subaru, which have only been AWD for many years. I was waved through the chain checkpoint on Wawona Road when there were R2 chain conditions. I had cheap tire cables in my trunk, but I've never been checked for them at any chain checkpoint in California. While the AWD helps reduce getting stuck, it's not a panacea for everything snow related. My car doesn't stop better or steer better. It's just less likely to get stuck. What would help would be real winter tires or chains. That being said, it's a pain to put them on and take them off - especially the ladder type cables that I've got that require readjustments.

As for the chain conditions, the reality is that they'll almost never really go to R3 conditions. They typically will just shut down the road.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 25, 2012 12:48AM
Quote
y_p_w

As for the chain conditions, the reality is that they'll almost never really go to R3 conditions. They typically will just shut down the road.

That's very true in regards to Caltrans. Caltrans will almost always shutdown the highway if driving conditions worsens beyond R2. So it's very rare to see R3 restrictions on a California state highway.

On the other hand, I've been in Yosemite often enough to see R3 restrictions posted for Wawona Road and Badger Pass Road (the Park Service refers to Glacier Point Road as Badger Pass Road during winter when the road ends at Badger Pass).
.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 10:46AM
Thanks for all the replies

We have booked hotels at Oakhurst and El Portal the night after. The plan is to leave Oakhurst in the morning and drive up hwy 41 to Mariposa Grove, where we'll hike for a couple of hours depending on the conditions. Then we'll continue to the Valley and go on some of the smaller hikes before heading back to El Portal for the night. The next morning we'll go back to the Valley very early in the morning and hopefully have some nice sunset lighting to photograph ;-) A bit more of hiking and in the afternoon we'll leave via hwy 140 towards San Francisco.

I've tried the 209-372-0200 number to see what kind if info I can get there. It says that it is R0 conditions, but as far as I understand it, I still need to bring chains under those conditions, right?

Does anybody know if there's somewhere around Oakhurst where we could buy some (not overly expensive) chains when we get there? In that case we could wait to see what the conditions are like until that point.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 11:17AM
Quote
dagree

Does anybody know if there's somewhere around Oakhurst where we could buy some (not overly expensive) chains when we get there? In that case we could wait to see what the conditions are like until that point.

If you decide to buy chains then buy them as far away from Oakhurst as possible. The closer you get to snow the higher the price of chains.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 24, 2012 10:23AM
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
dagree

Does anybody know if there's somewhere around Oakhurst where we could buy some (not overly expensive) chains when we get there? In that case we could wait to see what the conditions are like until that point.

If you decide to buy chains then buy them as far away from Oakhurst as possible. The closer you get to snow the higher the price of chains.

Don't know about that. I remember seeing chains at a supermarket in Oakhurst. They were a lot cheaper than I remember when I tried getting chains in the Bay Area. I also saw some at a drug store in Pollock Pines on the way to Tahoe that were pretty cheap.

Still - you can probably find them cheap at most Wal-Marts, although size may be an issue. If it's a common tire size, it's probably not an issue.

Also - if you're going to be putting them on, the newer "Z type" chains are a lot easier to install. They require the use of rubber tighteners and don't require any readjustment once they're installed. I saw someone installing a set on a full-sized RWD pickup near the south entrance once. I really wish I'd gotten a set of SCC Super-Z6 when Amazon had them for under $50 in my size.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 11:37AM
You are still supposed to carry chains. Before you buy chains I would ask the car rental agency if they can rent you any or if they can suggest an inexpensive place to get them. If you need to buy them, I would get them in Fresno as you pass through.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 12:15PM
Quote
dagree

Hi everybody

I'm going to Yosemite Valley in a week from now and I need some advice.

I'm a European going on holiday to California and it is my first trip to Yosemite. The plan is to rent a car in San Diego and driving around California - and one of the stops will be in Yosemite Valley. However, I'm a bit unsure about which driving conditions to expect at this time of the year. As I said, I'll be driving a rental car, so I'm guessing that it'll only have the normal tires and no chains. On www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm I can see that Hwy 41/120/140 are all open, but that I should carry tire chains in case it got mandatory. I'm only planning on visiting the Valley and perhaps Mariposa Grove. How is the snow clearance normally in these areas? Could it become a problem that I don't have tire chains here in late March? How would you advice me to prepare?

