Driving to Yosemite In Autumn

Old Nov 10th, 2000, 04:11 AM
Andre Choo
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Driving to Yosemite In Autumn


We were thinking of visiting Yosemite National Park from San Francisco. When checking the weather over the Internet, it seemd to suggest that chains have to be carried during the trip. Is it hard to drive under these conditions? How far can you drive in that direction before chains have to be used? Could we then take a guided tour from that location?
Old Nov 10th, 2000, 08:49 AM
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Are you the same Chloe who was asking about guided tours on the other Yosemite header? Why so intent on guided tours, I wonder?

The vast majority of YNP visitors are there to enjoy the outdoor recreational opportunities, not to take tours, unless they are elderly. Many trailheads have self-guided brochures, courtesy of NPS, and the rangers give free talks and tours all the time, visit the NPS site for more information and check the Yosemite Guide at the park itself, another resource.

What is it exactly that you believe a guided tour will be able to do for you? Most of those tour businesses, including the one run by the park concessionaire, hire people who know no more about the park than you do -- they are just fast talkers and have had a crash course. The NPS rangers will be able to give you the best tours and they are free.
Old Nov 10th, 2000, 10:45 AM
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yosemite in the fall is great. chains normally are not a big problem. but you may need to have them, jsut in case--they only cost about $30-$40, and are for sale at hardware stores in towns on the way. I've gone in the winter a few times, and needed chains once. I asked the ballman at the ahwanee hotel to put them on, which he did for $10. It's not hard driving with chains--you bobviously shouldn't go too fast, but you wouldn't want to anyway, given the snow and ice./// (you don't get to the snow area until close to the park.)
Old Nov 10th, 2000, 11:19 AM
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Don't know specifically about Yosemite right now but the Tahoe ski areas have opened a month early this year and today we're having pretty good rain and sleet in the Bay area. Think it might be going to be a cold, wet winter which means snow in the Sierra. But, it's beautiful at Yosemite in the snow and as the poster above says you won't get into the snow until you're almost in the park itself. Some gas stations will rent you chains (and put them on for you) but require a sizeable deposit so you'll be sure to return them. You might want to look into that if you don't want to become the proud owner of chains. Driving with them is quite easy, it's the getting them on and off that's a pain. You might want to call the CHP road conditions number--don't have it here but it's an 800 number.
Old Nov 10th, 2000, 06:13 PM
Paul Rabe
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The official NPS site for Yosemite,, states: For updated 24 hour road and weather conditions call (209) 372-0200.
They also note that chain restrictions can go into effect on any road at any time with very little warning.

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