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Visiting Yosemite in April

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:44 pm
by archive
Author: Jain (
Date: 03-22-06 15:26

We will be visiting Yosemite from 4/10-4/12. We will be staying about 15 mile(s) from south entrance of Yosemite National Park. Had a couple of questions:
1. What is the best route to get there? We are going from South Bay. I've heard that 152-140 is not a good option, is that correct?
2. Do we need chains for the tires?
3. Please suggest activities with kids.


Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 03-22-06 17:38

1. Don't know. You can also take 120 from Tracy.

2. Automobiles are required to carry (but not necessarily use) chains from October through end of April. So yes. That said, I doubt that you'll need them in Yosemite Valley or on Highway 140 into the park in April. Check the Current Conditions webpage from the Park Service at

3. Structured activities are limited in April.
In Summer there's a Junior Ranger Program. Le Conte Memorial Lodge has a Children's Center (open only in summer).
Also in summer, there's horseback rides in Yosemite Valley and Wawona.

In Winter there's snowshoeing and a (rental) innertube area. At Crane Flat Campground is a snow play area (innertube, sled, etc.). At Curry Village is ice skating.
There's evening programs, usually at Yosemite Lodge and Yosemite Village. Check the Yosemite Today newsletter when you enter the park, or go to

There's a Nature Center at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley (summer only).

See also the For Kids page at the Park Service website:

Author: Jain (
Date: 03-23-06 10:46

Thanks for the suggestion, Dan.


Will I see water falls in April???

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:18 pm
by archive
Author: Wanli Yang (
Date: 03-21-02 15:28


I plan to visit Yosemite in end-March or first week of April. What are the chances of my seeing the falls?

Last time I visitied in September and it was all dry out there!

I will really appreciate any response...


Re: Will I see water falls in April???
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 03-21-02 18:21

Your changes are 100%. The best time to see waterfalls is in the spring when the snow has melted. You should also see a lot of wildflowers in the Valley. Usually by August, it's getting pretty dry and the falls turn to a trickle until the rain and snow starts again in December or January.

May and June are the best months to see waterfalls.

Re: Will I see water falls in April???
Author: Rick Ellis (63.95.39.---)
Date: 04-17-02 16:22

Definately 100% unless you can't see ;)

Travelling in Yosemite - late April

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:32 pm
by archive
Travelling in Yosemite - late April
Author: Graham Robinson (
Date: 01-03-05 03:48

We are travelling to California in April this year staying with friends in Clovis initially.

We are then due to stay in accomodation to the west of the park for one night prior to travelling down to Death Valley.

We understand that Tioga Pass may not be open at this time and are looking for advice on the following -
1) Approximate dates of opening (given previous years experiences).
2) Alternative routes to Death Valley
3) Availability of snow chains in and around Yosemite

Your help would be very much appreciated.

Happy New Year

Graham Robinson

Re: Travelling in Yosemite - late April
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 01-03-05 09:39

For driving time from Death Valley, see

The time is very similar as from Vegas.

In winter there's only 2 roads open over the Sierra Nevada. In the south, take Highway 58 over Isabella Pass (Highway 58 heads straight west from the junction of I-15 and I-40.

The other route over the Sierra is I-80 (which heads straight west from Lake Tahoe).

Highwway 120 is CLOSED. It usually opens Memorial Day weekend (4th Monday in May) or the week before.
If there is a lot of snow, 120 doesn't open until June. I remember a year it didn't open until July. I never remember it opening in April.

Snow chains are available at Gas Stations outside of Yosemite Park. You are required to have them BEFORE entering the park in Winter. Rarely are they needed, but you must have them.

Re: Travelling in Yosemite - late April
Author: Jill (
Date: 04-21-05 14:47

Hello -

I will be driving to Yosemite 4/25. What is the best way to go from Los Angeles?

Thank you.


Re: Travelling in Yosemite - late April
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 04-21-05 17:17

If you're going to the valley, take Highway 99 to Highway 140 west at Merced. That heads straight to Yosemite Valley. Highway 41 is slower, but is good if you are stopping at Glacier Point or the Giant Sequoias at Mariposa Grove (Southern Yosemite).

I take a shortcut to get from Highway 99 to 140, skipping Merced. There's a county road that heads straight south from Planada to Highway 99. It's tricky and you can always go to Merced and take 140 if you miss it. Get a California roadmap.

Re: Travelling in Yosemite - late April
Author: Marwin (170.146.145.---)
Date: 05-04-05 13:57

We just returned from Yosemite on 4/17. I've personally been to this heavenly place 9 times, but I must admit that I had never seen it during early-mid April before this trip. What Kimberly2u is true--it's by far the best time of the year to experience Yosemite. You get a hint of both beautiful seasons (winter and spring), and hesitantly intertwining constantly.

It was snowing lightly from the South entrance to the valley. But once it stopped (after just a few hours), it was sunshine all the way. Nights can get get quite chilly. We've posted some photos for friends. But we hope it can also help others get an idea of what to expect.

Cheers and happy vacationing,


Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it yourself. ~ Walt Whitman

Visiting Yosemite in April

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:23 am
by archive
Author: Gavin & Marg (
Date: 12-02-05 22:10

We would love to know what activities are possible in Mid April in Yosemite. Are some areas still blocked off due to snow? We are not interested in skiing, but we are looking at hiking. Does anyone have any suggestions for this time of year?
Thank you for your help.
Marg & Gavin

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 12-02-05 23:51

The Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road are still closed in April.