Regards, Niels


You'll need to carry chains next week too. It's mandatory. Sometimes they'll even ask at the gate to show'em your chains, so if you don't have them, you'll have to turn back. Ask your rental company about renting chains from them. Otherwise, purchase chains at a place that will allow for your to return them for a refund if they are unused.

In regards to chain requirements on roads, most (if not all) rental vehicles in California use all-season tires on their vehicles. All season tires are Mud + Snow rated (look for a M+S symbol on your tires). They are considered to be "snow tires" in California, so you won't need to put the chains on your all-season tires if it is only an R1 (or R0) restriction.

If you are renting an four wheel drive (4WD) or all wheel drive (AWD) vehicle with all season tires, then you will ONLY need to put on chains if the road condition worsens to R3.

Also if you want to visit a nice Giant Sequoia grove without having to hike in for two miles, the Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park is easily accessible from Fresno via Hwy 180 (NPS.GOV: Grant Grove Area Trails).
.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 02:22PM
Before you buy or rent chains ASK THE RENTAL COMPANY FIRST.

Many rental places forbid you to use chains on their vehicles because putting them on wrong can damage the vehicle.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 26, 2012 06:57PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
dagree

Hi everybody

I'm going to Yosemite Valley in a week from now and I need some advice.

I'm a European going on holiday to California and it is my first trip to Yosemite. The plan is to rent a car in San Diego and driving around California - and one of the stops will be in Yosemite Valley. However, I'm a bit unsure about which driving conditions to expect at this time of the year. As I said, I'll be driving a rental car, so I'm guessing that it'll only have the normal tires and no chains. On www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm I can see that Hwy 41/120/140 are all open, but that I should carry tire chains in case it got mandatory. I'm only planning on visiting the Valley and perhaps Mariposa Grove. How is the snow clearance normally in these areas? Could it become a problem that I don't have tire chains here in late March? How would you advice me to prepare?

Regards, Niels


You'll need to carry chains next week too. It's mandatory. Sometimes they'll even ask at the gate to show'em your chains, so if you don't have them, you'll have to turn back. Ask your rental company about renting chains from them. Otherwise, purchase chains at a place that will allow for your to return them for a refund if they are unused.[/url]).
.

Is the 'carry chains' requirement from NPS adopting CA law in this matter, or is it a separate requirement? Because CA's a little strange, the chain control law only requires 4WD/AWD operators to carry chains if controls are in effect even if they're not required to use them (its strangely specific on that point), but the temporarily posted regulatory signs state "Carry Chains" on a separate sign from all the other crap, and there is a VC section that prohibits violating regulatory signage. Despite this, the I-80 chain check at Applegate includes a radio announcement offering truckers without chains the option of staying at the Auburn Fairgrounds, though if they've made it as far as Applegate they've already violated the "Carry Chains Nov. 30-April 1" regulatory signage.

On to my personal reaction to the original question...I live in CA, and have AWD...I wouldn't enter the Sierra without snow gear between now and late May, but if I were renting a car and travelling to Yosemite, I wouldn't worry about it. The odds that you will require chains on at least CA-140 are pretty low, if you need them then buy them at the elevated 'mountain price' and just accept you lost the lottery.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 27, 2012 10:04AM
Quote
ttilley

Is the 'carry chains' requirement from NPS adopting CA law in this matter, or is it a separate requirement? Because CA's a little strange, the chain control law only requires 4WD/AWD operators to carry chains if controls are in effect even if they're not required to use them (its strangely specific on that point), but the temporarily posted regulatory signs state "Carry Chains" on a separate sign from all the other crap, and there is a VC section that prohibits violating regulatory signage. Despite this, the I-80 chain check at Applegate includes a radio announcement offering truckers without chains the option of staying at the Auburn Fairgrounds, though if they've made it as far as Applegate they've already violated the "Carry Chains Nov. 30-April 1" regulatory signage.

On to my personal reaction to the original question...I live in CA, and have AWD...I wouldn't enter the Sierra without snow gear between now and late May, but if I were renting a car and travelling to Yosemite, I wouldn't worry about it. The odds that you will require chains on at least CA-140 are pretty low, if you need them then buy them at the elevated 'mountain price' and just accept you lost the lottery.

Unless they ask, and check for chains, and you don't have any, and you have to leave the park.

