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Author Topic: Yosemite during 4th of July week  (Read 5216 times)

MichaelEzra

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Yosemite during 4th of July week
« on: June 16, 2013, 10:39:46 PM »

Is it generally a good idea to visit Yosemite during the 4th of July week?
How dramatic can it look during summer time? I suppose more so just before sunrise and just after the sunset?
Are the massive clouds rare there in summer time?
I usually get to plan such trips long in advance, but could not this time, so any advice is very much appreciated:)!
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PhotoEcosse

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 04:21:16 AM »

As you have identified, virtually all the notable photographs from Yosemite are produced in dramatic weather conditions. Under "flat" skies, the Yosemite landscape is exceedingly drab. I suspect you just have to take your chance on your trip coinciding with a summer storm (or, alternatively, head for Utah).
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slothead

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 07:10:36 AM »

Personally, I would try to visit Yosemite when the tourism is the least active (although I can't imagine when that would be).  I haven't been there since 1963 and at that time it really a nice uncrowded area a lot of the year (and I wasn't even into photography at that point in my life).  Now however I can't even begin to imagine the crowds that probably arrive there at peak seasonal times.  (I should also probably mention that I think people ruin pictures unless they are the primary subject of said pictures, so the crowds would only serve to ruin my shots.)
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HSakols

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 09:16:01 AM »

If your going to Yosemite Valley be prepared for grid lock on the roads.  Driving the 14 mile Valley loop could take hours.  I'm not sure how you would approach the park, but I would suggest parking in Mariposa or El Portal and taking the early YARTS in.  Once on foot if your off the roads it may not be bad at all.  Keep in mind this is a very low water year so don't expect the falls to be in their full glory.   My preference in July is to be up in Tuolumne Meadows where one can escape the scorching temperatures, but during 4th of July week parking up there will be limited, something the park must address.  Summer photography can be quite frustrating in the Seirra Nevada.  If you don't get afternoon cloud build up, one is really stuck with only shooting very early in the morning or during the last hour before sunset - Yosemite can be fickle. Once again if you can get off the road on foot even Yosemite Valley can be pleasant.  Right now the Ansel Adams gallery has an exhibit of Charlie Cramer's work and they always have a few Ansel prints going for $15,000.  To think you used to able to get one for $15.00 back in the day. 
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 10:49:20 AM »

Thanks for the advices. It seems the best thing to do it spend that week at home / local parks:)
And then travel to Patagonia:)!
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Vladimir Steblina

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 01:09:17 PM »

If your going to Yosemite Valley be prepared for grid lock on the roads.  Driving the 14 mile Valley loop could take hours.  I'm not sure how you would approach the park, but I would suggest parking in Mariposa or El Portal and taking the early YARTS in.  Once on foot if your off the roads it may not be bad at all.  Keep in mind this is a very low water year so don't expect the falls to be in their full glory.   My preference in July is to be up in Tuolumne Meadows where one can escape the scorching temperatures, but during 4th of July week parking up there will be limited, something the park must address. 

Bicycles....take a bicycle with you.  That is the way to avoid the crowded roads.  There are several bike trails in the valley. The upper end of the valley is closed to vehicles anyway.  It will be a much better experience than driving that time of year.   Don't forget a picture of the Sasquatch (BigFoot) petroglyph.

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/02/sasquatch-and-yosemite-valley.html

Here is an alternative to Yosemite Valley....however, thanks to the city of San Francisco is it flooded.  The falls still roar just cut a bit short.  You can backpack in the area.  HARDLY anybody goes there since it was flooded by the city.

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/02/restore-hetch-hetchy-tuolumne-yosemite.html

I also agree with the recommendation of Tuolumne Meadows.  There are some great day hikes from the Meadows.  Since it is a low snow year I suspect most of the trails will be open.   That way you can save Yosemite Valley for a trip in the late winter early spring before the crowds show up. 
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ScoTTTokar

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 01:56:58 PM »

The BEST place in Yosemite on 4th of July is the Wawona area. Free festival in the old town, and a wonderful BBQ dinner on the hotel lawn. We have done it twice and had a great time. Avoid the valley floor at all costs on the 4th.
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Isaac

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 03:36:18 PM »

On the 4th of July, go to a 4th of July event! That makes sense ;-)

Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration at Wilder Ranch State Park
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Isaac

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 03:36:54 PM »

As you have identified, virtually all the notable photographs from Yosemite are produced in dramatic weather conditions. Under "flat" skies, the Yosemite landscape is exceedingly drab. I suspect you just have to take your chance on your trip coinciding with a summer storm (or, alternatively, head for Utah).

