July or August better for Yosemite/Sierras trip?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. I am starting to make preliminary plans for a possible 3-week trip out
    west next summer. We would spend some time in the SF area, then about a
    week in Yosemite and an additional week or so doing Mono Lake, the
    Bishop area, Bodie and so forth in the eastern high Sierras.

    What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?

    I realize that there will be a lot of crowds then. Given the mid-summer
    timing, our plans would be to spend most of our time at the higher
    elevations, not amongst the throngs in Yosemite Valley. We plan to do
    day hiking but not overnight hiking.

    Your honest opinions and recommendations much appreciated. (But please
    don't tell me "oh you should go in October" or whatever... we have kids
    who will be in camp in the summer, and that's the only time we can do
    this.)

    Specific areas I am wondering about whether July or August would be
    better:

    1. Which month has better wildflowers?

    2. Is there any difference in waterfall flow between the months or is it
    all over by July anyway?

    3. Will the trails in the higher elevations be too mucky for use in July?

    4. Is there any difference in terms of the likelihood of forest fires?

    Thanks. ;)


    peace,

    -*-
    charles
    Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 5, 2004
    #1
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  2. Charles M. Kozierok

    Guest Guest

    In article <cmgcdt$esp$>,
    Charles M. Kozierok <> wrote:

    >What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    >trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    >photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?


    Early July should be great. Just avoid the 4th.

    --
    http://yosemitenews.info/
    Guest, Nov 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. In article <>, <> wrote:
    } In article <cmgcdt$esp$>,
    } Charles M. Kozierok <> wrote:
    }
    } >What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    } >trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    } >photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?
    }
    } Early July should be great. Just avoid the 4th.

    Thanks.

    Is the 4th bad just in the Valley or everywhere?

    If the passes open late due to snow does this mean the trails in the
    high country might still be snowed in in early July?

    peace,

    -*-
    charles
    Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 5, 2004
    #3
  4. Charles M. Kozierok

    Guest Guest

    In article <cmgh6e$gi4$>,
    Charles M. Kozierok <> wrote:

    >Is the 4th bad just in the Valley or everywhere?


    Everywhere. The 4th is the most popular time of year
    for Yosemite.

    >If the passes open late due to snow does this mean the trails in the
    >high country might still be snowed in in early July?


    I did an early July backpack in an El Nino year. The snow wasn't
    too bad below 10,000' and even there it was passable.

    --
    http://yosemitenews.info/
    Guest, Nov 5, 2004
    #4
  5. In article <>, <> wrote:
    } In article <cmgh6e$gi4$>,
    } Charles M. Kozierok <> wrote:
    }
    } >Is the 4th bad just in the Valley or everywhere?
    }
    } Everywhere. The 4th is the most popular time of year
    } for Yosemite.

    Other areas of the sierras as bad? Maybe we will stay in SF area at that
    time.

    } >high country might still be snowed in in early July?
    }
    } I did an early July backpack in an El Nino year. The snow wasn't
    } too bad below 10,000' and even there it was passable.

    El Nino's are the bad winters for you guys out there... so I guess
    that's okay. :)

    Thanks a lot!

    peace,

    -*-
    charles
    Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 5, 2004
    #5
  6. In case no one else touches on it, make sure you have reservations for
    whenever you decide. We usually go to the valley for several days in
    Early May and again in August and our reservations are made a year and a
    day in advance. These are for cabins, but even campgrounds can sell out
    well in advance. Staying outside but close to Yosemite is doable also.
    Web searches will easily bring up the available accomodations.
    Regardless, I can't imagine not enjoying Yosemite. It has some
    spectacular scenery. A bit of people tolerance and you should have no
    problems. Enjoy.

