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[Yosemite]

Late May Yosemite Visit, help

Information on possible opening and closing dates for the Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) through Yosemite National Park

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Late May Yosemite Visit, help

Postby tplatt80 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:55 am

Hello, I am new to the forum.

I have recently obtained a wilderness permit for Yosemite for 4 days during the end of May (which i am now starting to doubt). I guess I should have done a little more research before I booked them. A friend and I, who both possess a good amount of hiking experience and fitness level, are planning on starting our hiking from Tenaya Lake. Before I booked the permit I looked up the history of when Tioga Road has opened seems like it may or may not be open this time of year. Since I am a little late to the reservation game that opened up 2 months ago, I decided I might just gamble because permits are probably all taken up. So i obtained a permit and was excited, but then I started doing a bit more research.
I was hoping some people could shed some light on this for me. Will this be doable or should I try to rebook our trip/go somewhere else? I hear that there is a stream crossing at Tenaya Lake that will be high and that there is a possibility of snow. I have all the necessary outdoor equipment to deal with winter hiking, I was just wondering if others think it is an ok idea, as I do not like to leave a lot to chance when it comes to hiking in the winter time.
Any information on the topic will be welcome. While I have looked at various websites on weather in May, I am from the East Coast so to me May is a pretty good time to hike with minimal snow (if any), so I am probably naive on what May is like on the West Coast or in Yosemite. To me California winters are seen as mild compared to what I usually deal with. My friend is from California, but from the San Luis Obispo area and has never been to Yosemite. Hopefully that background helps out a little in your responses. Thanks!
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Re: Late May Yosemite Visit, help

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:07 pm

Unless there is significant snow that sticks (instead of a few feet that melts in a month) between now and then, you should be fine. There is a drought right now and we are all praying for more rain and snow, but it's just not coming down enough. Watch the weather over the next few months. There are often early spring snows, but it may yet prove out that they do not linger til the end of May. If they do, and there are spots open on another trailhead (say, Hetch Hetchy or the Ostrander or the Chilnualna trailhead) all is not lost.

Regular snow years see many feet of snow and we call it Sierra Cement. Winters in California can indeed be considered mild if compared to, say, Alaska, or the Rockies. However, the conditions in the Sierra Nevada will vary greatly from the conditions in the central valley, or in the coastal range, and should not be underestimated. Unprepared people who don't expect the sub freezing temps or the deep snow can show up with the wrong equipment.
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Re: Late May Yosemite Visit, help

Postby tplatt80 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:31 am

awesome! thank you for the response. I will keep monitoring things and have a back up plan or two just incase!
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