It might not happen but it's happened to us....

Parks are federal land and rangers are federal employees, and Yosemite gets folks who disregard rules on an ongoing basis and cause SAR and other rescue services on a daily basis - they are going to hammer on the possession and overzealous usage of cables or chains. I could have driven my low clearance passenger vehicle safely in the not-sticking, light snow over Chinquapin but they said CHAIN UP OR WE FINE YOU.

Regardless of what CA says, this is reality in Yosemite. It's not about actually needing them, it's because the rangers INSIST you need them. You can be expert snow driving extraordinaire from New Hampshire and they will want you to have those things because Joe from Pismo slid off into the creek last month when the road was a tiny bit wet.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 27, 2012 07:29PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Parks are federal land and rangers are federal employees, and Yosemite gets folks who disregard rules on an ongoing basis and cause SAR and other rescue services on a daily basis - they are going to hammer on the possession and overzealous usage of cables or chains. I could have driven my low clearance passenger vehicle safely in the not-sticking, light snow over Chinquapin but they said CHAIN UP OR WE FINE YOU.

Regardless of what CA says, this is reality in Yosemite. It's not about actually needing them, it's because the rangers INSIST you need them. You can be expert snow driving extraordinaire from New Hampshire and they will want you to have those things because Joe from Pismo slid off into the creek last month when the road was a tiny bit wet.

However, the traffic rules they enforce are California traffic rules. Granted, they do it a lot differently than I remember heading into roads in Tahoe. It's always Caltrans employees, and not CHP or local sheriff's deputies. When I've been checked for chains in Yosemite, it was always a stern looking LE ranger.

As for crazy stuff - I remember a very, very rainy day driving up CA-89 from South Lake Tahoe to Truckee. There might have been one patch of slush for 20 miles, but it was mostly cold rain and not cold enough for there to be ice. I was still checked at a chain checkpoint. I also saw some cables that got thrown off a tire. It was basically like driving on dry pavement and very damaging to tire chains.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 23, 2012 10:08PM
Once again thanks for all the advice - I really appreciate it.

I'll talk to the rental company and find some way of getting some tire chains - there's no way I'm flying all the way to California and missing out on Yosemite ;-) I'll report back, when I'm back from my trip.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 24, 2012 09:15AM
My 2 dollars worth would be to just go in and out 140. Last 2 years we have been in the valley
in big storms... and didn't need chains either time in the valley or on 140.
If you find yourself needing chains to get to Mariposa Grove... then nix it and take 49 to 140 and go into the valley.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 25, 2012 12:58AM
Quote
chick-on

My 2 dollars worth would be to just go in and out 140. Last 2 years we have been in the valley
in big storms... and didn't need chains either time in the valley or on 140.


I guess you haven't been in the valley during real big storms then... smiling smiley

I've stayed at the Lodge a number of times when the Yosemite Valley roads had R2 restrictions posted for them. (That was usually early in the morning before 9:00 AM or late at night after the snow plows had ceased plowing for the day.)

Usually though – for most snow storms – the highest restrictions one sees for the valley roads is just R1.
.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 26, 2012 05:49PM
Again - double check with the rental company about putting chains or cables on their cars.

Also, even if you decided you would rent the car and promise the rental place you won't put cables on, and actually mean it when you say it, have a set of rental cables in the car to show the rangers when they ask whether you are carrying the (mandatory) cables or chains. Rangers have been known to turn folks around - on one of our hikes, a driver failed to bring the cables I mentioned in the hike description and was turned around so a carload of folks never made it to the park.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 26, 2012 06:09PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
chick-on

My 2 dollars worth would be to just go in and out 140. Last 2 years we have been in the valley
in big storms... and didn't need chains either time in the valley or on 140.


I guess you haven't been in the valley during real big storms then... smiling smiley

I've stayed at the Lodge a number of times when the Yosemite Valley roads had R2 restrictions posted for them. (That was usually early in the morning before 9:00 AM or late at night after the snow plows had ceased plowing for the day.)

Usually though – for most snow storms – the highest restrictions one sees for the valley roads is just R1.
.

I've actually never been in the valley. I make everything up.





Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 26, 2012 06:25PM
Now, now... I didn't mean to ruffle any chick-on feathers. Chick-on is looking at you!


