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Tire chains--help UK visitor please

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Tire chains--help UK visitor please

Postby donscot » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:11 am

I am flying to California from England (UK) on 31st March 2010, then driving to Yosemite for a week. :( :(
I am getting a hire car from Hertz at San Fran airport.
Coming from a country with little snow I have no knowledge of snow chains. how do I obtain snow chains? I will be driving in on highway 120.
Can you still drive with snowchains on your car, if there is no snow on the road? If so would I be better to get them fitted on route, and leave them on?
The weather forecast seems to suggest snow showers for early April.
Thank you
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Snow Chains

Postby DTOlness » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:48 am

You cannot use snow chains on Hertz vehicles. I copied this from the Hertz website.

Does Hertz provide snow chains?


No, Hertz neither provides snow chains nor allows chains to be put on the tires of the vehicle in the United States and Canada.
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Postby Wickett » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:09 am

If you head up 140 instead of 120 you should not need snow chains. 120 tops out at about 7,000 ft while the high point on 140 is the Valley so it is not as likely to have snow.

I went up 140 in January the day after a snow storm and I didn't see any snow until I entered the park. The speed limit is low in the park so I didn't even put on chains.

Is this your first visit to Yosemite?
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Re: Tire chains--help UK visitor please

Postby dan » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:19 am

Here's Park Service information on tire chains:

Rental car companies such as Hertz forbid use of snow chains on their car, so don't ask them for any.

It's unlikely you'll need them if you stay on Highway 140 and Yosemite Valley. Stay off Highways 41 (Wawona Rd.) and 120 (El Portal Rd.). That said, the Park Service still requires them. I wouldn't tell any Park Service official I don't have them, but I would also stay on Highway 140- and Yosemite Valley and stay off the roads if it storms. There is an excellent, free shuttle bus system in Yosemite Valley--use it.
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Postby Peter » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:00 pm

A nice work around would be to rent an SUV or a truck with 4WD, that way if you hit the snow, just kick in into 4wd and you'll do fine. If you have 4wd then you don't need snow chains. Just take it easy and don't speed even if people are harassing you on the roads. Don't want to put a dent on a rental car :]
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Postby jimdmcd » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:00 am

Even if you don't need to use them tire chains are mandatory during pre-determined times of year.
You must carry tire chains in your vehicle during those times of year as they many become mandatory at any time.
Sometimes the NPS employee at the entrance gate will ask to see the chains. If they do that and you do not have them you will be turned around and will not be able to enter the park.(I am not saying that happens often but it does happen).
If you are unable to enter the park due to not having snow chains, any room charge deposit will be forfeited )(you did buy travel insurance,right ???
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Re: Tire chains--help UK visitor please

Postby Wickett » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:50 am

donscot wrote:I am flying to California from England (UK) on 31st March 2010, then driving to Yosemite for a week.

How was your trip?
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