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[Yosemite]

Present conditions in the valley

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

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Present conditions in the valley

Postby markastone » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:46 pm

We are due to arrive on July 3 and have reservations for a week in housekeeping. Can anyone tell me the conditions in the valley right now? I am hearing rumors that much of the valley is flooded...is this true? Should I assume that there will be no rafting due to water levels? Any information would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance
Last edited by markastone on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:55 pm

The river is up to the bridges and some of the meadows are watery, but there weren't any closures yesterday.

There are plenty of signs to tell us no rafting... and you shouldn't try, anyone looking at the river thinking of it would be suicidal. There is a WHOLE LOTTA WATER!
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby bethlamb » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:46 pm

We are coming for a week starting on June 30th, 2011 Is the river still closed to rafting? If it is closed to rafting, is there any place to swim in the river? I saw it was 91 degrees today.
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:20 am

Swim??? Really? If it's not safe for boats, what chance are you going to have without one? Water's too strong and cold. Don't fall for the calm-looking parts, just because it's flat on top doesn't mean there isn't a really strong current in there.
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby vich » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:50 pm

We just got back from a 5 day Yosemite Valley visit - in via Tioga Pass North Entrance, out via Wawona South Entrance.

Portions of housekeeping are flooded, as are a couple of meadow trails but the remainder of the park is better for having the water. It's a 20 or 30 year high for water flow - peaking June 23. I can tell you this, the Merced River is draining it just as fast as it can - what a tulmatious raging river. Beautiful.

It's been 90ish during the days (although it seems more like 75 with the breezes) so evaporation will be helping your cause too.

Tioga Pass shows a ton of snow still so the high temps work to melt more too.

We've heard mosquitoes are a problem sometimes but we only got about 5 or 10 bites each over the 5 days, not bad considering I rarely use repelant. Maybe Housekeeping is worse since it's closer to the water.

Curry Village was fantastic. The hikes and waterfalls fantastic. What a great place.
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby vich » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:54 pm

bethlamb wrote:We are coming for a week starting on June 30th, 2011 Is the river still closed to rafting? If it is closed to rafting, is there any place to swim in the river? I saw it was 91 degrees today.


Lower down the Merced, maybe 20 miles past El Portal, we saw a few rafters and kayakers. Some looked like private parties but one large party was lunching on an island - maybe 25 people. So somebody's running now. The rafting company there had an "Open" sign up.

As we rented some bikes at Curry Village (in Yosemite Valley), we overheard them say they were closed for Rafting until mid to late July. The river's a lot steeper up there.
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby Ljrack » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:19 pm

vich wrote:
bethlamb wrote:We are coming for a week starting on June 30th, 2011 Is the river still closed to rafting? If it is closed to rafting, is there any place to swim in the river? I saw it was 91 degrees today.

Lower down the Merced, maybe 20 miles past El Portal, we saw a few rafters and kayakers. Some looked like private parties but one large party was lunching on an island - maybe 25 people. So somebody's running now. The rafting company there had an "Open" sign up.

As we rented some bikes at Curry Village (in Yosemite Valley), we overheard them say they were closed for Rafting until mid to late July. The river's a lot steeper up there.

Actually, the rafting on the Merced that you're talking about Past El Portal is outside the boundaries of Yosemite NP and are operated by Private operators. It's for white-water rafting. As far as rafting in Yosemite Valley proper, it's not really rafting, it's more like floating. It's not open simply because of safety concerns for reasons already mentioned (swift currents, ice-cold waters, etc. etc.) The valley is actually quite flat and the Merced is not what I would call steep in Yosemite Valley. It doesn't turn steep until actually right about when you leave the valley proper shortly past the Pahono Bridge. It get's really steep and rugged in the canyon heading down towards El Portal. None of that stretch between the Valley and El Portal is legally navigable by boat,kayak or otherwise as far as I know.

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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby hotrod4x5 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:07 am

AlmostThere wrote:Swim??? Really? If it's not safe for boats, what chance are you going to have without one? Water's too strong and cold. Don't fall for the calm-looking parts, just because it's flat on top doesn't mean there isn't a really strong current in there.
I think it's "not safe" for boats because of the bridges, the water is up to the bottom of them. When I was there two weeks ago I definitely saw a few calm sections where a person could take a dip.
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Re: Present conditions in the valley

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:14 am

hotrod4x5 wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:Swim??? Really? If it's not safe for boats, what chance are you going to have without one? Water's too strong and cold. Don't fall for the calm-looking parts, just because it's flat on top doesn't mean there isn't a really strong current in there.
I think it's "not safe" for boats because of the bridges, the water is up to the bottom of them. When I was there two weeks ago I definitely saw a few calm sections where a person could take a dip.


No, it's NOT SAFE. It's very cold, very deep, and moving faster than it appears to be.

Don't go in the water unless you are good at "reading" the current and staying well out of it. There's only a few inches of water between "calm" and "not safe" involved.
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