I was just noting that Yosemite Valley roads have had R2 tire chain restrictions placed on them now and then.

That's all. smiling smiley
.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 26, 2012 06:31PM
We were once there when it was R-3 in the morning after a huge storm. We did not want the hassle of putting on chains so we waited until it changed to R-2 to leave. It is a lame excuse but it did give us a few extra hours in the park.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 26, 2012 06:40PM
Quote
parklover
We were once there when it was R-3 in the morning after a huge storm. We did not want the hassle of putting on chains so we waited until it changed to R-2 to leave. It is a lame excuse but it did give us a few extra hours in the park.

Exac-ta-mundo

Ewe Berry Smart



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 27, 2012 11:35PM
The rangers can be uber-strict about chains. Some years ago at Chinquapin, we were being inspected before ascending to Badger Pass. I was carrying chains and had M+S tires on. Chains were required (R2) and I was driving a Honda CRV 4WD. The ranger asked whether this was a 4WD or AWD vehicle. He insisted that AWD was not TRUE 4WD, and would require chains on. After some discussion, I showed the ranger where it said "4WD" on the vehicle and was allowed to proceed.

Actually, the CRV has AWD, but was labelled 4WD. It uses a viscous coupling differential instead of gears, making it an AWD vehicle.

Is this strictness limited to Yosemite rangers? Or is it an NPS thing?
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 28, 2012 07:37AM
Quote
RobE
The rangers can be uber-strict about chains. Some years ago at Chinquapin, we were being inspected before ascending to Badger Pass. I was carrying chains and had M+S tires on. Chains were required (R2) and I was driving a Honda CRV 4WD. The ranger asked whether this was a 4WD or AWD vehicle. He insisted that AWD was not TRUE 4WD, and would require chains on. After some discussion, I showed the ranger where it said "4WD" on the vehicle and was allowed to proceed.

Actually, the CRV has AWD, but was labelled 4WD. It uses a viscous coupling differential instead of gears, making it an AWD vehicle.

Is this strictness limited to Yosemite rangers? Or is it an NPS thing?

I looked on the NPS websites and both Sequoia and Lassen have the same chain requirements as Yosemite does and it is mandatory to carry chains. I have not been there in the winter so I don't personally know if they ask you when you enter if you have chains but I would not be surprised if they did the same thing.

Just after I orginally posted this, I was curious and decided to look at the Mt. Rainer website since it is in another state. They have the same chain requirements.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2012 07:44AM by parklover.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 28, 2012 08:30AM
Quote
RobE
The rangers can be uber-strict about chains. Some years ago at Chinquapin, we were being inspected before ascending to Badger Pass. I was carrying chains and had M+S tires on. Chains were required (R2) and I was driving a Honda CRV 4WD. The ranger asked whether this was a 4WD or AWD vehicle. He insisted that AWD was not TRUE 4WD, and would require chains on. After some discussion, I showed the ranger where it said "4WD" on the vehicle and was allowed to proceed.

Actually, the CRV has AWD, but was labelled 4WD. It uses a viscous coupling differential instead of gears, making it an AWD vehicle.

Is this strictness limited to Yosemite rangers? Or is it an NPS thing?

I checked with the CHP website and Cal Trans and they define (from the Ca. state vehicle code) that for R2 status you can use 4wd or AWD to avoid putting on chains:

From the Cal Trans site:

Chain Requirements:
R1: Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.
R2: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
(NOTE: Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)
R3: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

And from an email to me from the CHP:

Officers at chain control will ask to verify your vehicle is either 4WD or AWD (all wheel drive). We have many motorists who tell CalTrans and CHP personnel that they have a 4WD or AWD vehicle when they really don't. One of the ways to verify this is by asking the driver to show us the indicator light is on 4WD. In your case, you just need to explain to the officer your vehicle in essence is all time AWD. It helps if you have the owners manual open to the page indicating so. CalTrans and CHP personnel can also look under the vehicle to verify this, but it is easier to verify from inside the vehicle and will save you time if you have the information handy. Just remember, you must still carry chains (or approved tire traction devices) with you during R2 restrictions. If you have any other questions, please feel free to call the Arrowhead Area CHP office at the number below.