If the Yosemite landscape ever seems exceedingly drab, I'm afraid the viewer must be exceedingly jaded.
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HSakols

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 04:02:14 PM »

Back when I rock climbed quite a bit the last thing I wanted to see were cumulus anvil clouds appearing out of nowhere. To see what the park looks like today check out the web cams that are refreshed every 30 seconds.  By the way Michael your work is absolutely beautiful.  Maybe you can bring some of your models to the top of North Dome which is directly across from Half Dome. I'll help carry your 200 lbs of lighting.   ;D
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PhotoEcosse

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 05:13:22 AM »

If the Yosemite landscape ever seems exceedingly drab, I'm afraid the viewer must be exceedingly jaded.

Insulting b@st@rd, aren't you.

If all you can resort to is name-calling then I seriously suggest you get off this chat-room and look for something more in keeping with your infantile mentality.
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Isaac

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 11:50:18 AM »

Insulting b@st@rd, aren't you.

No, I'm not.

If you found 1200 square miles of "magnificent scenery" to be exceedingly drab, you brought that with you.

If all you can resort to is name-calling then I seriously suggest you get off this chat-room and look for something more in keeping with your infantile mentality.

Because otherwise you'll threaten me some more?

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PhotoEcosse

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 02:55:10 PM »

No, I'm not.

If you found 1200 square miles of "magnificent scenery" to be exceedingly drab, you brought that with you.

Because otherwise you'll threaten me some more?



Well, well well. You make my point much more eloquently than I could have hoped for. For goodness sake, grow up.
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Isaac

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 04:20:36 PM »

La Fin.
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Scott O.

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 11:45:16 PM »

Typically, Yosemite Valley closes because of too many people around July 4, and other major holidays also. The High Country will be open, but highly congested. The Sierra is a good place to avoid during major holidays...

leeonmaui

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 05:17:03 PM »

Aloha,

I was going to shoot Yosemite as a gear check for cold weather shooting prior to a fall trip to Patagonia, which you mentioned you were thinking of going to!
I didn't make it to Yosemite, one of my concerns was the cold weather :-) no really so many photographers shoot the area, but It is definitely on my bucket list.

I did make it to Patagonia, in April of this year and I have to tell you; it is one of the most target rich photographic environments I have every been in! If you go you will love it!

I went  to Fitz Roy Valley for fall colors, April 7th to the 17th, missed peak colors by a few days I think as I watched the valley just get better and better. bring wide, macro and telephoto as there are endless things to shoot even when the light is poor, which for me was about 70 percent of the time.

If you have never been you will freaking love it!  I'm re-scheduling a Kenya trip so I can go back again in April!
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HSakols

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2013, 09:44:02 PM »

Here is a link to my cold weather test. The year before we got trapped on Tioga Pass and the recorded low 2000 ft below us was -14 degrees F.  At the time my Nikon D300 did just fine.  The whole crew was stuck in tents, but we used an outhouse for cooking. I think I slept with the battery.  It was a bit chilly even with my sleeping bag liner that drops my comfort zone by 40 degrees. Traffic and crowds were no problem.

http://hsakols.blogspot.com/2011/03/winter-in-yosemites-high-country.html
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 09:49:11 PM by HSakols »
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dreed

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Re: Yosemite during 4th of July week
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2013, 09:02:15 AM »

It has now passed but the place to be would be up in the Tuoulumne Meadows and the back country.

In summer, stormy weather is possible - check your daily forecast. One evening I was at Glacier Peak in mid summer and a storm was out east behind Half Dome and it was really quite pretty :)
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