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Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

I think this new development merits a separate thread, which I will link on the clearinghouse thread.

Fire and NPS officials have made the decision to keep Yosemite Valley CLOSED INDEFINITELY.

All roads into the park now have fire on them, and fire is threatening to cross Hwy 120.

NPS employees are being told not to report to work unless specifically directed by supervisors. The NPS (don't know about the hotel, restaurant, and other concessioners) is working on finding alternative work locations as well as housing for people displaced from their residences and workplaces, including UC Merced.

There is a new fire, the Donnell Fire, 5800 acres as of Sunday evening, in Stanislaus NF. It has mandated some evacuations. Hwy 108 (Sonora pass) is now closed from 12 to 26 miles east of Strawberry to Kennedy Meadows. This takes away the next convenient crossing from the Eastern Sierra to San Francisco. The next trans-Sierra crossing north is Hwy 89 (Monitor) and Hwy 4 (Ebbets), not advisable for trailers, oversize vehicles, or those with acrophobia. Hwy 89 has steep grades and tight curves over sheer drops, and Hwy 4’s twists and turns make it probably the most labor-intensive of any state road over the Sierra. For those willing to take 4, there is the chance to see Calaveras Big Trees State Park and giant sequoias like those in Yosemite or Sequoia-Kings Canyon. Once you get to the west side, there is also a fire in the Mother Lode south of the town of Vallecitos, the Parrot Fire; if you are visiting Angels Camp, Columbia, or Sonora, it may make its presence known to you.

12 replies to this topic
Chesapeake, Virginia
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1. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

I had a trip planned for Rush Creek Lodge, driving there from Tahoe. Yosemite part was Aug. 15-17.. This was to be the trip of a lifetime. Thoughts? I am leaning toward canceling if they will refund.

Thousand Oaks...
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for Israel
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2. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

How sad and unfortunate.

Thank you for the information.

California
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3. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

Parrots Fire updated by CalFire at 7:19pm. 136 acres burned and 40% containment.

Anaheim, California
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for Tijuana, Anaheim
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4. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

The Parrotts fire (in Vallecito, between Angels Camp and Arnold/Big Trees) has had its forward progress halted (huzzah to the firefighters!). However, this is the THIRD such fire in less than a week in that part of the area. One was caused by a vehicle with a faulty catalytic converter parking in dry grass. One was caused by an absolute waste of valuable oxygen who threw their spent charcoal briquettes into the forest. And one was caused by sparks from the chains of a boat trailer dragging on the ground. Another one further out was started by an escaped campfire—why on earth does anyone need a campfire in 104ºF/40ºC heat??

If you are going to be in the area, please be mindful. It really only takes very little to start tinder smoldering in conditions like these. It could be something as simple as a glass Coke bottle that happens to refract the sun's rays just so.

Meanwhile—if you are towing a trailer across the Sierra, you should use Hwy 50 (Echo Summit) via Lake Tahoe or I-80 (the Donner Pass) via Reno. As posted in the OP, both Hwy 4 and Hwy 88 are tough to do with a trailer. Regular vehicles can do them no problem.

And, for heaven's sake... if you see smoke or fire, CALL 9-1-1. Even from a foreign phone with no cell service in the United States. It will work as long as there is any signal at all from any carrier.

Edited: 06 August 2018, 08:18
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5. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

This might be a silly question but what are the chances of the valley being open again in mid October. We are in San Fran mid October and were hoping to do a day tour to Yosemite.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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6. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

Not a silly question, but not possible to foresee conditions so far ahead.

The 2013 Rim Fire was on the northwest side of Yosemite. It ultimately burned 400 square miles, both in and out of the park, and ishe fourth largest wildfire ever in California. It started in mid-August and took two months to be fully contained, but was not 100% extinguished for 14 months. There is no such thing as a "seasonal" fire season anymore in California. So this question, while not at all silly, is simply impossible to answer.

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7. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

Thank you. I will just keep an eye on these for updates and check closer to the time to see how things are.

santa cruz
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8. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

How horrible. I’m so sad for everyone affected by these fires. And for California in general. Let’s hope for rain and a heavy snowpack this winter.

North east
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9. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

I believe Rush Creek is affiliated to Evergreen - they refunded me no quibbles even though it’s still open.

London, United...
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10. Re: Yosemite Valley closed indefinitely

Arrived Groveland evening of the 5 August to find 120 closed , and a heavy smell of burning in the air. After reaching our rental cabin logged on to find the ALL of Yosemite closed.

All though we are gutted that we will not be able to visit the park. We do feel for local residents as this must have a massive impact on all the small business that depend on the summer trade

We woke this morning and the smell of burning seems to be worse than last night we will visit local tourist office later to get an update and see what they can advise for some local walking

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