Sincerely,



Sal Suarez

Sergeant

California Highway Patrol - Arrowhead Area

31230 Highway 18

Running Springs, CA 92382

(909) 867-2791

(909) 867-2662 fax

ssuarez@chp.ca.gov
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 28, 2012 08:56AM
In my case Caltrans always looks at the Subaru logo on front and waves me by before I even stop.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 28, 2012 09:25AM
Quote
ttilley
In my case Caltrans always looks at the Subaru logo on front and waves me by before I even stop.

Same for me. Cursory glance at the logo on the grill, a quick look at the tread depth of my left front tire, and I'm good to go. I've never even been asked to show my chains, although I was asked if I was carrying them. That was both Caltrans of NPS rangers.

They don't even care that it's a somewhat overpowered WRX with wide tires. The ideal vehicle for snow driving would probably be heavyish with smaller and narrower tires to reduce "floating". That's not my car, but somehow that Subaru logo makes up for that.

However, there are some older Subaru models from a time when not all Subaru vehicles were AWD.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2012 12:50PM by y_p_w.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 28, 2012 09:38AM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
ttilley
In my case Caltrans always looks at the Subaru logo on front and waves me by before I even stop.

Same for me. Cursory glance at the logo on the grill, a quick look at the tread depth of my left front tire, and I'm good to go. I've never even been asked to show my chains, although I was asked. That was both Caltrans of NPS rangers.

They don't even care that it's a somewhat overpowered WRX with wide tires. The ideal vehicle for snow driving would probably be heavyish with smaller and narrower tires to reduce "floating". That's not my car, but somehow that Subaru logo makes up for that.

However, there are some older Subaru models from a time when not all Subaru vehicles were AWD.
Yea, my mom had a Subaru hatchback in the mid 80s that was FWD only.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 28, 2012 12:58PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Yea, my mom had a Subaru hatchback in the mid 80s that was FWD only.

They still had front-wheel drive cars on the market until the late 90s. The horizontally-opposed engine is also something they've turned into their signature.

Subaru is coming out with the rear-wheel drive BRZ performance coupe in the US market. It's a Toyota-Subaru joint project. I'm wondering how that will change the dynamic at chain checkpoints.

Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 09:04AM
I have never put on chains on a Subaru and have never been asked to...have owned one (or two) since 1978. (I did practice once in my driveway with the first Subaru, though.) I carry conventional chains but I don't believe it would even be wise to try to put them on our newer Subaru (clearance?) Our 1985 Subaru was the best, as far as traction and 4WD capability..it had 4WD Low. I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV. And I really miss the better mileage by deciding when to have the vehicle in 4WD...the '85 got 45 mpg on one segment of a road trip and was consistantly in the 35+mpg range.


As far as road conditions, I have encountered worse snow and ice here on the east side (even trying to get in my driveway) than in Yosemite. But the worst in the valley was in a December and we just happened to be pulling our 5th wheel. Yes we went down 140.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 10:42AM
Quote
hikerchick395
I have never put on chains on a Subaru and have never been asked to...have owned one (or two) since 1978. (I did practice once in my driveway with the first Subaru, though.) I carry conventional chains but I don't believe it would even be wise to try to put them on our newer Subaru (clearance?) Our 1985 Subaru was the best, as far as traction and 4WD capability..it had 4WD Low. I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV. And I really miss the better mileage by deciding when to have the vehicle in 4WD...the '85 got 45 mpg on one segment of a road trip and was consistantly in the 35+mpg range.

There are newer chains that use thinner links and meet the "class S" clearance that's generally listed in most owners manuals. Security Chain has some cables that are even thinner (using coils instead of rollers) that supposedly can be used in applications that require even tighter clearance than "class S".

Seriously though - there are a lot of Subarus over the years that didn't have an option to engage all four wheels. The Justy came with 4WD optional. The XT originally came out on the market only in front-wheel drive. Both the Impreza and Legacy had AWD optional until Subaru started only selling AWD versions in North American in the late 90s.

As for "first SUV" - there are many vehicles that were available before then and could claim to be SUVs by today's standards. There's the original Ford Bronco from the 60s, the International Harvester Scout, the Jeep Wagoneer, the Datsun Patrol, the 50 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, or even the original Range Rover. Many of these would be considered "compact SUVs" today.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 12:11PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
hikerchick395
I have never put on chains on a Subaru and have never been asked to...have owned one (or two) since 1978. (I did practice once in my driveway with the first Subaru, though.) I carry conventional chains but I don't believe it would even be wise to try to put them on our newer Subaru (clearance?) Our 1985 Subaru was the best, as far as traction and 4WD capability..it had 4WD Low. I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV. And I really miss the better mileage by deciding when to have the vehicle in 4WD...the '85 got 45 mpg on one segment of a road trip and was consistantly in the 35+mpg range.

