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Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?

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Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 12, 2019 08:38AM
Last year the NPS started a permit system to deal with the crazy traffic generated by the hordes of photographers coming into the park during the last two weeks of February to shoot the Horsetail Fall at sunset. With President's Day weekend coming up, I was wondering if they discarded that idea or if they were going to try it again.

Any official word yet?
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 12, 2019 12:23PM
My conversation with a ranger last week went something like this: "There will be no parking permits issued this year because of heavy snow. In clearing Northside Drive, all turnouts are blocked by snow. El Cap picnic area will be closed also although Disabled Placards will be allowed. Northside Drive will likely be closed to all parking from Yosemite Lodge/Camp4 to the El Cap crossover. The nearest parking will be Yosemite Lodge so be prepared for a healthy walk. Two way traffic flow on Southside Drive has not yet been determined. Southside Drive will also have limited or no turnout parking between Sentinel Bridge and El Cap crossover."



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 01:39PM by troutwild.
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 12, 2019 09:18PM
Thanks for the info! 👍
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 13, 2019 08:55AM
The turnout comment is strange since what they did last year was convert one of the two lanes of Northside Drive to a parking area while closing most of the turnouts along both Northside and Southside Drive.
avatar Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 20, 2019 10:51AM
anyone have an idea of how much of a walk it is?
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 21, 2019 06:32PM
Quote
forrestranger
anyone have an idea of how much of a walk it is?
About a mile.
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 20, 2019 06:00PM
The Horsetail Fall Event in Yosemite Valley will last from approximately Tuesday Feb 12, 2019 thru Sunday Feb 24, 2019. Public notification of the event will be by variable message boards located on Southside Dr at El Cap Cross, and on Northside Dr at Camp 4. While the event is active, the following restrictions apply:
Stopping or parking on Southside Dr between El Capitan Crossover and Swinging Bridge is prohibited.
All pullouts along Southside Dr between El Capitan Crossover and Swinging Bridge are closed.
Roadside parking along Southside Dr between El Capitan Crossover and Swinging Bridge is prohibited.
Southside Dr between El Capitan Crossover and Swinging Bridge is closed to pedestrians.
The Cathedral Beach Picnic Area is closed.
The Sentinel Beach Picnic Area is closed.
Stopping or parking on El Capitan Crossover is prohibited.
Roadside parking along El Capitan Crossover is prohibited.
The number 2 lane (right, northern lane) of Northside Dr between Camp 4 and El Capitan Crossover is closed to all vehicles.
Stopping or parking on Northside Dr between Camp 4 and El Capitan Crossover is prohibited.
All pullouts along Northside Dr between Camp 4 and El Capitan Crossover are closed.
Roadside parking along Northside Dr between Camp 4 and El Capitan Crossover is prohibited.
El Cap Picnic Area is closed to all vehicles except vehicles displaying an ADA placard.
The speed limit along Northside Dr between Camp 4 to El Cap Cross is 25 MPH unless posted otherwise.
Added restrictions on vehicles and pedestrians along Southside Dr and Northside Dr during the Horsetail Fall Event are necessary to protect the roadside resource and for pedestrian safety.
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 24, 2019 01:45PM
ERICG- So in other words-----STAY AWAY, right? Years ago I would park off road, in a turnout, between Four Mile & Swinging Bridge. With a five minute walk towards the river I would be in a great location for viewing Horsetail fall. AND, I was all alone. Sadly the internet, news media, and pro photographer groups have created a huge crowding problem for the Park Service. Not sure what the remedy is but there must be a better way than the latest regulations..
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 24, 2019 04:12PM
Just another life lesson to really enjoy the beautiful things you experience. We change and the world changes whether we like it or not.

Maybe there's another horsetail falls waiting underwater at hetch hetchy ;-D
avatar Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 25, 2019 08:31PM
Valley was super pleasant over the weekend. Let everyone have the firefall… lots of great …

NPS did a GREAT JOB imo… with the firefall this year. They should do it like this every year.
Using one side of the road to park last year was prone to people walking IN the road.
Now they had a full lane.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 25, 2019 10:41PM
Quote
Pohono
ERICG- So in other words-----STAY AWAY, right? Years ago I would park off road, in a turnout, between Four Mile & Swinging Bridge. With a five minute walk towards the river I would be in a great location for viewing Horsetail fall. AND, I was all alone. Sadly the internet, news media, and pro photographer groups have created a huge crowding problem for the Park Service. Not sure what the remedy is but there must be a better way than the latest regulations..
The first time was saw it was decades ago and there was less than 10 other people taking pictures. Two years ago it was a nightmare and people were walking in front of other people's cameras and yelling and acting like they were at some sort of rock concert. Last year we were in Yosemite but just did a quick stop and just took a few snapshots. Didn't even want to go this year.
As has been discussed in other contexts in this forum, the internet is wonderful and it's horrible. We scheduled a two-day stay in the Valley in February 2016, and only after I booked the room did I realize it was Horsetail falls viewing season. We got to see the falls change color - there was flowing water and there was sun that day, and they closed one lane of Southside Drive, where we parked in the afternoon on our way back from Badger Pass - but we parked about 2 hours before the falls changed color. And since we were staying at Yosemite Lodge, we didn't have to contend with a large, slow-moving convoy coming out of the park on the way back to the Bay area. I'm glad we go to see it, I'm not sure I'd make a trip specifically for this event alone. Especially now that it sounds like this phenomenon has gotten overexposed, thanks to the internet.

In that vein, I suspect that lodging prices at places like Yosemite West are significantly higher now than they were 10 years ago thanks to Airbnb and sites like that.

And as JKW and others have noted, making all this information on neat places to see readily accessible to all means that those places are more heavily visited. So I'm appreciative of all the contributions of the Yosemite hard-core to this forum, your input has helped me in my trip planning and route-finding, but I also understand the growing reluctance to share too much.
avatar Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
February 26, 2019 08:57AM
For future knowledge, if you have a handicap license plate, there are places to park. it will save you a LONG walk. i was there Feb. 24th and there were a number of pull out places to park, i had no problem getting a parking place.
avatar Re: Any Word On Permit Parking For Horsetail Viewing This Year?
March 01, 2019 02:53PM
I was there Feb 20 and 21. I had no interest in Horsetail Fall. Wednesday the 20th was snowing and therefore overcast and there was no mania occurring. But it didn't completely stop the ignorant crowd. As I was set up on Sentinel Bridge trying to photograph Half Dome through some hopefully clearing fog, a driver pulled up. He parked in the street over the bridge, got out, and rushed over to show me his phone and a photo of Horsetail while asking where he could see this. LoL!

I left the park Thursday a couple of hours before sunset. The sky had been relatively clear so there definitely was a chance for Horsetail to occur. On my way out there were large amounts of people everywhere, some with camera gear, many without. I think it has become more of an event that creates an atmosphere than a just a photo op for photographers. I have a feeling once the iPhone crowd realizes the luck involved in getting that shot (everything has to come together perfectly during a brief few minute window) it will go back to being a lot less crowded.
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