Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Trip Location Advice & Meet-ups | Join Upload & Sell

  

Yosemite suggestions
  
 
Kenj8246
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Yosemite suggestions


I'm Kenny, an old fart from College Station TX who likes to fool around with 4X5 film. I'm about two years away from retirement and am tentatively planning a mid- to late-April or mid- to late-October 2017 driving trip out to Yosemite. Driving because I don't care much for what flying has become and the idea of baggage-checking a case full of camera/lenses/filters/etc. fills me with dread, as I'm not independently wealthy. Mostly, I just love to ride thru the countryside and see what there is to see.

Considering my two target 'seasons', what can I expect weatherwise and otherwise? I reckon I want to shoot the tunnel view--I feel like I want those shots just because I'm there--and would like to know of other possibilities. Bear in mind that, while I'm still fairly mobile for the age of 70, I do have two prosthetic knees(my second set) and a prosthetic right shoulder and don't wanna beat myself up unnecessarily with a lot of packing. I plan to be there from a Sunday to a Wednesday; I'm renting a property in Oakhurst.

Thanks in advance for your knowledge and assistance. PMs work equally well if you're so inclined.

Have film, will waste it,
Kenny Johnson



Dec 13, 2016 at 02:38 PM
MASL
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Yosemite suggestions


Hi Kenny,
As an old fart with beat up knees, I may be able to relate. First, if you're driving to Yosemite in April, you will likely be required to have chains or tire cables that fit your tires. The mountains are very pretty in snow but the state requires that you have chains at the ready (check the state highways website for date ranges). Second, in that same vane, bring traction for your feet. I recommend "Hill Sound" microspikes. There will be some elevation where the trails are ice and snow and a slip could be, well worse than knee replacement.
Since you're driving, roll through Mariposa Grove on your way in or out - Sequoia's will affect you. Really.
Borrow or buy a couple of books: Michael Frye's Photographer's Guide to Yosemite - lots of useful tips about locations and time of day factors.
Since weight will be an issue, consider a "pack wheel cart" to haul the gear and lessen the load on that shoulder. Most of the trails are well compacted or even asphalt in places... or rent a mule (-:
It takes us longer to get to places, but that's why they make headlamps!
Most of all, be outside for every sunrise and sunset. Down in the valley it's still amazing what the lighting becomes. Enjoy!
-Mark



Dec 13, 2016 at 03:11 PM
Kenj8246
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Yosemite suggestions


Thanks, Mark, good info. Sounds like October might be the better time frame. At least I wouldn't be needing to worry with chains?


Dec 13, 2016 at 03:26 PM
bflood
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Yosemite suggestions


Seems we're starting an old fart convention here. Let me emphasize Mark's recommendation for traction for your feet. I tried that slipping on ice thing a half year after I retired and, trust me on this, it doesn't work out well. Flew home with my leg in a cast and the doctor used an erector set to put my ankle and leg together (still works fairly well, though). Be realistic and mindful of you own limitations, especially if you are traveling alone (I was).

I agree that being prepared for snow is needed for an April trip. Snow is also possible in October, but much less likely and unlikely to be an amount that would be more than an inconvenience for a day or so. Keep in mind that the park doesn't plow the roads in the high country, which includes the road to Glacier Point, so snow that doesn't melt can become a real obstacle. If they have a heavy snow winter and spring is cool, you should expect that the roads in the high country won't be open yet. October snow, however, usually falls on pavement that isn't cold enough to freeze yet, melting a typically light October snowfall. No promises, of course, but October is a much lower snow risk.

Books: I agree on Michael Frye's book, and will add another - Lewis Kemper's Photographing Yosemite Digital Field Guide. Frye's book is smaller but much better suited to carrying with you to have handy in the park, while Kemper's book has more extensive information, but isn't nearly as user-friendly in field conditions.

You don't say how much time you are allowing for your drive from College Station to Yosemite or the route you intent to take each way. If you haven't been out west with a chance to photograph it, be careful of trying to schedule too much. There's so much worth seeing and shooting that it's easy to make a plan that includes more than you can realistically do.



Dec 14, 2016 at 03:39 AM
Doug Otto
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Yosemite suggestions


Hey Kenny,

It's good that you like driving because, from Oakhurst, you'll be doing a lot of it. Both seasons mentioned are beautiful times to be in the park. They're wildly different because of the available water. In spring, water defines the park. The falls rage, the rivers run swift and that is very much the energy in the park.