There are newer chains that use thinner links and meet the "class S" clearance that's generally listed in most owners manuals. Security Chain has some cables that are even thinner (using coils instead of rollers) that supposedly can be used in applications that require even tighter clearance than "class S".

Seriously though - there are a lot of Subarus over the years that didn't have an option to engage all four wheels. The Justy came with 4WD optional. The XT originally came out on the market only in front-wheel drive. Both the Impreza and Legacy had AWD optional until Subaru started only selling AWD versions in North American in the late 90s.

As for "first SUV" - there are many vehicles that were available before then and could claim to be SUVs by today's standards. There's the original Ford Bronco from the 60s, the International Harvester Scout, the Jeep Wagoneer, the Datsun Patrol, the 50 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, or even the original Range Rover. Many of these would be considered "compact SUVs" today.

Interesting article on the "first SUV":

http://www.bitrebels.com/lifestyle/what-and-when-was-the-first-suv-ever-built/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2012 12:12PM by mtn man.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 01:21PM
Quote
mtn man
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
hikerchick395
I have never put on chains on a Subaru and have never been asked to...have owned one (or two) since 1978. (I did practice once in my driveway with the first Subaru, though.) I carry conventional chains but I don't believe it would even be wise to try to put them on our newer Subaru (clearance?) Our 1985 Subaru was the best, as far as traction and 4WD capability..it had 4WD Low. I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV. And I really miss the better mileage by deciding when to have the vehicle in 4WD...the '85 got 45 mpg on one segment of a road trip and was consistantly in the 35+mpg range.

There are newer chains that use thinner links and meet the "class S" clearance that's generally listed in most owners manuals. Security Chain has some cables that are even thinner (using coils instead of rollers) that supposedly can be used in applications that require even tighter clearance than "class S".

Seriously though - there are a lot of Subarus over the years that didn't have an option to engage all four wheels. The Justy came with 4WD optional. The XT originally came out on the market only in front-wheel drive. Both the Impreza and Legacy had AWD optional until Subaru started only selling AWD versions in North American in the late 90s.

As for "first SUV" - there are many vehicles that were available before then and could claim to be SUVs by today's standards. There's the original Ford Bronco from the 60s, the International Harvester Scout, the Jeep Wagoneer, the Datsun Patrol, the 50 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, or even the original Range Rover. Many of these would be considered "compact SUVs" today.

Interesting article on the "first SUV":

http://www.bitrebels.com/lifestyle/what-and-when-was-the-first-suv-ever-built/

You can find an article on the first Land Rover at: http://jalopnik.com/5797229/the-first-land-rover-is-introduced-to-the-world.

To clarify the confusion that some people have - A Range Rover is a Land Rover but not all Land Rover's are Range Rovers. In the US, the confusion came about because only the Range Rover model was initially brought into the country. My first Ranger Rover was a 1989 when they were so uncommon that when we were in Utah the worker at a gas station asked if it was the new Ford. (ironically Ford bought Land Rover many years later). At this time, my registration said that it was a Range Rover, Range Rover. Still enamored with the SUV, when the Rover was stolen in 1993, we bought another one. This time the registration read Land Rover, Range Rover as it should be. After 19 years, I still drive it everyday and will do so until there are no longer any replacement parts to be found. It had better last a long time because I can't afford to buy a new one now. Things are still confusing since some of the Land Rover models are called different names in England. I think that I have this right, the Land Rover LR3 is called the Discovery 3 in Europe which follows a pattern since it is an updated version of the Discovery Series.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 03:25PM
While the above mentioned SUVs were built before the 1990's, the first modern SUV that popularize the SUV concept – and made it more than just a niche market vehicle – was the Ford Explorer, which replaced the Bronco II. Before the Ford Explorer, most SUVs were bought just by hardcore outdoor enthusiast. It was the Ford Explorer that made the SUV popular for the general population at large.
.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 03:56PM
Quote
parklover
Quote
mtn man
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
hikerchick395
I have never put on chains on a Subaru and have never been asked to...have owned one (or two) since 1978. (I did practice once in my driveway with the first Subaru, though.) I carry conventional chains but I don't believe it would even be wise to try to put them on our newer Subaru (clearance?) Our 1985 Subaru was the best, as far as traction and 4WD capability..it had 4WD Low. I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV. And I really miss the better mileage by deciding when to have the vehicle in 4WD...the '85 got 45 mpg on one segment of a road trip and was consistantly in the 35+mpg range.

