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Yosemite end of April
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Keegan D

Locale: Bay Area
Yosemite end of April on 03/23/2012 15:17:35 MDT Print View

I plan on making a trip to Rancheria falls at the end of April and then spend some time in the valley. After that I wouldn't mind taking another short trip and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of other 2-3 night trips in the Yosemite area that would have little to no snow on the ground through most of the trail.

I heard good things about Chilnualna falls, but do you guys think there will be too much snow there?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Yosemite end of April on 03/23/2012 15:31:46 MDT Print View

Yosemite at the end of April... might be hard to predict. It looks like it will be a drier year than normal. Rancheria generally gets good for wildflowers around May, so this year April shouldn't be too far off.

There are many places to go by June of a normal year, but April might be a little soggy. The whole north rim of Yosemite Valley will be partially dried out, but not fully. The north rim is good by June of a normal year, so this year might be May.

It just depends on your priorities. For example, just scenery, or wildflowers, or wildlife, or what?

Hite Cove is just outside the park, and it is generally good in April.

If you can, telephone or email to the wilderness reservation people and ask. If they have the time and if they have some early trail reports, that can be a good source of planning information. OTOH, there aren't too many trail reports that early. They typically tell you conditions that are slightly worse than what is really out there. They want to scare away the faint of heart.


Keegan D

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Yosemite end of April on 03/23/2012 17:14:16 MDT Print View

Thank you for the advice.

When deciding on where I want to go, scenery is usually my highest priority, although the other two are nice to have also.

I'm sure anything above 5000 feet is probably going to be too snowy for me, so to make it a little easier, are there any good trips that are below 5000 feet around/in yosemite?

Can you tell me a little more about this Hite Cove?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Yosemite end of April on 03/23/2012 17:21:56 MDT Print View

For scenery, the rim of Yosemite Valley is hard to beat. The south rim is has more shade, so it is more likely to have some remaining snow and wetness. The north rim is sunnier, so it is more likely to have a little wetness. Hetch Hetchy is also good for waterfall scenery, but I go there only for wildflowers around May.

Hite Cove is outside of the park and much lower elevation, so it is best for wildflowers in April. There is also some gold mining history, if you can find it.

In the springtime, like April, is when there are lots of drowning deaths. Too many hikers mis-estimate the intensity of streams when they are at high levels.


Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Hite Cove on 03/23/2012 18:30:59 MDT Print View

A nice hike--about 4.5 miles in each direction, along the South Fork of the Merced River. The trail starts where the South Fork meets the Merced coming out of Yosemite, and the flowers in the spring along this trail can be stunning.

Here's a short report from the trip logs section of our website:

Hite Cove, Sierra National Forest (Highway 140 near Yosemite) This one is good just about any time the weather is nice, because the elevation is only about 1800 feet, and there are no prolonged climbs anywhere on the trail.

You leave from the trailhead at Savage's Trading Post off Highway 140, between Mariposa and Yosemite, and then follow the South Fork of the Merced River about 4.5 miles into an old mining camp on the river.

The only steep part is right where you start the trail, althrough there are some tricky sections where you realize how good the trails are in the rest of California. There are some nice views up and down the river, and during fishing season this must be even more fun.

But the real spectacle comes during the wildflower season, when some of the early slopes of the hike are simply covered with poppies and other flowers.

This trail will get a lot of traffic on the wildflower weekends, but we hiked it on a Friday in March, and saw about ten people as we hiked in--and they were all on their way out. We had the campsite and old mining equipment to ourselves for the evening. And on the way out, we saw crowds heading up the trail...but by that time we were on our way home...and into Yosemite for a little sight-seeing in the spring.
If if you have to get into the Sierra during the winter, this might be your best bet! 9 miles rt.

lots of photos on our website at

Edited by balzaccom on 03/23/2012 18:32:19 MDT.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

Sequoia NP on 03/23/2012 20:18:02 MDT Print View

You might consider the Middle Fork Trail in Sequoia NP. I'm going there this weekend for a 3 night trip. Elevation is about 4000 to 5000 feet. Best regards - Jon