From the monthly archives:

April 2007

Soquel Meadows

by Ted on April 19, 2007

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by Ted on April 8, 2007

When To Visit Yosemite

Yosemite National Park enjoys a Mediterranean climate, which means whatever time of year you go, you can enjoy the season you’re in. dependant on which month you visit, you see beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls, or go skiing.

Spring runs through the months of April and May. It’s the perfect season to see beautiful gushing waterfalls with even the smallest creeks filling with water. The climate tends to be quite variable with warm days but the occasional winter storm can happen too. It’s quite necessary to bring tire chains and it’s essential to know how to use them, regardless of the motor vehicle you have. In spring, some roads are closed due to snow. Tioga and Glacier Point Roads are closed until May while Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain open all year round and accessible by car.

Summer by far is the most popular season to visit. It runs between the months of June to September. Beware though as places tend to get quite crowded and reservations are needed for most places. The entire park is accessible by automobile. The climate tends to be warm to hot in most places with some rain. The waterfalls are not as full as in spring are some decrease to only a trickle, but some run all year although can slow down by late summer.

Most of the wildflowers are visible and in full bloom during summer. You can see Redbud, Sierra Onion, Lupine, Mariposa Lily, Pentstemon and Flowering Dogwood in this season. Subalpine flowers bloom in late summer.

Visiting the park in fall, which runs from October to November time, is becoming a popular alternative to visiting in the summer. You can still see lots of the park but with less people around. Most of the park remains open for vehicles although the Tioga Road is closed after September and tire chains may still be require for your vehicle. The climate assumes a variable hot to cold, dry to snowy atmosphere.

Waterfalls tend to be only trickles during this season so it may not be the best time of year to see them, although some run all year round such as Vernal, Nevada, and Bridalveil. Due to the fact that most of the trees are evergreen, spectacular fall colors should not be expected although big-leaf maples and black oaks are quite impressive still.

Winter is the time to visit for complete solitary and snowy wilderness. Running from December to March, most of the roads are closed while Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain open. The Glacier point gets replaced with the Badger Pass Ski Area where one can ski downhill and cross-country. Of course, due to the extreme cold climate and snow, tire chains are a must.

© Ted McCaleb