There are newer chains that use thinner links and meet the "class S" clearance that's generally listed in most owners manuals. Security Chain has some cables that are even thinner (using coils instead of rollers) that supposedly can be used in applications that require even tighter clearance than "class S".

Seriously though - there are a lot of Subarus over the years that didn't have an option to engage all four wheels. The Justy came with 4WD optional. The XT originally came out on the market only in front-wheel drive. Both the Impreza and Legacy had AWD optional until Subaru started only selling AWD versions in North American in the late 90s.

As for "first SUV" - there are many vehicles that were available before then and could claim to be SUVs by today's standards. There's the original Ford Bronco from the 60s, the International Harvester Scout, the Jeep Wagoneer, the Datsun Patrol, the 50 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, or even the original Range Rover. Many of these would be considered "compact SUVs" today.

Interesting article on the "first SUV":

http://www.bitrebels.com/lifestyle/what-and-when-was-the-first-suv-ever-built/

You can find an article on the first Land Rover at: http://jalopnik.com/5797229/the-first-land-rover-is-introduced-to-the-world.

To clarify the confusion that some people have - A Range Rover is a Land Rover but not all Land Rover's are Range Rovers. In the US, the confusion came about because only the Range Rover model was initially brought into the country. My first Ranger Rover was a 1989 when they were so uncommon that when we were in Utah the worker at a gas station asked if it was the new Ford. (ironically Ford bought Land Rover many years later). At this time, my registration said that it was a Range Rover, Range Rover. Still enamored with the SUV, when the Rover was stolen in 1993, we bought another one. This time the registration read Land Rover, Range Rover as it should be. After 19 years, I still drive it everyday and will do so until there are no longer any replacement parts to be found. It had better last a long time because I can't afford to buy a new one now. Things are still confusing since some of the Land Rover models are called different names in England. I think that I have this right, the Land Rover LR3 is called the Discovery 3 in Europe which follows a pattern since it is an updated version of the Discovery Series.

I had a former coworker who was British and lived in the Tahoe area. He preferred to travel by motorcycle to his job in the Bay Area, but that wasn't safe during the winter, so he'd drive his Land Rover Discovery. He said it was a pain because it got absolutely horrible fuel economy.

He did say that the car he really wanted (if he could find one) was an older Land Rover Defender (or I guess a 90 or 110) with the spare tire mounted on the hood.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
March 29, 2012 05:38PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
parklover
Quote
mtn man
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
hikerchick395
I have never put on chains on a Subaru and have never been asked to...have owned one (or two) since 1978. (I did practice once in my driveway with the first Subaru, though.) I carry conventional chains but I don't believe it would even be wise to try to put them on our newer Subaru (clearance?) Our 1985 Subaru was the best, as far as traction and 4WD capability..it had 4WD Low. I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV. And I really miss the better mileage by deciding when to have the vehicle in 4WD...the '85 got 45 mpg on one segment of a road trip and was consistantly in the 35+mpg range.

There are newer chains that use thinner links and meet the "class S" clearance that's generally listed in most owners manuals. Security Chain has some cables that are even thinner (using coils instead of rollers) that supposedly can be used in applications that require even tighter clearance than "class S".

Seriously though - there are a lot of Subarus over the years that didn't have an option to engage all four wheels. The Justy came with 4WD optional. The XT originally came out on the market only in front-wheel drive. Both the Impreza and Legacy had AWD optional until Subaru started only selling AWD versions in North American in the late 90s.

As for "first SUV" - there are many vehicles that were available before then and could claim to be SUVs by today's standards. There's the original Ford Bronco from the 60s, the International Harvester Scout, the Jeep Wagoneer, the Datsun Patrol, the 50 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, or even the original Range Rover. Many of these would be considered "compact SUVs" today.