Fall is the polar opposite. You'll see fall color and some of the falls might not be flowing. In the place of the frenetic water of spring you have quiet rivers full of chances for mirror-like reflection. Both seasons are great times to be there.

I second the recommendation of Michael's book. Not only is it a fabulous reference, he's a great guy to boot.



Dec 14, 2016 at 03:46 AM
WiseTioga
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Yosemite suggestions


All the info you have been given is right on and you should take to heart. Remember that Yosemite is a great and wonderful place 12 Months out of the year. It's just different each month and there are at least a million different photo opportunities if you can see them. I'm willing to bet that once you go, you will want to go back in all four seasons. Have a great time.


Dec 14, 2016 at 06:08 AM
dswiger
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Yosemite suggestions


Kenny, speaking only as an "almost old fart" at 67, I will add my youthful 2 cents.
Firstly, I go to Yosemite 3 or 4 times a year as I live in the Bay Area. I also think both times of year have a lot to offer.
My favorite would be the October time frame for the Fall colors & the scenes along the river.
The April time frame isn't one I've gone there as it's too early for Dogwood blossoms (better in May) but there could be some snow.
For snow, I actually prefer about now as the storms are starting to roll in. Fresh snow scenes in Yosemite can be delicious.
Tunnel View AND Valley View are must shoot locations along with many views of Half Dome from around the valley.
I also shoot 4x5 & you might even channel Ansel if you are lucky

IF you give me a heads up on your trip, I might be able to join up if that appeals to you. I know my way around park pretty well.

Dan



Dec 14, 2016 at 06:08 AM
Jim Bau
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Yosemite suggestions


Lots of solid advice from some of the Yosemite regulars. I won't repeat all of what they said. I agree October would be my choice of your two date options. One thing you might seriously reconsider is staying in Oakhurst. With even the best of road conditions you are a solid hour away from the primary targets in Yosemite. Add rain, snow, tree removal crews...and you can add up to another 30 minutes to that. You may want to look at El Portal area or if you must have a small city, Mariposa is a much easier drive IMHO. From El Portal you're in the park in 10 minutes, and in the valley in 20 minutes. Makes a huge difference at the end of a long day, and then then next morning when you have to get up an hour earlier just to drive.


Dec 14, 2016 at 07:54 AM
MASL
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Yosemite suggestions


bflood wrote:
Seems we're starting an old fart convention here. Let me emphasize Mark's recommendation for traction for your feet. I tried that slipping on ice thing a half year after I retired and, trust me on this, it doesn't work out well. Flew home with my leg in a cast and the doctor used an erector set to put my ankle and leg together (still works fairly well, though). Be realistic and mindful of you own limitations, especially if you are traveling alone (I was).

I agree that being prepared for snow is needed for an April trip. Snow is also possible
...Show more

Here's a link to the CalTrans highway info regarding traction:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/trucks/chains.html
Basically, you're on your own but responsible if conditions call for traction. You can buy them when you get close if conditions call for them. A set will cost you between $50 and $100 - cables are generally shorter lived but less damaging to wheels and tires than are the chains.
The points about knowing your limits and don't plan too much go hand in hand. More than physical abilities, it's a question of how long you can live out of a car and tent. Even mixing in 2-4 motel nights a week, my limit seems to be about three weeks.... and shrinking it seems )-:
-Mark



Dec 14, 2016 at 12:32 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 

        


Kenj8246
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Yosemite suggestions


Thanks to all of you, much appreciated. A lot to think about and the Michael Frye book is on the way. Right now, I'm leaning towards the April timeframe but that may change. We'll see.

Kenny

ps Dan, I've got news: at 67 you're already an old fart. But it's all relative, right?



Dec 14, 2016 at 02:21 PM
gpelpel
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Yosemite suggestions


+1 for October. The latest part of the month would be better for fall colors.
Fall in Yosemite is special. The weather is usually exquisite and the crowds are much smaller. You also still have access to the highest elevations such as Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point.

April offers more limited opportunities. Glacier Point and Tuolumne Meadows roads are still closed. The valley can be on the dull side and the weather may include rain (too late for snow in the valley). Yes, the waterfalls will be more impressive and, yes, you may hit the perfect timing where a storm clears the valley leaving some residual clouds floating over the trees here and there; think Tunnel View.



