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Yosemite March/April - road conditions? #2595104
01/21/17 12:39 PM
01/21/17 12:39 PM
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Hey guys, I need some Yosemite weather advice before I decide on the itinerary of a trip I'm taking with my wife in late March.

I've been to Yosemite a couple times, but only in September and October. I have no idea what the roads up there will be like around the time I intend to be there (mar/30). With all the storms going down what are the odds of snow or ice on the road?

I usually wouldn't mind driving on the snow (although I never have), but my wife is pregnant (which is the reason we're traveling again so soon, who knows when we'll be able to do that again? coffee ), so I want to avoid any sort of collision risk... I consider myself a great driver, but I have no snow experience whatsoever, feels kinda risky.

What should I expect driving up there from LA around mar/30 and then from Yosemite to Monterey around apr/02?

Also... what's the deal with chains? mandatory on the trunk even if I'm on a 4wd?

Thanks guys! You know I'll ask for more advice for the rest of my trip, right? hat

For your troubles...



Last edited by brukuns; 01/21/17 12:40 PM.

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Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2595170
01/21/17 05:12 PM
01/21/17 05:12 PM
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Hard to predict what the weather will be like then, it can be beautiful, spring weather, or a storm could blow through. Either way, the roads should all be open going up to the valley but that is the time of year when snowmelt will definitely be a factor, especially this year. But that is the best time to see all of the waterfalls in their raging glory! As far as the roads go, I would advise that if you're coming up from the south going up to Merced and taking Hwy 140 instead of going out of Fresno. The road from Fresno gets higher up sooner so more time in potential snow. But you should be able to check on that before heading up, may not be a problem. Also, I would use Hwy 140 again going to Monterey. As to chain requirements, again, depending on weather, they may be required but if you have 4wd you really shouldn't need them. Plenty of resources on the net to check roads/weather. Good luck and have fun! Awesome place, been going up there since the early '60s, mostly to park and backpack up to the back country.


It's already good tomorrow...
Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: Icu812] #2595213
01/21/17 06:34 PM
01/21/17 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: Icu812
Hard to predict what the weather will be like then, it can be beautiful, spring weather, or a storm could blow through. Either way, the roads should all be open going up to the valley but that is the time of year when snowmelt will definitely be a factor, especially this year. But that is the best time to see all of the waterfalls in their raging glory! As far as the roads go, I would advise that if you're coming up from the south going up to Merced and taking Hwy 140 instead of going out of Fresno. The road from Fresno gets higher up sooner so more time in potential snow. But you should be able to check on that before heading up, may not be a problem. Also, I would use Hwy 140 again going to Monterey. As to chain requirements, again, depending on weather, they may be required but if you have 4wd you really shouldn't need them. Plenty of resources on the net to check roads/weather. Good luck and have fun! Awesome place, been going up there since the early '60s, mostly to park and backpack up to the back country.


Thanks! Good call on on the roads, I had no idea the 41 was higher... it seems that taking the 140 from Merced doesn't add much driving time, I'll keep that in mind depending on the forecast. When I took my wife to Yosemite back in 2015 it was completely dry. I really want her to see that thing lit up with water. I would love some snow too, as long as the roads stay safe.


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Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2595279
01/21/17 09:22 PM
01/21/17 09:22 PM
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congrats on the baby applause

Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2595637
01/22/17 07:44 PM
01/22/17 07:44 PM
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Thanks!!!


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Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2600162
02/01/17 09:47 PM
02/01/17 09:47 PM
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Spring is going to have the waterfalls roaring this year. You picked well!

Today's puff piece on Yosemite is here, and about frazzle ice.

Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2600363
02/02/17 11:36 AM
02/02/17 11:36 AM
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Cool Mr. Doof. I decided to go anyway. snow or not, just not doing Monterey anymore. I'll keep it simple and return straight to LA before heading down to San Clemente for a week.


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Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2600364
02/02/17 11:41 AM
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The one thing I'm still wondering is if I should stay at former Curry Village Cabin with bath, or if I should pay an extra $70 a night and stay at the Falls.


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Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2600440
02/02/17 03:50 PM
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The Yosemite Valley Lodge is gonna definitely be better as far as accomodations go than the tent cabins at Curry Village, more like a regular motel. I stayed in a room there years ago that was on the side facing Yosemite Falls and it was a full moon, sat out on the porch and had a little puff, quite nice. The tent cabins would feel more like 'camping'.


It's already good tomorrow...
Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2601166
02/03/17 07:01 PM
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I advise hiking the Yosemite Falls Trail to get above the lower falls or walk up (down if possible) 4 Mile Trail to obtain much better views with way less people.

Always advise people to rock hop/clamber their way up the talus at the base of pretty much any side of the valley, but under the wall of El Capitan is easy and rewarding.

Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: Mr Doof] #2601203
02/03/17 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mr Doof
I advise hiking the Yosemite Falls Trail to get above the lower falls or walk up (down if possible) 4 Mile Trail to obtain much better views with way less people.

Always advise people to rock hop/clamber their way up the talus at the base of pretty much any side of the valley, but under the wall of El Capitan is easy and rewarding.


Pregnant wife, I don't think I'll be able to do any hiking this time... only on paved trails. toilet


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Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2601241
02/03/17 10:13 PM
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Get up early and go alone. Skip the evening drinks, cuddle, then go at dawn and beat the others.

Pregnant women need their rest after all.

Or not







Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2601261
02/03/17 11:37 PM
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We go to Yosemite several times a year. Having to visit family in Fresno usually cuts it down to a day trip though. When we stay overnight there we go to El Portal and stay at the Yosemite view lodge. The place has great rooms right next to the Merced River, allow pets, have excellent food and a lively Bar with cheap drinks. We were there March 31st & April 1st last year and there was snow and waterfalls everywhere. This Spring it has to be even better with the upcoming melting of that massive snowpack.


I was a little bit smarter and quicker than everyone else, so I've been able to live the way I've wanted to live - Mickey Dora
Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2601339
02/04/17 02:48 AM
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great pics doof!

curry village is literally just a campground w/ cots under a canvas tent.. you have access to water and electrical outlets. you decide whether or not that works for you guys. high sierra and tuolumne meadows routes will not be open that early given impressive CA precip so far. & congrats on the baby!

Re: Yosemite March/April - road conditions? [Re: brukuns] #2601400
02/04/17 11:50 AM
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Thanks guys!

You went on March 31st and there was snow everywhere? I will be there on the exact same dates!

My worry is the ice on the trails... don't want her to slip. If it feels safe we could do some easy hikes for sure.

As for Curry Village, I've been there once with a friend, got the canvas tent with no heater. It's crappy but it did the trick and back then it was like 40 bucks a night. But it seems the Cabin with a Bath is more like a motel room. Very different from the tents.

I'm arriving in LA early morning 03/29, I'm thinking of doing a few errands in LA and then head straight that way, maybe spend a night in Tulare (good hotels for cheap) and cut the drive in 2. Then get to Yosemite early and spend the night there. Option 2 is sleep in LA when I arrive and then head straight to Yosemite, but then stay there for 2 nights.

Thing is... Yosemite View Lodge is rather expensive, so if I'm there for 2 nights I might take a look at the cabins with a bath from Curry Village. If I can't do any trails I'm thinking that just spending one night there (and enjoying 2 half days in the park) might be enough to take in the sights. Then it's surfing time!


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