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Mid October visit - chain requirements question.

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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Mid October visit - chain requirements question.

Postby theonematt » Mon May 13, 2019 11:44 am

We have booked for Mid-October (13th - 15th) in the Half Dome Village. I have some worries - we have read online that there can be snow in October and that tire chains may be required (by law?) to travel?

As someone from the UK I have no experience of tire chains whatsoever - and we plan on renting the car so I am unsure if we would be allowed to use them. What's unclear to me is if being in possession of chains is required even if the weather conditions are okay, the tire chain requirements (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tirechains.htm) refer to "designated chain control areas" and states "You must have tire chains or cables in your possession when entering a designated chain control area". Are there designated areas heading into Half Dome Village all year round or just when storms hit?

Our trip is a 3 week one starting September 28th in Vegas, onto LA then San Fran, Yosemite being near the end of the trip. Would it be wiser to flip it and make Yosemite closer to the start of the trip, 1st/2nd October? Or would the difference in weather be negligible? (We can cancel with full refund and rebook).

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Re: Mid October visit - chain requirements question.

Postby WanderingJim » Mon May 13, 2019 7:31 pm

It's unlikely that you'll get snow that early, but not completely impossible. If it's snowing, it'd likely be on the higher elevation roads like Tioga Road or hwy 120 from Groveland. You'd be able to drive in on 140 to the Valley and it's unlikely to get snow that low that time of year.

Earlier in Yosemite might be a good idea if you can do it, but I wouldn't worry that much.
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Re: Mid October visit - chain requirements question.

Postby theonematt » Tue May 14, 2019 1:50 pm

Thanks for your response. The general consensus I've found online is unlikely but not impossible as you said - good to know it likely won't be an issue.

Would changing the date to 1st/2nd October make any meaningful difference?

Re: Mid October visit - chain requirements question.

Postby robow8 » Tue May 14, 2019 4:11 pm

You should be okay. The earlier snows don't stick around for very long. You did reserve heated tent cabins, right?
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Re: Mid October visit - chain requirements question.

Postby theonematt » Tue May 14, 2019 4:20 pm

Thank you - yeah we booked the heated :)

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