Do NOT go to Yosemite right now 7-20-2018

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SeilerBird

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If you have plans to visit Yosemite in the next month you should cancel them. There is a large fire due west of the park called the Ferguson Fire. It is more than 20,000 acres and less than 20% contained. The fire is not close enough to Yosemite to threaten it but the smoke will make touring Yosemite a real bummer. The visibility in the park is greatly reduced. If you were planning on going you could change to Kings Canyon, which is really the same as Yosemite, just one valley south.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/17/map-yosemite-wildfire-perimeter/
 

Gods Country

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Thanks, another one to watch.  We will be heading there in September. 

Our trip to Yellowstone last year was almost ruined by fires.  Fortunately the weather turned just as we got to Wyoming.
 

mskeyspirate

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N.W. Indiana
I have to agree, I may cancel my plans, if I had them currently. However....you mentioned another spot nearby that is "nearly the same" . Have to take exception to that one. There is NO place like Yosemite for viewing wildlife, mountain ranges, and history. While I agree that there are places to visit that can make you happy. Just have to respectfully disagree. I've climbed Half Dome twice, there is no place in the world like it. Cancel, postpone if you must...but accept no substitute !
 

SeilerBird

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mskeyspirate said:
I have to agree, I may cancel my plans, if I had them currently. However....you mentioned another spot nearby that is "nearly the same" . Have to take exception to that one. There is NO place like Yosemite for viewing wildlife, mountain ranges, and history. While I agree that there are places to visit that can make you happy. Just have to respectfully disagree. I've climbed Half Dome twice, there is no place in the world like it. Cancel, postpone if you must...but accept no substitute !
Actually there are two valleys identical to Yosemite Valley. To the north is Hetch Hetchy valley that San Francisco flooded and turned into a drinking water lake and to the south is Kings Canyon. You really need to go to Kings Canyon before you try and tell me it is not nearly the same.
 

Molaker

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Last September we made a trip up to Saskatchewan, Ca and across to Banff and on into B.C.  At Banff, we hit the smoke and remained in it clear on down to Mt. St. Helens. Rather spoiled an otherwise nice trip.
 

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blw2

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SeilerBird said:
Actually there are two valleys identical to Yosemite Valley. To the north is Hetch Hetchy valley that San Francisco flooded and turned into a drinking water lake and to the south is Kings Canyon. You really need to go to Kings Canyon before you try and tell me it is not nearly the same.

Yosemite is a dream bucket list item for me..... I'm itching to do some backpacking there some day.... but I hate crowds and all that come with it.

I'd heard of Kings but never of hetchy hetchy.  I googled both and they do look pretty grand.  While I'm sure they're crowded too, maybe a bit less so.  I'm definitely going to remember.  Thanks for the tip SeilerBird!

I've often thought that I don't belong in Florida.  I love more hilly and mountainous terrain, and an more mild summer climate.  The southern Appalachians are good, but from what I see of Sierra I figure that it's about the prettiest place on earth.  I've wondered if it has something to do with the fact that my first camping experiences as a baby were somewhere in our near Yosemite.  Maybe it's burned into my subconscious.
I was born out that way and my parents took me camping as a baby.  Is that possible?  I've never been back to the area, except for Lake Tahoe as an adult
 

SeilerBird

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blw2 said:
Yosemite is a dream bucket list item for me..... I'm itching to do some backpacking there some day.... but I hate crowds and all that come with it.
The backcountry of Yosemite is where you go backpacking and it is empty. Yosemite is almost exactly the same size as the state of Rhode Island (RI is 43 sq miles larger) but there is no one there. Yosemite Valley is about seven square miles and that is where everyone goes. Very few visitors ever get off the valley floor.

I'd heard of Kings but never of Hetchy Hetchy.  I googled both and they do look pretty grand.  While I'm sure they're crowded too, maybe a bit less so.  I'm definitely going to remember.  Thanks for the tip SeilerBird!
Neither Hetch Hetchy or Kings is ever crowded. In fact hardly anyone goes to Hetch Hetchy and relatively few people go to Kings Canyon.
 

