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Re: Winter trip

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Winter trip
December 12, 2015 09:40AM
Heading to the valley with the family on the 18th for a few days, they have gotten some snow lately and are forecasting a bit more Sun/Mon. Wondering if anyone that frequents the valley this time of year wants to make a prediction on whether or not I will need to put chains on (will have them regardless) and where they will required from along the 140. I've spent a week or two every year in Yosemite year since 1980 but this will be my first winter trip so i'm looking forward to it. I'm open to any winter suggestions, hoping that maybe the snow cone has already started forming?
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 12, 2015 11:39AM
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ryanmj
Heading to the valley with the family on the 18th for a few days, they have gotten some snow lately and are forecasting a bit more Sun/Mon. Wondering if anyone that frequents the valley this time of year wants to make a prediction on whether or not I will need to put chains on (will have them regardless) and where they will required from along the 140. I've spent a week or two every year in Yosemite year since 1980 but this will be my first winter trip so i'm looking forward to it. I'm open to any winter suggestions, hoping that maybe the snow cone has already started forming?

Here is a site that covers thigs pretty well:

o.I.Really.Need.Tire.Chains.html" target="_blank" >http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c129647/Yosemite-National-Park:Californiagrinning smileyo.I.Really.Need.Tire.Chains.html



Old Dude
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 14, 2015 07:24AM
My guess for 18th would be max of R1 at Cascade Creek (just before ... the bathroom.. )
along 140...

Prediction ... looking at the Chick-on-cast .. is you won't need anything... for the 18th...

On Friday there were Rangers at Tunnel view checking... so... obey Z R1/2/3 restrictions...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 14, 2015 10:52PM
Do they make you show chains for R1 or R2 if you have AWD?
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 14, 2015 11:27PM
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JohnC
Do they make you show chains for R1 or R2 if you have AWD?

Yes, they may. The rule is that you have to have chains in your possession regardless of you vehicle. R3 requires chains to be installed on every vehicle.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2015 11:28PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 09:57AM
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mrcondron
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JohnC
Do they make you show chains for R1 or R2 if you have AWD?

Yes, they may. The rule is that you have to have chains in your possession regardless of you vehicle. R3 requires chains to be installed on every vehicle.

Yeah, I knew about R3. I'm getting close to buying an AWD and hate the thought of buying another set of chains I'll never use. Was hoping I could avoid the purchase. FWIW, I would only be planing trips during mostly R1 conditions.
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 10:38AM
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JohnC
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mrcondron
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JohnC
Do they make you show chains for R1 or R2 if you have AWD?

Yes, they may. The rule is that you have to have chains in your possession regardless of you vehicle. R3 requires chains to be installed on every vehicle.

Yeah, I knew about R3. I'm getting close to buying an AWD and hate the thought of buying another set of chains I'll never use. Was hoping I could avoid the purchase. FWIW, I would only be planing trips during mostly R1 conditions.

By law you are required to carry chains...

If you ONLY go in and out 140... and only drive around the valley... then you may get away without having chains...
But it's a risk you take... The rangers do have stops ... and they COULD ask to see your chains...
But imo it's probably unlikely on 140 ...

I have never been asked to see chains with my wanna be SUV.. w/AWD ... YMMV!
(I'd just buy the chains and be done with it)
(I've used my chains ONCE in Yosemite... and it was a joke that we were made to put them on)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 11:10AM
I've never been asked to show chains with my Subaru either. However, in addition to the fact that it's possible...if you do get stuck for whatever reason you'll be expected to pull out your chains and put them on your 4WD/AWD - had that happen to a friend once. He had his chains, you'd be cited if you didn't have them.
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 11:32AM
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chick-on
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JohnC
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mrcondron
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JohnC
Do they make you show chains for R1 or R2 if you have AWD?

Yes, they may. The rule is that you have to have chains in your possession regardless of you vehicle. R3 requires chains to be installed on every vehicle.

Yeah, I knew about R3. I'm getting close to buying an AWD and hate the thought of buying another set of chains I'll never use. Was hoping I could avoid the purchase. FWIW, I would only be planing trips during mostly R1 conditions.

By law you are required to carry chains...

If you ONLY go in and out 140... and only drive around the valley... then you may get away without having chains...
But it's a risk you take... The rangers do have stops ... and they COULD ask to see your chains...
But imo it's probably unlikely on 140 ...

I have never been asked to see chains with my wanna be SUV.. w/AWD ... YMMV!
(I'd just buy the chains and be done with it)
(I've used my chains ONCE in Yosemite... and it was a joke that we were made to put them on)

Well, you pretty much described my exact winter plan. I would only go in/out 140 and some driving around the valley. I intend to plan a trip pretty much immediately after a storm passed through. It's the trip I've been planning the last 3 years during the drought.

