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Thread: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    The Yosemite Valley, in the springtime, when the waterfalls are full. is one of the prettiest places I have even been. This is Bridal Vaill Falls.

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    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd May 2010 at 11:16 PM.

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    Re: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    The Yosemite Valley, in the springtime, when the waterfalls are full. is one of the prettiest places I have even been. This is Bridal Vaill Falls.
    Looks like a great place to visit! I've heard a lot about the park, but know very little about it - how big is it? How long do people typically spend on the average visit?

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    Re: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    The park is about 1200 sq miles (3000 sq km). One of the interesting points is that it has very few roads and almost all of them are closed from Nov-May due to snow. I have been there in the winter when it was not too crowded - can't even imagine what it's like in the summer. I don't know how long the average person stays but if you take the time to hike in the backcountry you will at least avoid the crowds.

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    Re: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    Both are incredible. I would like to get out there someday and also the Southern Utah area.

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    Re: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    Quote Originally Posted by benm View Post
    The park is about 1200 sq miles (3000 sq km). One of the interesting points is that it has very few roads and almost all of them are closed from Nov-May due to snow. I have been there in the winter when it was not too crowded - can't even imagine what it's like in the summer. I don't know how long the average person stays but if you take the time to hike in the backcountry you will at least avoid the crowds.
    Thanks Ben - sounds like a helicopter could be put to good use (shouldn't cost too much if the costs are shared amongst - say - 4 people). I think the biggest thing I'd be worried about would be bears - are they much of a danger or a problem?

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    I spent two full days and one extra afternoon in Yosemite and could easily have spent an extra day.

    IMO, the window of opportunity for this National Park is really quite short. The elevations are anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000feet (about 1,200 to 1,800 meters) and on years of heavy snowpack like this year, the roads often do not open until mid April. The Eastern entrance over Tioga Pass which is almost 10,000 feet or 3,000 meters high still has six feet, almost two meters of snow on the road.

    After the U.S. Memorial day Holiday (which begins our Summer season at the end of May) crowds of tourists flock to the Park. In fact, private autos are banned from the Yosemite Valley during the Summer and you must take a free shuttle bus. Additionally, the waterfalls which are some of the Park's featured attractions tend to dry up during the Summer after the mountain snow has melted. The crowds thin out after the first part of Sepetember but, the waterfalls may hardly be flowing at all. It is magical in the Winter but, you need chains to be able to access the Park. Being from Southern California, I don't have much snow driving experience and tend to avoid the white stuff.

    I stayed in a motel in the nearest town, Oakhurst, CA, which is advertised as 14 miles from the park. My motel was actually 16 miles (22.5 km) from the Park entrance but, the Yosemite Valley sights are an additional 20 miles (32 km) in from the gate. the road from Oakhurst to the Park entrance is fairly slow and within the park, the speed limits are exceptionally slow. Roadwork compounded this problem and on one day it took me 2.5 hours to drive from my motel to the Yosemite Valley.

    I would recommend that anyone wanting to visit the park get reservations at one of the lodging venues within the Park. However, you must reserve early whichI did not do - so I ended up staying in Oakhurst.

    Bears are not really any problem. the bears are the American Black bear which are not normally aggressive like the Grizzley Bear. However, they are still powerful wild animals and care should be exercised. You must not feed the bears and if camping, must keep your food and trash in bear proof containers (which are supplied at the camping sites). However, I am not cool with sleeping in a tent in bear country - I had one investigate my tent in New Mexico years ago and it was a pretty scary experience.

    It should be taken for granted that a mother bear is very protective of her cubs and can be dangerous if she thinks her cubs are in danger. I was deep on a trail into a Yosemite meadow when a mother bear and two cubs came strolling along. They were too far to shoot with my 24-70mm lens and unusually, I was not carrying my 70-200mm f/4L IS (which I usually have with me). Anyway, I certainly did not want to get close enough th fill the frame with the three bears - I did not want to antagonize momma bear. The bears ambled off to towards the other side of the loop road.

    As I drove around the loop, I saw a couple of fools trying to get close enough to photograph the bear trio. It made me sad because if momma had attacked the people, the park rangers would probably have put her down. There are damned fools everywhere...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd May 2010 at 02:09 AM.

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    Re: Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

    Facinating stuff. The bears remind me a bit of my SCUBA diving days when we would occasionally some across stingrays -- the best approach I found was to just go out of my way to give them a big a berth as I could - and they always just carried on their merry way. I was watching a David Ziser video the other day and he mentioned a group of photographers taking shots of alligators ... I'm sure that any normal person would try to increase the distance between themselves and the 'gator - but the photographers being the rare (and dying!) breed that they are are thinking "if I go closer then I can get a tighter composition on these shots"!

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