The road to the parking lot in Wawona Grove might be open. You still need to walk a mile to the first Giant Sequoia (the tram isn't running until late June).

That said, the Valley, at only 4000', is open. It's early spring and the waterfalls are starting to come back to their full glory. The meadows are starting to grow.

It's a nice time in the Valley since the summer crowds have not arrived yet. It may be cold and damp that time of year though. Hike to Nevada and Vernal Falls from the Valley Floor. To Mirror Lake. If you're in shape, you can hike to the top of Yosemite Falls (all day). The cables to Half Dome are not up yet (that's also all day).

Easier hikes are along the Valley floor along the north or south walls or along the Merced River. You can also rent a bike and bike around the floor of the Valley. The Valley floor is an old lakebed and relatively flat. Great pizza at Curry Village or Yosemite Village.

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Jon (
Date: 12-16-05 22:36

Mid April is, in my opinion, one of the best times to visit Yosemite. As mentioned by Dan, the falls are flowing at full glory, the crowds haven't yet arrived, and the vegetation is green and glorious. Most day hikes in and from the Valley should be open (a likely exception is the 4 mile trail to Glacier Point). But if you are up to a LONG day hike you can hike to Nevada Fall, then take the very scenic Panorama Trail to G.P. (you would have to backtrack if the 4 mile is closed) This is a full day hike, but should be do-able if you are in good condition and start early. It is a fantastic hike.

The Valley Loop Trail is also glorious...particularly the mid section.

P.S. Personally, I think the pizza in Yosemite Village (Degnan's Loft) is superior to that in Curry Village.

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Jon (
Date: 12-17-05 13:21

...a plus to the Panorama Trail this time of year is that, since the road to Glacier Point isn't open yet, you can have this incredible vista practically all to yourself (can be very crowded in summer).


Panorama Trail
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 12-17-05 13:48

The Panorama Trail, for those who don't know. heads from Little Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point from the east. It may have snow during some years of heavy snowfall in April. Beautiful trail--rare glimpses of Illilouette Falls.

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Tracy Beckerman (
Date: 01-16-06 15:13

I'm looking into taking my family to Yosemite in Mid-April. My kids are 9 and 11 and we would like to stay right near the park. We've never been before and would love some guidance regarding family-friendly lodging and places that offer guided (age appropriate) hikes, as well as "must see" areas in the park.

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 01-17-06 10:26

El Portal is the closest to stay near Yosemite Valley. It's located just outside the park boundary about 5 miles west of the Valley. Mariposa is further, but is an historical mining town that's fun to walk around, with a museum.

Oakhurst probably has the most lodging and is south of Yosemite.

For a clickable map, with links to area lodging go to

For a list of activities, see the "Yosemite Guide", which you get when you enter the park. It lists activities and guided ranger walks. For the current issue online, see

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Tracy Beckerman (
Date: 01-17-06 11:03

Thanks Dan!

We actually got a recommendation for the Evergreen Lodge. Do you know that place. I checked it out on line and it looks very rustic and nice.

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: Dan Anderson (207.211.160.---)
Date: 01-17-06 11:12

I've never stayed there, but I know others who have and recommend it.
It has several recreation facilities onsite.
It's good if you're coming from the Bay Area.

- Dan

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: TB (
Date: 01-24-06 09:42

Consider Yosemite West. It's IN the park boundries... but the prices are not nearly what you will pay in the valley. Yos. West is off of Hwy. 41... a stone's throw (almost) from Glacier Point road as you head south. It is a complex of about 15 lodgings of all styles and prices. I stayed in "Four Seasons Vacations Rentals" last Sept. Paid $125 a day for a room with two double beds, a small kitchen and bath. You can cook in the rooms. It's located at 7519 Henness Circle... Yosemite National Park, Ca. 95389. 800-669-9300. And it is not booked up a year in advance. I got Sept. reservations only about a month before I went to the park.
If you wish more information... email me at I can send pictures and detailed directions.
No, I am not an employe or owner. I live 2000 miles from the place. I just found a reasonable place to stay only minutes from the Valley and Glacier Point Road.

Re: Visiting Yosemite in April
Author: marya (
Date: 03-06-06 20:09

I am also planning a short (!) trip to Yosemite in April - haven't been in about twenty years, and back then it was an October project. I am planning to stay at a place 2 miles south on Hwy. 41, very close to Mariposa Grove, apparently... I'm trying to get a pretty accurate picture of how close to the sequoias we could get in mid-April.

Yosemite activities over Easter

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:39 am
by archive
Author: Marie (
Date: 04-13-03 11:15

I am going to Yosemite for the first time over Easter. I would like advice/recommendations on what I should see and do. All the hikes, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and siees looks so good I don't know where to start. Thanks!

Re: Yosemite activities over Easter
Author: Mike (
Date: 04-15-03 12:13

How long are you staying? Are you looking for day hikes or overnighters? Any of the hikes to the falls (Yosemite, Nevada) would be rewarding. Snowshoeing from Badger Pass to Dewey Point would be another option.

You can check out my website, The Backcountry, for more information on those and other hikes.

Enjoy your stay!


Re: Yosemite activities over Easter
Author: Rick (
Date: 04-19-03 22:14

If the weather is good, hike up the trail out of Happy Isles.