I'll probably just buy some. I just hate buying them and never needing them. My current chains have never been used but were bought for the trip I keep planning. I did make a trip last November (2014) right after they temporarily closed 120 through the park and Glacier Point Road. I actually stayed in Yosemite West but never had to show them. The roads were all fine. The day after I came home, they opened the closed roads.

Off topic but is there no spell checker on the forum or do I have some issue with my computer?
Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 11:45AM
We have 4WD with snow tires and have never been there when it was bad enough that we had to use chains. Since we have two SUV's with different tire sizes we now have two sets of chains that we have never used. However, we have been asked multiple times to show that we had them with us. One time we had to unpack the back of the SUV to get to them because there was barely any snow so we had shoved them behind our luggage.
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 11:58AM
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parklover
We have 4WD with snow tires and have never been there when it was bad enough that we had to use chains. Since we have two SUV's with different tire sizes we now have two sets of chains that we have never used. However, we have been asked multiple times to show that we had them with us. One time we had to unpack the back of the SUV to get to them because there was barely any snow so we had shoved them behind our luggage.

OK, uncle. I'll start shopping now. :-) Any suggestions for brands or style of chains, considering my intended usage?

Thanks to all for the feedback.
Re: Winter trip
December 18, 2015 03:44PM
Sorry I just saw this and just in case you have not left yet - . My husband said that he researched what chains to buy based on our tire brand and size. We bought chains and not cables. Since we have 4WD with snow rated tires, like I had said, we have been lucky that we have never been there when we have had to put the chains on. Both of us are from back East but we never put chains on there since when we lived there studded snow tires were allowed. It is going to be interesting if we even have to use them. Have a great time on your trip.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2015 03:46PM by parklover.
Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 11:54AM
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JohnC
Off topic but is there no spell checker on the forum or do I have some issue with my computer?

Not only you. The built in browser spell checker doesn't work in Firefox but does work in Chrome for me.

The weather is supposed to stay cold until Friday and with it almost being the winter solstice, the south side doesn't get much sun so I wouldn't be surprised if it is still R2 in the valley come Friday.
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 15, 2015 12:01PM
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buster
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JohnC
Off topic but is there no spell checker on the forum or do I have some issue with my computer?

Not only you. The built in browser spell checker doesn't work in Firefox but does work in Chrome for me.

The weather is supposed to stay cold until Friday and with it almost being the winter solstice, the south side doesn't get much sun so I wouldn't be surprised if it is still R2 in the valley come Friday.

Thanks. I am using Firefox.
Re: Winter trip
December 16, 2015 07:12PM
Great info everyone! We are driving in tomorrow (the 17th). We'll be coming from Sacramento - does anyone have some beta on coming in 120 at currently? I've checked CalTran and it looks like there aren't any chain restrictions on the highway, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.

Thanks for the info!

Jordan
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 16, 2015 07:34PM
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jchapell
Great info everyone! We are driving in tomorrow (the 17th). We'll be coming from Sacramento - does anyone have some beta on coming in 120 at currently? I've checked CalTran and it looks like there aren't any chain restrictions on the highway, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.

When are you planning to leave? Here's the forecast for Crane Flat, looks like a good chance you may need chains on the way out but not necessarily on the way in.
Re: Winter trip
December 17, 2015 08:36AM
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jchapell
Great info everyone! We are driving in tomorrow (the 17th). We'll be coming from Sacramento - does anyone have some beta on coming in 120 at currently? I've checked CalTran and it looks like there aren't any chain restrictions on the highway, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.

Looks like it is R2 on 120 and R1 in the valley.

To get up to date Yosemite road conitions, call (209) 372-0200 and when connected to the automated voice prompts select 1 and 1 (As soon as you hear the voice you can just hit 1 and then 1)
Re: Winter trip
December 17, 2015 08:50AM
I'm looking at going into the valley on Christmas Day. I'll be coming in on the 140. Looks like snow in the forecast and was wondering if I need assistance (old guy) is there anywhere near the Arch Rock Entrance that might help install chains?
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 17, 2015 10:42AM
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ERICG
I'm looking at going into the valley on Christmas Day. I'll be coming in on the 140. Looks like snow in the forecast and was wondering if I need assistance (old guy) is there anywhere near the Arch Rock Entrance that might help install chains?

I have seen install crews at the Cascade Creek area... (where you put on chains on 140 typically)
.. just west of Cascade Fall bridge.. where there is a big lot and a bathroom...
Anywho... my guess you will probably find someone there to help (I have seen in the past)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Winter trip
December 17, 2015 11:59AM
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chick-on
Quote
ERICG
I'm looking at going into the valley on Christmas Day. I'll be coming in on the 140. Looks like snow in the forecast and was wondering if I need assistance (old guy) is there anywhere near the Arch Rock Entrance that might help install chains?