Back2PA

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SeilerBird said:
The backcountry of Yosemite is where you go backpacking and it is empty.

I think Yosemite was my last backpack trip many, many years ago. The high altitude, backcountry is absolutely stunning
 

SeilerBird

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Sun2Retire said:
I think Yosemite was my last backpack trip many, many years ago. The high altitude, backcountry is absolutely stunning
You know the old saying, 'God created Yosemite so he would have some place to vacation.'.
 

H5-Phil

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SeilerBird said:
Neither Hetch Hetchy or Kings is ever crowded. In fact hardly anyone goes to Hetch Hetchy and relatively few people go to Kings Canyon.

If they were identical, they'd dramatically lessen the five million visitors to Yosemite every year. 
I've lived a few hours from Yosemite all of my life and have visited regularly since the 70s.  There is one easy way to visit Yosemite Valley without dealing with the crowds.  Go early in the morning.  Sunrise and for a couple of hours after is a spectacular time to view the sites in the valley and up on Glacier Point.  Winter is another time that the crowds are greatly diminished. 
 

beaverfever

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i read in the pdx paper yesterday  that they have closed glacier point to visitors, using it to house the fire fighters.
what a shame for one time visitors not be able to enjoy the views from there.
 

SeilerBird

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beaverfever said:
i read in the pdx paper yesterday  that they have closed glacier point to visitors, using it to house the fire fighters.
what a shame for one time visitors not be able to enjoy the views from there.
There would not be much to see from Glacier Point right now anyhow.
 

Ghostman

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The greatest part of Yosemite is when we left Yosemite Village and ventured to the top part of the park. It was beautiful with all the creeks and trails. The Village was 5000 people crammed into a 3 mile stretch. It was ridiculous.  We enjoyed it once we got away from everyone.
 

SeilerBird

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http://abc7news.com/yosemite-valley-to-remain-closed-due-to-ferguson-fire/3836237/

Yosemite is still mostly closed. It is possible to visit there by going in from the east, but it would not be worth the effort since the whole area will be filled with smoke.
 

BIG JOE

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FWIW. According to our local news, (7-28-18): Yosemite NP is Closed to Tourism, and Will Be for at least the next 7 days. Yosemite Valley is Full of smoke (real Bad air), vizability of near anything is down to Zero. Plus.. they are having [traffic] trouble with local people just driving up to the park.. to See The Fire(s) :(

And FWIW..We've lived here 40+ years.. and would totally agree with the others on this thread... Hetch Hetchy and Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP are Far better Parks to visit for the unbelievable Sierra
Mountain Views, Nature walks, Near bye lakes, rivers, and hiking... at all levels.
 

ArdraF

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The Las Vegas Valley has really bad haze today, probably from the California fire smoke.  We were out mid-day and couldn't see at all the Spring Mountains to the west nor the Sheep Mountains to the north.  The eastern and southern ranges were a bare outline.  Not a good time for people with breathing issues!

ArdraF
 

Lou Schneider

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The Yosemite Valley closure has been extended "indefinitely" with all park entrances closed except the eastern entrance over Tioga Pass.  The Ferguson fire has crossed all of the access roads into the Valley and there's fear of dead frees falling and blocking them.  Meanwhile, smoke from the fires has made the air quality in the Valley worse than in the city of Beijing.

The Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake areas of the park remain open, but access is only available from the east from US 395 over Tioga Pass and visitors can't go further west than White Wolf.

I'm in Pahrump, NV and like Ardra said, the smoke is thick here too, enough to hide the mountains surrounding the valley during the day and make the setting sun look like a blood red moon.

Here's more information and an updated fire map:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/06/fire-map-more-of-yosemite-closed-tioga-pass-is-only-entrance/

 

ArdraF

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Yep, down in the LV Valley today I couldn't see any of the mountains ringing the valley.  It's the worst I've ever seen it since we started coming here in the mid-1990s.

ArdraF
 

ArdraF

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Yes, double wow.  I can't believe how bad it must be over in California.

ArdraF
 
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