    Charles M. Kozierok wrote:
    > I am starting to make preliminary plans for a possible 3-week trip out
    > west next summer. We would spend some time in the SF area, then about a
    > week in Yosemite and an additional week or so doing Mono Lake, the
    > Bishop area, Bodie and so forth in the eastern high Sierras.
    >
    > What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    > trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    > photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?
    >
    > I realize that there will be a lot of crowds then. Given the mid-summer
    > timing, our plans would be to spend most of our time at the higher
    > elevations, not amongst the throngs in Yosemite Valley. We plan to do
    > day hiking but not overnight hiking.
    >
    > Your honest opinions and recommendations much appreciated. (But please
    > don't tell me "oh you should go in October" or whatever... we have kids
    > who will be in camp in the summer, and that's the only time we can do
    > this.)
    >
    > Specific areas I am wondering about whether July or August would be
    > better:
    >
    > 1. Which month has better wildflowers?
    >
    > 2. Is there any difference in waterfall flow between the months or is it
    > all over by July anyway?
    >
    > 3. Will the trails in the higher elevations be too mucky for use in July?
    >
    > 4. Is there any difference in terms of the likelihood of forest fires?
    >
    > Thanks. ;)
    >
    >
    > peace,
    >
    > -*-
    > charles
    Doug Chadduck, Nov 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Charles M. Kozierok

    Guest Guest

    In article <cmglp3$i86$>,
    Charles M. Kozierok <> wrote:

    >Other areas of the sierras as bad?


    Yep.

    --
    http://yosemitenews.info/
    Guest, Nov 5, 2004
    #7
  8. In article <SIRid.358912$MQ5.220287@attbi_s52>,
    Doug Chadduck <> wrote:
    } In case no one else touches on it, make sure you have reservations for
    } whenever you decide. We usually go to the valley for several days in
    } Early May and again in August and our reservations are made a year and a
    } day in advance. These are for cabins, but even campgrounds can sell out
    } well in advance. Staying outside but close to Yosemite is doable also.
    } Web searches will easily bring up the available accomodations.

    Last year I made reservations about this time for August accomodations
    but we didn't go. It wasn't that bad. But I just looked now and there
    appears to be nothing at all in the higher elevations any time in July.
    Looks like I waited too late. :(

    Thanks for the reply.

    peace,

    -*-
    charles
    Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 5, 2004
    #8
  9. Charles M. Kozierok

    TAFKAB Guest

    I just visited that area last July, during the last week. I stayed in Lee
    Vining, and did some hiking and shooting around Mono Lake and the Yosemite
    high country. I avoided the valley, since it's a mess in summer. Be sure to
    go late enough in the year so that the Tioga Pass road is open. It has been
    closed in late June, so snow can block the road until pretty late in the
    season. July 4th should be OK, August would be no problem.

    If you're out there, don't miss the Saddlebag Lake area. Easy to get to,
    easy to hike, and spectacular.

    Wildflowers would be better early in the season.

    Waterfalls are still flowing heavy in early July. Unless there's a snow
    drought, you'll see plenty of snow melt in July. I saw plenty of snow in the
    Saddlebag area during the last week of July.

    Can't comment on trail conditions in early July, but in late July they were
    pretty dry.



    "Charles M. Kozierok" <> wrote in message
    news:cmgcdt$esp$...
    >I am starting to make preliminary plans for a possible 3-week trip out
    > west next summer. We would spend some time in the SF area, then about a
    > week in Yosemite and an additional week or so doing Mono Lake, the
    > Bishop area, Bodie and so forth in the eastern high Sierras.
    >
    > What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    > trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    > photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?
    >
    > I realize that there will be a lot of crowds then. Given the mid-summer
    > timing, our plans would be to spend most of our time at the higher
    > elevations, not amongst the throngs in Yosemite Valley. We plan to do
    > day hiking but not overnight hiking.
    >
    > Your honest opinions and recommendations much appreciated. (But please
    > don't tell me "oh you should go in October" or whatever... we have kids
    > who will be in camp in the summer, and that's the only time we can do
    > this.)
    >
    > Specific areas I am wondering about whether July or August would be
    > better:
    >
    > 1. Which month has better wildflowers?
    >
    > 2. Is there any difference in waterfall flow between the months or is it
    > all over by July anyway?
    >
    > 3. Will the trails in the higher elevations be too mucky for use in July?
    >
    > 4. Is there any difference in terms of the likelihood of forest fires?
    >
    > Thanks. ;)
    >
    >
    > peace,
    >
    > -*-
    > charles
    TAFKAB, Nov 6, 2004
    #9
  10. Thanks a lot for the feedback and suggestions!

    We are thinking we may actually just take the whole family after all, in
    which case we could leave earlier and do Yosemite perhaps the last week
    of June. I assume this would be better for falls, wildflowers and fewer
    crowds?