I have seen install crews at the Cascade Creek area... (where you put on chains on 140 typically)
.. just west of Cascade Fall bridge.. where there is a big lot and a bathroom...
Anywho... my guess you will probably find someone there to help (I have seen in the past)

Thank you! Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 29, 2015 09:01AM
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ERICG
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chick-on
Quote
ERICG
I'm looking at going into the valley on Christmas Day. I'll be coming in on the 140. Looks like snow in the forecast and was wondering if I need assistance (old guy) is there anywhere near the Arch Rock Entrance that might help install chains?

I have seen install crews at the Cascade Creek area... (where you put on chains on 140 typically)
.. just west of Cascade Fall bridge.. where there is a big lot and a bathroom...
Anywho... my guess you will probably find someone there to help (I have seen in the past)

Thank you! Chick-on is looking at you!

Hi. We went in on Christmas... and they said chains or 4WD w/ snow tires were required
at 140 entrance... didn't see anyone at Cascade Creek area... so I hope it all worked out
for you... we did see the install / remove chains crew there on the 28th... on our way out...
so I hope you got in ok and all...
I have a small SUV wannabee ... w/4WD ... so I didn't put chains on.. and went up
to Badger Pass and back...
hope you had a nice trip!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Winter trip
December 18, 2015 01:38PM
I've only been to the Valley once when chain restrictions were in effect (on the way out, not on the way in). Snow started coming down quite heavily the morning we were due to leave and I was nervous about driving in it. I'd never used chains in my life (even though I grew up in New England) and, although I'd bought some specifically for this trip, I was clueless as to how to put them on. There were a couple of snowplows parked in the Lodge parking lot and I asked one of the drivers for help. It took him all of about 2 or 3 minutes to bet both sets on (it seemed pretty straight-forward once you know how). I was very grateful and tipped him generously but I got the feeling he did it all the time. Of course, within a mile or two of going through Arch Rock, everything was dry and sunny and we took them off (which, fortunately, was much easier than getting them on...at least for this neophyte!).

FYI, others have mentioned certain rental car companies prohibiting chains. I don't recall any restrictions from Hertz (although a. this was about 10 or 12 years ago and b. it was bright and sunny at SFO where we picked up the car and I never mentioned anything about where we were going so it was not a natural conversation to have). Installed correctly, I don't know how the rental company would have any idea you'd used chains (assuming, of course, you took them off before returning the car!)...in fact, if conditions were bad and you DIDN'T install the chains, you might have a bigger problem than chains to report!

Another word of advice if you've never been to the valley in winter: if there IS snow on the ground, it will likely be thawing/freezing/thawing/freezing (especially on the north side of the valley) so be sure you have waterproof boots, maybe some gaters, maybe some waterproof over-pants. Doing part of the East Valley loop on that trip, I got so wet slogging through the slush that we bailed near the Ahwahnee, and stood pretty much inside the fireplace in the great hall trying to dry off and get warm (ironically, I had just gotten my wife some water-proof gear for Christmas a few days earlier and so she wanted to go out and splash around some more). I looked around for a St. Bernard to get me a cask of brandy from the bar but eventually had to break down and go get it myself. In any event, I was no longer cold when we left there!

Dry or wet, the Valley under a blanket of snow is really magical (of course, any part of Yosemite under almost any conditions is really magical). Drive carefully, know your trail conditions, hike accordingly and I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip!
avatar Re: Winter trip
December 18, 2015 07:59PM
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FYI, others have mentioned certain rental car companies prohibiting chains. I don't recall any restrictions from Hertz (although a. this was about 10 or 12 years ago and b. it was bright and sunny at SFO where we picked up the car and I never mentioned anything about where we were going so it was not a natural conversation to have). Installed correctly,

I'm unaware of the status by rental company. However...

Some cars don't have enough clearance inside the wheel well for chains, if you own one of these your owners' manual will have some text to this effect. There are "snow spider" devices for such vehicles, but I think they require something attached to the outside of the hub before the spider itself can be attached. In any case, the basic problem is that as one drives the chains/cables may bow outward from the top of the tire as it spins, and without enough clearance one's wheel well could be whacked. So, I wouldn't recommend renting a sports or other non-4WD specialty car then driving into an area where chains may be required.
Re: Winter trip
December 19, 2015 08:44AM
Good point and I have seen the type of spider attachments you mention (although I've never used them). There was plenty of clearance on the car I rented on that trip but it was definitely NOT a sports or specialty vehicle! grinning smiley
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