Interesting article on the "first SUV":

http://www.bitrebels.com/lifestyle/what-and-when-was-the-first-suv-ever-built/

You can find an article on the first Land Rover at: http://jalopnik.com/5797229/the-first-land-rover-is-introduced-to-the-world.

To clarify the confusion that some people have - A Range Rover is a Land Rover but not all Land Rover's are Range Rovers. In the US, the confusion came about because only the Range Rover model was initially brought into the country. My first Ranger Rover was a 1989 when they were so uncommon that when we were in Utah the worker at a gas station asked if it was the new Ford. (ironically Ford bought Land Rover many years later). At this time, my registration said that it was a Range Rover, Range Rover. Still enamored with the SUV, when the Rover was stolen in 1993, we bought another one. This time the registration read Land Rover, Range Rover as it should be. After 19 years, I still drive it everyday and will do so until there are no longer any replacement parts to be found. It had better last a long time because I can't afford to buy a new one now. Things are still confusing since some of the Land Rover models are called different names in England. I think that I have this right, the Land Rover LR3 is called the Discovery 3 in Europe which follows a pattern since it is an updated version of the Discovery Series.

I had a former coworker who was British and lived in the Tahoe area. He preferred to travel by motorcycle to his job in the Bay Area, but that wasn't safe during the winter, so he'd drive his Land Rover Discovery. He said it was a pain because it got absolutely horrible fuel economy.

He did say that the car he really wanted (if he could find one) was an older Land Rover Defender (or I guess a 90 or 110) with the spare tire mounted on the hood.

They brought in so few 90's and 110's into the U.S. and they are selling for more than their original cost. I remember years ago looking at a new 90 and taking it for a test drive and thinking this is great but I would not want to drive it around town not only because of the gas milege but it had one heck of a clutch on it.

What I would like is an 88 and we occasionally see ones for sale but don't have alot of flexible income right now. Maybe after the son graduates from high school and college and gets a job. My son would like a Discovery series one or two when he gets his licence and it is not only the gas mileage that is holding us back but that our mechanic, who is the miracle worker of British Cars, said that it is hard to find one that does not have pump issues or is not quirky.

My old RR is a gas guzzler but I only drive it about 120 miles a week, sometimes less. No more long trips for it anymore. We did a lot of 3 week driving trips in it but did not put many other miles on it since I lived close to work. It now only has a bit over 134,000 on it and most is from past long distance driving. And for those who are wondering, yes we have taken both RR's off roading and had a blast and a few ripped off end caps on the back bumpers. We had many "you got to be kidding,we are not really going to do that!" moments.

Before the RR we had a two door Montero and have regretted that we did not keep it. It was a great camping vehicle since there was only the two of us then and you could fold down the back seats and stack all the way to the ceiling.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
April 07, 2012 09:24AM
Quote
hikerchick395
I think Subaru missed their market...they were the first SUV.


I should've said first SUV in their class...maybe "compact" SUV type vehicle...and in the US market. Of course there were Jeeps, 4WD trucks, Toyota Landcruisers, etc...the Subaru with 4WD wasn't widely available in the US until 1976, although there were even tinier Subarus around before then.

Subarus have morphed away from the kind of vehicle that I originally purchased. I was much more comfortable taking the '78 and the '85 on more rugged roads than I am with the (fancy, smancy) '07.
Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
April 07, 2012 10:44AM
We were in the park and on Saturday there were multiple chain inspections because of the storm that came in. While at Badger I watched the road conditions sign next to the front desk go from R0 to R1 to R2 in less than 1/2 hour. The Rangers were at Badger checking for chains. When we were there Sunday, one of the ski rental workers said that some people did not have chains and they had to leave their cars there over night and take the shuttle bus to the valley and then go back on Sunday to get their cars. Chain control was out Sunday checking people going to Badger. It was lightly snowing when we left on Thursday afternoon. I guess winter is hanging on.
avatar Re: Driving conditions in the Valley?
April 11, 2012 07:25AM
parklubber,
wear da photos?
I was in that storm here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,52472

I guess I should mention that on Fri 3/30... Mariposa grove road was open.
And I drove in and out 41 and never even sniffed my chains.
They had closed the grove road when I left on 4/1.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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