    Only concern would be if Tioga Pass and Glacier Point open late.

    peace,

    -*-
    charles
    Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 6, 2004
    #10
  11. Charles M. Kozierok

    zeitgeist Guest

    August is warmer for camping. Spring is best for waterfalls, my favorite
    time is September, probably cause the kids are in school.

    keep in mind the rule of thumb, the number of people around diminish
    exponentially each mile from the road, and cubicly each 1000 feet upwards.


    > I am starting to make preliminary plans for a possible 3-week trip out
    > west next summer. We would spend some time in the SF area, then about a
    > week in Yosemite and an additional week or so doing Mono Lake, the
    > Bishop area, Bodie and so forth in the eastern high Sierras.
    >
    > What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    > trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    > photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?
    >
    > I realize that there will be a lot of crowds then. Given the mid-summer
    > timing, our plans would be to spend most of our time at the higher
    > elevations, not amongst the throngs in Yosemite Valley. We plan to do
    > day hiking but not overnight hiking.
    >
    > Your honest opinions and recommendations much appreciated. (But please
    > don't tell me "oh you should go in October" or whatever... we have kids
    > who will be in camp in the summer, and that's the only time we can do
    > this.)
    >
    > Specific areas I am wondering about whether July or August would be
    > better:
    >
    > 1. Which month has better wildflowers?
    >
    > 2. Is there any difference in waterfall flow between the months or is it
    > all over by July anyway?
    >
    > 3. Will the trails in the higher elevations be too mucky for use in July?
    >
    > 4. Is there any difference in terms of the likelihood of forest fires?
    >
    > Thanks. ;)
    >
    >
    > peace,
    >
    > -*-
    > charles
    zeitgeist, Nov 6, 2004
    #11
  12. In article <Ha0jd.52054$HA.15060@attbi_s01>,
    zeitgeist <> wrote:
    }
    } August is warmer for camping. Spring is best for waterfalls, my favorite
    } time is September, probably cause the kids are in school.

    My wife and I are actually considering changing our plans and bringing
    all three of our kids, after they get out of school. They get out early
    (mid-June) so we may come the latter part of June, when hopefully it
    will be a bit less busy than early July, and the waterfalls will be
    better too. Does this make sense?

    } keep in mind the rule of thumb, the number of people around diminish
    } exponentially each mile from the road, and cubicly each 1000 feet upwards.

    Definitely. :) Thanks for the reply.

    peace,

    -*-
    charles
    Charles M. Kozierok, Nov 6, 2004
    #12
  13. Charles M. Kozierok

    MadHatter Guest

    (Charles M. Kozierok) wrote in message news:<cmim7g$6j3$>...

    > My wife and I are actually considering changing our plans and bringing
    > all three of our kids, after they get out of school. They get out early
    > (mid-June) so we may come the latter part of June, when hopefully it
    > will be a bit less busy than early July, and the waterfalls will be
    > better too. Does this make sense?


    We were there in mid-June this year. The falls were flowing pretty
    good, though noticeably less than they were in pictures that I had
    seen in May. There were some nice wildflowers, though probably not as
    many as there would have been a little later. I think that the spring
    melt was a bit early this year, so I'm not sure if you'd find the same
    conditions next year.

    As for crowds, parts of the valley were pretty crowded, though it
    wasn't as bad as I was expecting overall. The high country wasn't
    bad. We were on a few trails where we only saw a couple of other
    people.

    I've got pics here if you're interested-
    http://www.pbase.com/madhatter/yosemite
    MadHatter, Nov 7, 2004
    #13
  14. Charles M. Kozierok

    rick++ Guest

    July tends to be a drier month before August monsoons start.
    It can still thunderstorm in July however.
    July has longer days.
    Much of Europe takes August off and seems to come to US National Parks. Tends
    to be more crowded then.
    Winter may not be over yet in high Tioga backcountry. The rangers try to
    open all the facilities by the July 4th holidays, but may not succeed after
    snowy winter.
    rick++, Nov 7, 2004
    #14
  15. Charles M. Kozierok

    Guest Guest

    In article <>,
    MadHatter <> wrote:

    >We were there in mid-June this year. The falls were flowing
    >pretty good, though noticeably less than they were in pictures
    >that I had seen in May.


