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Old 04-09-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
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Planning Yosemite in the fall?

In mid-March we flew to central CA, and swung by Yosemite for a day. The weather was beautiful, and we had an awesome time, and I was absolutely blown away. I cannot wait to get back there! I'd like to plan a week-long trip in the fall and take the AS down there this time.

So my questions are, if I'd like to avoid snow, how late can I go? Will September/October be pushing it? We prefer to go in the off season. Our trip in March was wonderful and uncrowded, so now we're spoiled.

Any other tips I should know about staying at one of the parks in the valley? It looks like I need to get the reservations online way ahead of time. I read that some sites in Lower Pines back right up to the river and can only handle small trailers, which sounds perfect for us.

I'm hoping we will be able to get up to Glacier Point, but I understand in the fall it might be closed (it was in March). I'd also like to spend a day checking out the Mariposa Grove and another at Tuolumne meadows if weather permits.

Any advice from those experienced with the park would be appreciated! Here's a pic from our trip:
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:22 PM   #2
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Sept will still be hot in the valley, Oct for me is the best month in Ca, the heat has tapered off. Only one or two rain storms to clear the air, snow won't stick on the valley roads IF it snows. Glacier point should be open until Nov. easy, with the draught, same for Tioga pass. They close the roads after heavy snow until memorial day +/-.
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:29 PM   #3
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Stephanie, I was a meteorologist for 29 years in Fresno and Yosemite is one of my favorite places on the planet and I visit there many times each year.

The rain season across Central California begins in later November and each month after the potential for rain gets greater.

Do make reservations soon but after school begins the park is very pleasant.

With the current drought you should have no problems. Glacier point will be open, Mariposa Grove open and definitely worth it, Tuolumne meadows open as the Tioga pass only closes after the snow flies.

Early fall is very comfortable, Yosemite won’t look the same from your last trip. The waterfalls will be dismal at best and much green will have turned brown.

Most across the area are praying the four year drought will come to an end. History says it may not.

Enjoy the trip it is a special place no matter what time of the year.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:24 PM   #4
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I have reservations in Sequoia NP, just south of Yosemite, and was recently notified their campground may run out of water later this summer. If so they will close the whole campground because the bathrooms won't operate. So my reservation may get voided.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:43 PM   #5
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You have to look online to see when the sites are released for the month you want to go. They release them at 7 am pacific time and they are gone for the whole month by about 7:30.


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Old 04-09-2015, 07:46 PM   #6
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I usually stay in Wawona. It is great because most of the people leave to go into the valley for the day. The river there is great for swimming. Slow and chest deep. We love it. It is in the park from the south entrance.


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Old 04-09-2015, 08:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerdave View Post
You have to look online to see when the sites are released for the month you want to go. They release them at 7 am pacific time and they are gone for the whole month by about 7:30.


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And it's the middle of the month (15th) when you start the month not the first.


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Old 04-09-2015, 11:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. Looks like for early November we don't get to reserve until June so I have time to pick out which sites I want to get. Even if we can't get our first choice, it sounds like we should be able to get something.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:07 PM   #9
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We were in Yosemite last fall in Tulane meadows campground. It was very dusty. We had no reservations but got a spot near the n
Bathrooms. There is NF S. Campground just east of the meadows, the view is gorgeous. We learned the forest service or blm land is usually less crowded that park camps. We like to boondock
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:56 PM   #10
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Don't assume campsites will be plentiful (though they may be). My experience is that you must be on line the morning of the 15th, at 7:00 AM (pre-logged in) if you hope to get almost any site. Familiarize your selves with the procedure ahead of time if you are not yet familiar with it. Don't give up if all sites appear to be taken immediately. Often times people will reserve what they can get, then continue searching for something better and after 15 minutes or so sites start becoming available again (for a few seconds). Once you latch onto a site it will hold it for maybe 15 minutes (not sure if 10 minutes or 15).
Your trailer length is great because most sites have a maximum trailer length of 24 feet.
We also have a 1968 17' Airstream in addition to our 25' Airstream (for purposes of many Federal and State parks we have to call our 25-footer a 24-footer).

As stated by others, there won't be much water in the rivers that time of the year but it is still a wonderful place to stay. If you use a generator be aware there is no gasoline available in the valley. They do have propane available as long as the dates on your tanks are within 12 years of the manufacture date. I converted my generator to a tri-fuel, so conceptually I can run it off of propane if needed (I'll be there in August when it's really hot, so may have to run it occasionally for air conditioning).
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:00 PM   #11
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Hope to see you in Aug WindyJim
I volunteer there in Aug


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Old 04-10-2015, 07:01 PM   #12
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Thanks, I'm still trying to figure out how we can spend a week in one spot without hookups. In my opinion the best spots we've camped at have always been no-hookups, so I want to make some modifications this year to make that possible for us to spend a week off the grid, but I might end up having to borrow a gen for the trip.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:23 PM   #13
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If your battery is in good shape and can take a good charge, you maybe can try portable solar. I have solar on my 25' which pretty well takes care of everything (except microwave, electric coffee pot, etc.). I also have portable solar which I purchased when I had a 27' Airstream. I still use the portable solar in January when the sun angle is low enough on my roof top that I need to be able to supplement it with the portable. The portable is nice in that respect, in that you can point it directly at the sun and maximize what you get from it.
I always travel with a generator in the back of the pickup, but oftentimes go the full five days or a week without using it. Sometimes I break out the generator just to have the convenience of reheating my coffee when my cup gets cold. (Also, to make solar more workable, I replaced all the lighting with LED lights which take about one-fifth the electricity that regular lights take).
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:25 PM   #14
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Subfan1, hope to see you in August. We will be in North Pines campground.
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