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Author Topic: Yosemite Thanksgiving  (Read 6682 times)
Lisa Nikodym
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« on: October 17, 2003, 11:07:03 AM »
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Well, there's good news and bad news, whatever happens.  If the first snow hasn't hit by then (or is minor enough to have melted off), then all the trails from Yosemite Valley will be open, but Yosemite will be at about its worst (no waterfalls, no snow, probably too late for fall color).  Alternatively, if the snows have started, then the snow will make Yosemite Valley very pretty, but fewer of the trails will be accessible.  In late November, it's hard to tell which will be the case - that's about when the weather changes from autumn to winter conditions, but it varies quite a bit from year to year, so it's hard to tell at this point.  Yosemite Valley is still a gorgeous place, even at its worst, though, so don't let worries about that put you off.  Just also come back sometime later in the winter to photograph snow on trees, or sometime in late spring to photograph waterfalls on cliffs!

In any event, I think it's extremely likely that the high country roads (Tioga Pass, Glacier Point, etc.) will be closed by Thanksgiving, but the Valley is the most spectacular part anyway.  Even if there are heavy snows by then, there will still be photogenic parts of the valley which are accessible.

Lisa
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Hank
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2003, 09:07:54 AM »
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In Death Valley you have two primary choices, whether camping or in motels:  Stovepipe Wells or Furnace Creek.  Lots more people and development at Furnace, but fewer amenities at Stovepipe.  I usually camp, but on the occasions it was too cold or I was too tired and opted for a room, I was happier with Stovepipe.  

The area is big enough that you might consider a few nights at each, in order for late evening or early morning proximity to specific highlights without long drives and late meals.  Favorites for me from Stovepipe are the dunes (of course), Aguerreberry Point, the Charcola Kilns and Wildrose.  At Furnace Creek you are close to Dantes View, Devils Golf Course, Artists Palette and more.  Things like the Racetrack and Scottys Castle are a longer drive from either location.

Daytime temps are great, but nights and early mornings can be cool to cold, depending on elevation.  If you are doing sunrise at Aguerreberry or the Kilns for example, bring lots of warm clothes.

Hank
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Hank
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2003, 11:51:29 AM »
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Lisa's points are well taken. It will be a LONG drive from Yosemite to Death Valley at that time of year, but with the compensation that the landscape can be quite interesting once you leave the SJ Valley, whether taking the northern or southern route.

Hotel rooms may be scarce in either place due to the holidays, which begs the question of camping. You may have trouble reserving camp space in Yosemite, and you will definitely be warmer camping in DV. However, with the exception of Wildrose you will be "parking lot" camping in Death Valley. They are set up for the most part for housing RV's, and tent campers are limited to the fringes. The dominant view will be aluminum siding, so it's far from a pristine experience. I spend so little time in camp when I'm there that it's almost a moot point, but it can take a while in the evening for things to quiet down enough for sleep. You can get your revenge when arising for sunrise shots though. :cool:

Hank
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Eric
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2003, 05:31:53 PM »
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stayed in Stovepipe Wells a couple of times.


to book a room there, you can go to www.xanterra.com and follow the directions.
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EF
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2003, 10:52:29 PM »
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Quote
From Lee Vining the closest route would be north via HWY 88 going toward Kirkwood Ski Area.
I thought that road is closed in winter too. How long would it take if it's open? How long if go thru Tahoe?

Thanks!
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EF
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2003, 12:13:12 AM »
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What can I do in Yosemite during Thanksgiving week? Is it a good time for photography? How much hiking trails are usable then? Thanks!
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EF
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2003, 05:37:42 PM »
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Lisa, thanks for your info! I may reduce my stay at Yosemite and use it in Death Valley, hope there weather there will be better. Do you also have any tips on Death Valley for that timeframe?

Anyone knows what accomodation (lodging, meal, gas) situation will be like at those remote locations during the holiday?
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2003, 10:46:00 AM »
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Hank has made some great comments (I've been to Death Valley too).  It's a good time of year at Death Valley; maybe not at nice as early spring, but certainly much better than the summer half of the year (which is waaaaay too hot).  However, I'd worry that, if you try to use the motel approach, you may be too late to get reservations for the holiday weekend.  Not sure, but don't count on it...

(For that matter, it's almost certainly too late to get motel/hotel reservations anywhere inside Yosemite Park, but you can probably find rooms in the small towns outside the park to the west.  *Don't* make the mistake of trying to stay in Lee Vining, which is east of the park, or of trying to drive from Yosemite to Death Valley via highway 120 over Tioga Pass, because it is very likely it will be closed for the winter by then - your only options for getting out of the park will be on the west side of the mountains.  That makes for a loooong drive from there to D.V. - check a map before making any final decisions.  At the risk of repeating myself, even though it's not the best time of year for Yosemite, it's still a wondrous place *any* time of year!  Just come back at a better time, too.)

Lisa
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Hugh Sakols
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2003, 05:30:07 PM »
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There is snow in Yosemite Valley!  Last night it snowed down to 2000ft elevation.  This AM all roads were R2 (4 wheel drive or chains).  I love fall in Yosemite - great light and interesting contrast of colors - fall leaves and snow!
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EF
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2003, 08:12:32 PM »
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Now that the Tioga Pass road seems to be closed. How to get to Yosemite valley from Lee Vining? Is Tahoe the only route?
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Hugh Sakols
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2003, 05:17:48 PM »
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From Lee Vining the closest route would be north via HWY 88 going toward Kirkwood Ski Area.
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