Dec 14, 2016 at 04:18 PM
Kenj8246
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Yosemite suggestions


gpelpel wrote:
+1 for October. The latest part of the month would be better for fall colors.
Fall in Yosemite is special. The weather is usually exquisite and the crowds are much smaller. You also still have access to the highest elevations such as Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point.

April offers more limited opportunities. Glacier Point and Tuolumne Meadows roads are still closed. The valley can be on the dull side and the weather may include rain (too late for snow in the valley). Yes, the waterfalls will be more impressive and, yes, you may hit the perfect timing where a storm clears the
...Show more

I'm starting to warm to the October idea. Thanks.



Dec 14, 2016 at 04:40 PM
dswiger
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Yosemite suggestions


Kenj8246 wrote:
Thanks to all of you, much appreciated. A lot to think about and the Michael Frye book is on the way. Right now, I'm leaning towards the April timeframe but that may change. We'll see.

Kenny

ps Dan, I've got news: at 67 you're already an old fart. But it's all relative, right?


Now that was mean... but true
Offer stands. I always look for excuses to head up there

Dan



Dec 14, 2016 at 09:21 PM
tntcorp
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Yosemite suggestions


i visited yosemite in late aug of this year and have to say the best way to save time and be well-prepared for sunrise and sunset is to stay inside the park.

not sure if any campsites will be available in october or april, butshould you want to stay away from the crowds (which tended to congregate in the valley due to quick access to eating places), then camp up top near glacier point. you will not be too far for sunrise or sunset photos.

it is always nice to have a guide who is familiar of the areas. so, i would take up dan's offer if the opportunity exists. unless the itinerary is carefully planned out, one can be overwhelmed with the many locations for good photos.

good luck in your trip.




Dec 14, 2016 at 10:45 PM
gpelpel
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Yosemite suggestions


Campsites in high country are closed in October. Only camping available outside the valley is for backpackers with a permit. It is also forbidden to leave a car overnight on the high roads (Tuolumne and Glacier) after October 15th.

The closest accommodations to Glacier Point are probably the Wawona hotel (now Big Trees Lodge) and campground. I highly recommend staying at the Wawona, it's affordable and much nicer than the valley offerings.

Another consideration for your planning; the Mariposa Sequoia Grove is closed until the Summer 2017.



Dec 15, 2016 at 04:37 AM
Monika C
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Yosemite suggestions


Oakhurst is a long ways from the Valley floor, as others have pointed out. That means you won't be returning to your room to rest, etc. Also, there is no gas available in the Valley. It's much cheaper in Oakhurst than at the station by Wawona, but you'll be using a lot more! Even Yosemite West (vacation rentals often available) is closer (about 30' from the Valley) and you'll get more for your $$ than a room in the Valley. Usually Lower Pines Campground is open (I've camped there in Feb). In October, there's a good chance you'll be able to drive over Tioga Pass to the Eastern Sierras.

+1 for Michael Frye's guides. Also, if you subscribe to his blog, you'll be getting weather updates as well as inspiring photos.

Have a wonderful time!



Dec 16, 2016 at 02:37 AM
elkhornsun
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Yosemite suggestions


It will be sometime after the second week of May when the road over Tioga Pass will be open for traffic. This opens up access to more of the park and also to Hwy 395 and the areas along that stretch of highway including Mono Lake for example.


Dec 18, 2016 at 11:18 PM
dalite
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Yosemite suggestions


gpelpel wrote:
+1 for October. The latest part of the month would be better for fall colors.
Fall in Yosemite is special. The weather is usually exquisite and the crowds are much smaller. You also still have access to the highest elevations such as Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point.

April offers more limited opportunities. Glacier Point and Tuolumne Meadows roads are still closed. The valley can be on the dull side and the weather may include rain (too late for snow in the valley). Yes, the waterfalls will be more impressive and, yes, you may hit the perfect timing where a storm clears the
...Show more
_______

Well said. Yosemite is pretty in its own seasonal offerings, and October should show more color (April can still show overcast days and possibly some residual snow patches here and there.) The valley floor elevation is 3000 ft so it is safe to drive around in April, but roads to Glacier Pt and Tioga Road will be closed.

Also, be sure to bring a pair of hiking/walking sticks (e.g.,Leki or Komperdell brand).



Dec 24, 2016 at 12:59 AM







FM Forums | Trip Location Advice & Meet-ups | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password