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[Yosemite]

Cell phone coverage

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Cell phone coverage

Postby Snake eyes » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:34 am

A member of my group is concerned about having contact with the out side world in case of an emergency on the trail or at home and he's thinking about renting a satellite phone for the week. I'm wondering if there is any cell phone coverage in the higher elevations if needed? We'll be near Merced Lake, Sunrise Lakes, Clouds Rest and Half Dome areas.
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Cell phone coverage in Yosemite

Postby dan » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:07 am

See this thread for cell phone coverage in Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley:
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=883
Half Dome has coverage via Yosemite Valley's cell tower below Glacier Point. See the thread above for more info.

As for other areas, usually there is no coverage. You often get reception on high peaks.

The Park Service has a private band in the backcountry called ParkNet, but that's for their own use, and it doesn't use the cell/mobile phone bands. It's useful to know though if you run into a backcountry ranger.
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=4513
Last edited by dan on Tue May 10, 2011 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Wickett » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:36 pm

I have cell service at LYV up to the start of the halfdome trail. I also have it to Morraine Dome but no further towards Merced Lake. Unless you have AT&T forget about it. I forgot the other provider that works up there. Service can be spotty even in the valley.
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Postby AlmostThere » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:28 pm

If your friend has real good reasons to want to maintain consistent communication the sat phone may be the ticket. If he's just being paranoid, he may not have a very good time out there even if he does linger where there's some cell coverage. I have AT&T and while I have gotten some reception it is not bullet proof. And even Sat connections are not perfectly reliable - ask anyone who has a GPS how often it loses signal.
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Cell phone coverage maps for National Parks

Postby jeremy1701 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:35 am

The latest issue (or perhaps the one previous) of Backpacker has some nice maps of cell coverage for a variety of NPs. I found their Yose map to be pretty accurate, but I didn't try all that much. We got spotty reception at high points from Toulumne to LYV following the JMT. Specifically at Upper Sunrise, climb the dome to just below Cathedral Peak and you'll get reception. However, if I were you, I'd climb it anyway and leave my cell behind. :wink:
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Postby kathy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:19 pm

Verizon coverage strong in TM, along Sunrise and Forsythe trails, and in the valley. En route to the valley from TM, however, was pretty much non existent.
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Cell phone usage tips in the wilderness

Postby dan » Tue May 10, 2011 1:11 pm

Backpacker Magazine webpage has an article on "Save your Life with a Cell Phone" by Jason Stevenson (June 2009). It has some good tips, such as preserving battery life, improving reception, and GPS features:

http://www.backpacker.com/june_09_save_ ... ills/13141
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Re: Cell phone coverage

Postby rick56 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:31 pm

Dan, interesting article. I'd heard you can use a cell to start a fire. Anyone know if T-Mobile customers get any signal near
O'Shaughnessy Dam? If not is there a pay phone near by? Thanks
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Re: Cell phone coverage

Postby dan » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:01 pm

rick56 wrote:Dan, interesting article. I'd heard you can use a cell to start a fire. Anyone know if T-Mobile customers get any signal near O'Shaughnessy Dam? If not is there a pay phone near by? Thanks


There's a parking lot, restrooms, picnic tables, and a pay phone next to the dam.

No cell phone signal, unless that's changed recently.
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Re: Cell phone coverage

Postby orion » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:05 am

you should prefer a lack of coverage. i think that is one of the points. am i wrong?
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