    The snow melted early this year and wasn't exactly a record
    amount in the first place. That's probably why the falls weren't
    flowing as much as you've seen in pictures.

    --
    http://www.spinics.net/yosemite/
    Guest, Nov 7, 2004
    #15
  16. Charles M. Kozierok

    Gary S. Guest

    On 7 Nov 2004 12:47:12 -0800, (rick++) wrote:

    >July tends to be a drier month before August monsoons start.
    >It can still thunderstorm in July however.
    >July has longer days.
    >Much of Europe takes August off and seems to come to US National Parks. Tends
    >to be more crowded then.
    >Winter may not be over yet in high Tioga backcountry. The rangers try to
    >open all the facilities by the July 4th holidays, but may not succeed after
    >snowy winter.


    My experience in the Northeast is that popular outdoor destinations
    are very crowded on 4 weekends:
    Memorial Day
    July 4th
    Labor Day
    Columbus Day

    especially the middle two.

    Weekends in between are somewhat crowded, but there is usually a bit
    of a slack-off the weekend just before and just after each of the
    above.

    I would suggest looking at the weekend after July 4, or the one just
    before Labor Day.

    Other factors, like weather, being equal.

    Happy trails,
    Gary (net.yogi.bear)
    ------------------------------------------------
    at the 51st percentile of ursine intelligence

    Gary D. Schwartz, Needham, MA, USA
    Please reply to: garyDOTschwartzATpoboxDOTcom
    Gary S., Nov 7, 2004
    #16
  17. Charles M. Kozierok

    clw Guest

    In article <>,
    (rick++) wrote:

    > July tends to be a drier month before August monsoons start.
    > It can still thunderstorm in July however.
    > July has longer days.
    > Much of Europe takes August off and seems to come to US National Parks. Tends
    > to be more crowded then.
    > Winter may not be over yet in high Tioga backcountry. The rangers try to
    > open all the facilities by the July 4th holidays, but may not succeed after
    > snowy winter.


    the best time for the Valley is the day they open for the season. Few
    people, no kids, the falls are full and crashing, there is still some
    snow around to soften the pictures and the back country is beautiful.

    Later in the summer, crowds, kids, not much if any water over the falls.
    A miserable time to visit.

    --
    Panta Rei
    clw, Nov 7, 2004
    #17
  18. Charles M. Kozierok

    Guest Guest

    In article <>,
    clw <> wrote:

    >the best time for the Valley is the day they open for the season.


    The Valley doesn't close so there is no opening day.

    --
    http://www.spinics.net/yosemite/
    Guest, Nov 8, 2004
    #18
  19. "Charles M. Kozierok" wrote:
    >
    > I am starting to make preliminary plans for a possible 3-week trip out
    > west next summer. We would spend some time in the SF area, then about a
    > week in Yosemite and an additional week or so doing Mono Lake, the
    > Bishop area, Bodie and so forth in the eastern high Sierras.
    >
    > What I am wondering is... will early July be a good time to do this
    > trip, from both a "general enjoyment" standpoint as well as
    > photographically? If not, would early August be better? Or neither?


    August is hotter than July - this is an issue only for Yosemite Valley
    and the San Joaquin Valley (it can get very hot), as the high country
    never really gets hot. Wildflowers can be found all summer in Yosemite,
    but by August mostly in the high country (+8000'). Don't worry about
    snow in July - Tioga Pass is always open by July 4th (Memorial Day
    weekend is the target opening date).

    If I'm given the choice, I'll take July over August.

    -Dave
    Dave Herzstein, Nov 8, 2004
    #19
  20. Charles M. Kozierok

    rick++ Guest

    > the best time for the Valley is the day they open for the season. Few
    > people, no kids, the falls are full and crashing, there is still some
    > snow around to soften the pictures and the back country is beautiful.


    The opening date for Tuolumne varies due to winter.
    I've had good times in mid May, and seen things closed through mid-July.
    People who have to fly-in or making lodging reservations dont have
    the luxury those who can drive up for a California weekend.

    If I were to gamble, I'd go for the last few days in June 2005. July 4 is on
    a Monday. The weekend before and the whole week after will be busy.
    rick++, Nov 8, 2004
    #20
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